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Recognizing the Exceptional Work of 22 UH Nurses


The Inaugural UH Distinguished Nurses Award Ceremony celebrated nurses who go above and beyond the call of duty

UH Distinguished Nurse award was established to recognize direct care nurses who distinguish themselves in their knowledge, compassionate care, professional development, teamwork, teaching and service to the nursing profession.

A UH Distinguished Nurse is someone who:

  • Maintains in-depth knowledge and expertise in their field.
  • Delivers compassionate, appropriate and effective care to all patients.
  • Provides evidence of continued personal / professional growth and development.
  • Facilitates teamwork by using outstanding interpersonal skills and communication skills with other UH caregivers.
  • Displays exemplary service to the nursing profession.
  • Continually inspires, mentors, and teaches students and other nurses.

In August 2022, we asked caregivers across the system to nominate their favorite outstanding nurse from the more than 8,000 nurses who make us #UHPROUD every day. The 139 nominations were reviewed by a diverse steering committee, and 22 nurses were chosen for this inaugural class of awardees.

UH Distinguished Nursing Award 2022

These UH Distinguished Nurses were recognized at a pinning ceremony, in front of more than 120 of their family, friends, colleagues, and leaders. Michelle Hereford, MSHA, RN, FACHE, System Chief Nurse Executive, Ethel Morikis Endowed Chair in Nursing Leadership, kicked off the awards ceremony with an inspiring welcome address. She introduced our Chief Executive Officer, Cliff A. Megerian, MD, FACS, Jane and Henry Meyer Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair with a story of when she learned of the Distinguished Physician Award, she asked Dr. Megerian if there was such an award for nurses, and he said, “Not yet, but do it!”

Dr. Megerian enlightened the audience with the amazing history of UH that is directly tied to the pioneering efforts of our dedicated and compassionate nurses. “Nurses are the foundation of our strength, not only within UH, but within healthcare,” he said with pride, and went on to talk about how UH launched the first nursing school in the U.S. to offer a full academic and clinical curriculum, created the first nurse anesthetists program, and other advancements in nursing that were founded right here at UH.

The keynote speaker, Linda Quinn Everett, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAONL, FAAN, past President of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders, told a story that illustrated why she firmly believes that every nurse is a leader. When a woman’s legs buckled on an elevator in the Empire State Building, all of the other occupants just stared in disbelief, frozen with uncertainty. Linda took charge, assessed the woman, calmed her and her husband down, and found the woman’s inhaler. By the time they reached the 102nd floor, the woman was breathing much better and was able to stand. “Every minute of every day, a nurse changes the course of someone’s life.”

Please join us in congratulating the 2022 Inaugural Class of Distinguished Nurses:

  • Casie Behrend, MN, RN, CPN | UH Avon Health Center
  • Karen Donato, BSN, RN, OCN | UH St. John Medical Center
  • Lauren Eyring, BSN, RN | UH Medical Offices
  • Mary Gilchrist, MSN, RN, CCRN |UH Elyria Medical Center
  • Dana Hallman, BSN, RN | UH Elyria Medical Center
  • Kyle Hunt, BSN, RN | UH Parma Medical Center
  • Kristina Krumrei, BSN, RN, CCRN | UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Bonnie Langermeier, BSN, RN, CPN | UH Rainbow Babies’ & Children’s Hospital
  • Deborah Leister, BSN, RN, CEFM | UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital 
  • Beth McCluskey, BSN, RN | UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Marlene Mitchell, RN, CMSRN | UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Alnita Paterson, RN, WCC, DWC | UH Geauga Medical Center
  • Caroline (Krakowski) Pochedly, BSN, RN-BC | UH Ahuja Medical Center
  • Denise Robinson, BSN, RN, SANE-A | UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Ashley Rohde, BSN, RN |UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital
  • Linda Scavnicky, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC | UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Lisa Scharbach, BSN, RN | UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Hannah Schmikla, BSN, RN | UH Seidman Cancer Center
  • Ann Sparks, BSN, RN, BA, OCN, CMSRN, UH Seidman Cancer Center
  • Jennifer Stone, BSN, RN, AMB-BC |UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Karrie Ann Whelan, RNC-OB | UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital
  • Angela Zambito, BSN, RN, OCN | UH Outpatient Specialty Care Infusion Center