Loma Linda nurses honored at Caring Spirit Awards
Winners Jan Zumwalt (second from right) and Kimmie Copen (second from left) stand with all the finalists, Patricia Sorenson (far right), Katy Dalke (center), and Marian Llaguno (far left).
With 23 nominations for the 2005 Caring Spirit Awards, Loma Linda University Medical Center was well represented this year at the Riverside Convention Center on July 26. Five finalists from the nominations stood before the crowd gathered from eight different area hospitals and health services companies.
Out of the 11 judged categories, LLUMC had finalists in four: Katy Dalke, RN, director of the pediatric nurse intern program for Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, was nominated for Excellence in Nursing Education; Marian Llaguno, RN, a nurse in the TotalCare Birth Center, was nominated for Excellence in Mentoring; Kimmie Copen, RN, a pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospital, was nominated for Excellence in Community Service; and both Patricia Sorenson, RNC, MSN, CNS, NNP, from the neonatal ICU, and Jan Zumwalt, RN, MS, MBA, executive director of international affairs, advanced practice nursing, nursing resources, interfacility transfer, and patient placement, LLUMC, were nominated for Excellence in Professional Achievement for Advancement.
Both Ms. Copen and Ms. Zumwalt won the Caring Spirit Awards in their respective categories.
“It’s an honor and a privilege,” said Ms. Copen of her award. “I want to thank God first and foremost, who allows me to call Him Father, and lets me share with these kids that even if they don’t have a father here on earth, they have one in heaven.”
Ms. Copen works with at-risk youth through active leadership in Operation Jessica, a program that holds transformational retreats for gang kids. She visits group homes, helps train mentors for troubled teens, participates in fund-raising, designs dramas, and helps with programming details for the Operation Jessica retreats, all on a volunteer basis.
The compassion Ms. Copen holds for these teens is evident in her interactions with them. One teen who initially resisted every effort to connect with others found in Ms. Copen a way to open up. During one retreat he noticed her playing the piano and sat beside her and told of his desire to learn. She began teaching him that very day.
Two days later, Ms. Copen’s nominator, who was also at the retreat, heard strains of Beethoven coming from the piano room. She was amazed to see the very teen Ms. Copen had taken under her wing playing the music. Ms. Copen truly enables wounded teens to move past their tragedies into amazing triumphs.
Ms. Zumwalt received multiple nominations for the Excellence in Professional Achievement for Advancement category. Besides being a senior administrator at the Medical Center for several years, she takes an active role in developing nursing services in other countries. She has made significant advancements for Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in Hangzhou, China, which has become a major tertiary academic health science center serving a large area of southeastern China. Chinese officials note the hospital for excellent nursing skills, due in large part to the work Ms. Zumwalt has done.
Ms. Zumwalt is currently working to develop a model teaching hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital has been turned over to Loma Linda University to establish a western level of health care. She will guide development of nursing services at the hospital by visiting and recruiting nurses to serve there.
“We transcend the barriers of language and culture,” said Ms. Zumwalt about nurses upon receiving her award.
The 2005 Caring Spirit Awards honor the nursing profession by presenting awards for outstanding accomplishments by local Inland Southern California licensed nurses. Nearly 200 nominations were turned in this year describing extraordinary nurses from 18 different communities covering an area from the low desert to the mountains to the Temecula Valley. The goal of the program is not to present 11 individual awards, but to bring recognition to the nursing profession. Throughout all the nominations, judges found one recurring theme: the essence of nursing is caring.
Preston Clarke Smithprsmith@ahs.llumc.edu
(909) 558-4419 or ext. 42267