2012-06-08 / Community

SJEH Honors Nurses Of Distinction


St. John’s Episcopal Hospital’s Nurses of Distinction were honored at a dinner and ceremony held by 1199 SEIU/League of Voluntary Hospitals at the Brooklyn Marriott on Monday, May 21. The Nurses of Distinction for 2012 are: (from left to right) Cathy Healy, RN, Nurse of Distinction; Anita Sawyer, RN, Novice Nurse of Distinction; James Moriah, RN, Nurse Preceptor of Distinction; and Victoria Backus, NP, Nurse Leader of Distinction. St. John’s Episcopal Hospital’s Nurses of Distinction were honored at a dinner and ceremony held by 1199 SEIU/League of Voluntary Hospitals at the Brooklyn Marriott on Monday, May 21. The Nurses of Distinction for 2012 are: (from left to right) Cathy Healy, RN, Nurse of Distinction; Anita Sawyer, RN, Novice Nurse of Distinction; James Moriah, RN, Nurse Preceptor of Distinction; and Victoria Backus, NP, Nurse Leader of Distinction. The 1199/SEIU League of Voluntary Hospitals Nurse of Distinction program recognizes New York City nurses who make a difference in their profession. Nominated by peers, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital sends one nurse’s name in each category to compete in the region-wide recognition program. This year St. John’s choices for 2012 Nurses of Distinction are:

NURSE OF DISTINCTION Cathy Healy, RN

Healy has been at St. John’s for 39 years as a nursery RN. When the nursery was combined with the postpartum unit to become a Mother/Baby unit, Healy made a smooth transition. Her clinical practice is excellent in every detail. She is a team player, a mentor to other staff, and an enthusiastic supporter of the initiatives of her individual area and the Hospital. She is reliable and has a strong work ethic. In addition to her role as a staff nurse, Healy is also a childbirth educator and runs Lamaze class for the community in the evening. She is a certified lactation counselor, as well. Healy earned her bachelor’s from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn and is a graduate of St. Luke’s School of Nursing. She is a longtime Rockaway resident who enjoys living and working in her community. She says, “You get the sand between your toes and you never leave.”

NURSE LEADER OF DISTINCTION Victoria Backus, NP

Backus, Director of Emergency Services since 2008, is a valued member of the Leadership Team. She is instrumental in guiding policy, recruiting and educating staff, and taking an active leadership role as a continued daily presence in the Emergency Department. She is responsible for both the main emergency room and the psychiatric emergency area, overseeing more than 70 staff with varying skill levels. She works well with all her colleagues within the nursing, medical and administrative staffs. Through her excellent communication skills, she keeps all staff informed of new policies, initiatives and goals and has inspired others to achieve more and dedicate themselves to making their Emergency Department shine for the community they serve.

NURSE PRECEPTOR OF DISTINCTION James Moriah, RN

Moriah has been with St. John’s since 1996. He began as a nurse’s aide and transporter. He went to Queensborough Community College and earned his associate’s degree, then to Lehman College and earned his bachelor’s and became a registered nurse. He trains new nurses in the evenings and nights on Tower 10. An excellent nurse first and foremost, Moriah has excellent critical thinking and patient assessment skills, which enable him to quickly note and address even subtle changes in a patient’s condition.

He is often seen as the team leader and remains helpful, compassionate and cool under pressure. With Moriah as a role model, all his colleagues want to jump in and take responsibility and make the unit clinically excellent. Moriah holds a clinical adjunct teaching position at Queensborough Community College. He said, “I enjoy teaching and nurturing people. I feel like I’m giving back.”

NOVICE NURSE OF DISTINCTION Anita Sawyer, RN

Sawyer, a nurse on the Tower 11 Cardiac Care Center, started her career at St. John’s as a member of the ancillary staff. She showed an immediate keen interest in nursing, so no one was surprised when she completed her schooling at St. Paul’s School of Nursing and was licensed as a registered nurse. Sawyer has an inquisitive mind and is always asking to learn more. After one year on the surgical care unit, she transferred to telemetry where she quickly mastered dysrhythmia identification. The staff on both units is impressed by her dedication to her patients, her willingness to learn and her desire to move quickly from novice to expert. “I love St. John’s and the people here,” says Sawyer. “They’re like family,” she added.

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