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Nurses at Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota recognized with awards for Nurses Week

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota proudly recognizes the more than 650 nurses at its locations for their tireless dedication and compassionate care during Nurses Week, an annual celebration that highlights the crucial role nurses play in health care.

Additionally, we are thrilled to announce the 14 exceptional nurses who have been honored as award winners for their outstanding contributions to patient care and clinical excellence in the Bemidji area. Nominated by their peers, nurses were honored on Tuesday, May 7, during a ceremony at the Sanford Center.

Exemplary Professional Practice – Gina Labernik, BSN, RN, in labor and delivery, and Michael Foster, BSN, RN, in the intensive care unit.

The Exemplary Professional Practice Award recognizes a registered nurse who practices, collaborates, communicates and develops professionally to provide the highest quality care for those served at Sanford.

Florence Nightingale – Camilla Olsen, BSN, RN, in the OB/GYN clinic, and Merrilee Hawkins, ADN, RN, in the cardiac CATH lab.

The Florence Nightingale Professional Nurse Award recognizes professional nurses who are involved in the provision of the art and science of nursing. Through strength of character, commitment and competence, this recipient is recognized by peers as one who contributes to the evolution of the nursing practice.

Friends of Nursing – Mercedes Jesness, lead social worker, and Nanette Blue, manager of environmental services.

The Friends of Nursing Award recognizes an individual who has supported the professional practice of nursing while valuing and enhancing nursing's contribution to the patients we serve, the organization and the community.

New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements – Jen Gieser, BSN, RN, infection preventionist in the quality and safety department, and Ruth DiRose, BSN, RN, in the intensive care unit.

The New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements Nurse Award was established to recognize professional nurses who are involved in innovation in the practice of nursing through taking a leadership role and supporting organizational growth and improvement.

Rising Star – Danielle Schultz, BSN, RN, in the intensive care unit, and Josiah Bakke, LPN, in labor and delivery.

The Rising Star Award recognizes professional nurses in their first two years of practice. The award is presented to a nurse who demonstrates a passion for their newly chosen career through involvement in the nursing organization, as well as achieving initial competence as a professional nurse in his or her area of practice.

Spirit of Nursing – Erin Wichmann, RN, inpatient case management manager, and Shawna Ogundeji, RN, inpatient nursing manager in the emergency department.

The Spirit of Nursing Leadership Registered Nurse Award was established in loving memory of past nursing leaders. This award recognizes registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in leadership roles who demonstrate leadership as nursing professionals by significantly contributing to the professional advancement of nurses, the nursing profession, and the improvement of the general welfare of nurses.

Transformational Leadership – Anna Lea, BSN, RN, RN health coach in behavioral health, and Devin Murphy, BSN, RN, in the intensive care unit.

The Transformational Leadership Nurse Award was established specifically to recognize attributes of transformational leadership in nursing. This award recognizes registered nurses and licensed practical nurses who are knowledgeable, transformational formal or informal leaders who develop a strong vision, well-articulated philosophy, and professional practice.

Join us in applauding these remarkable individuals for their exemplary service and dedication to providing high-quality healthcare to our community.

Pictured in the back row from left to right in the attached photo: Erin Wichmann, Gina Labernik, Michael Foster, Devin Murphy, Shawna Ogundeji and Merrilee Hawkins. In the front row are Danielle Schultz, Mercedes Jesness, Nanette Blue, Ruth DiRose and Anna Lea. Not pictured are Camilla Olsen, Jen Gieser and Josiah Bakke.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, the largest rural health system in the United States, is dedicated to transforming the health care experience and providing access to world-class health care in America's heartland. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization serves 1.4 million patients and nearly 200,000 health plan members across 250,000 square miles. The integrated health system has 45 hospitals, 211 clinic locations, more than 160 Good Samaritan Society senior living centers, 2,900 Sanford physicians and advanced practice providers, 540 active clinical trials, and nine world clinic locations around the globe. Learn more about Sanford Health's commitment to shaping the future of rural health care across the lifespan at [] or Sanford Health News.


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