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Awards

The Winners of D Magazine’s Excellence in Nursing Awards 2020

We asked nominators to tell us how these nurses impacted their lives, community, and profession.

How We Did It

We contacted local hospitals, doctors, nursing organizations, and patients and asked them to visit our website to nominate outstanding nurses. We asked nominators to answer three questions regarding how the nurses affected their lives, community, and profession. The editors selected the best nominations and sent them to a panel of esteemed registered nurses in various fields. The panel could not judge those they worked with directly. We compiled judges’ scores to select the 113 winners. We also vetted the registered nursing licenses and reviewed any disciplinary actions of each winner.

Regina Miller

Registered Nurse Lewisville ISD

regina miller headshotMy daughter has terrible migraines. It became medically necessary for her to have Imitrex at school, so her doctors faxed over the request for medication to be given. When her school nurse received it, she called me and said she didn’t think the dose was right. She asked me if she could call the doctor’s office and get the prescription clarified before my daughter had another migraine. I said that was fine and that I’d call ahead to tell them it was OK to speak with her. You know what they said? “She’s just a school nurse. We know what we are doing. We do this all day, every day.”

To make a long story short, Regina Miller was a pit bull with a sweet smile. When the doctor’s office finally got sick of her calling, they looked at my daughter’s prescription and were horrified to realize they’d prescribed four times the amount of Imitrex she was supposed to have. If given in excess, this drug can cause serious heart problems, in addition to brain hemorrhage or stroke. Had it not been for Regina, anyone at the school in her absence could have given the wrong amount. We could have given the wrong amount at home.

We are all human and make mistakes, but we hold medical people to higher standards. Thank goodness for gatekeepers like her. —Name withheld, Lewisville ISD parent

Alaana Garris

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Holoprosencephaly is a disorder where part of the brain fails to develop. It’s a very big condition for a tiny baby. Most cases are so severe that the baby will not survive.

One family alaana garris headshotreceived this diagnosis and was advised their baby would likely not survive the pregnancy or the delivery. They made the difficult decision that they did not want to see their baby girl after delivery. It was just too hard. The baby girl was born alive, but the prognosis was grave. At the request of the parents, the baby was taken to the nursery for comfort care.

This neonatal nurse practitioner was assigned to attend the delivery and brought the baby to the nursery. It was evident that the baby would not survive for very long, based on the extent of her condition. She did not want this little girl to die alone, so she became this baby’s surrogate mom. She wrapped up the baby, sat in a rocking chair, and sang and cried for two hours until this precious angel slipped peacefully away, wrapped in loving arms and hearing whispers of love.

Recently, this family returned to give birth to a healthy baby. The parents asked to see Alaana. They wanted to thank her in person for the care and compassion she showed their firstborn baby girl. —Teresa Land, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Methodist Health System

Sarah Mackie

Registered Nurse Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–Grapevine

sarah mackie headshotSarah Mackie often goes above and beyond for her patients. One time, she was working with a nursing student, and they were caring for an elderly patient who experienced constipation after surgery. The patient was anxious and embarrassed about getting an enema and the possibility of not making it to the bathroom in time.

Sarah walked the patient through the procedure and what to expect, but the patient continued to express anxiety. Sarah had to go gather a few supplies, so she left the nursing student in the room with the patient and had them watch the commercial video for the Unicorn Squatty Potty. When Sarah returned, the patient was laughing so hard that the patient’s anxiety was gone and the patient agreed to proceed with the enema. After the enema, they got the patient successfully to the bathroom. While the patient sat on the commode, Sarah had the patient watch the YouTube video of the Scottish grandma trying to read The Wonky Donkey. The patient was smiling and laughing.

It’s not all about medicine. It’s also about the human aspect, and Sarah embodies this every time she works with a patient. The nursing student also went away smiling, knowing that nursing is an art that does not always look like what we see in textbooks. —Christine Mohl, nurse manager II, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–Grapevine

Rhonda Green

Registered Nurse Parkland Health & Hospital System

rhonda green headshotBeyond healthcare, the patient populations we serve face unique challenges in their social determinants of health. We have a large pool of diabetic patients in our ZIP code, and yet they struggle to find healthy food choices such as fresh vegetables and fruits in the areas where they live. Many of our patients buy their groceries from convenience stores.

Rhonda Green listened to her patients’ struggles while trimming or shaving calluses off their feet. She then collaborated with our registered on-site dietitian and diabetes team to host regular diabetes fairs at the clinic. The fairs are free and open to the public. Patients are given healthy cooking demonstrations using the common produce that can be found around the area. They learn different methods of cooking and no longer have to rely on frying their food. Guests are also provided with education on many ways to manage their diabetes challenges.

This nominee went above and beyond her role to be an active participant in the planning committee, knowing that her contribution would benefit the patient populations she serves. —Yin Lam, nurse manager, Bluitt-Flowers Health Center, Parkland Health & Hospital System

Excellence in Nursing Awards 2020

Education/Research

Tracine Adame
Director for Research & Clinical Innovation
Medical City Dallas

Jennifer Brown
Clinical Educator
Children’s Health

Jeanne Carey
Director of Simulation
Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Damon Cottrell
Assistant Dean & Clinical Professor
Texas Woman’s University

Nkechinyere Echefu
Clinical Education & Academy Partnership
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Robyn Faz
Professional Development Specialist
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

Jenny Harshman
Manager, Clinical Education
Children’s Health

Adora Lucius
Wound Care/Enterostomal Therapy Department
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Lynsay Malone
Critical Care Clinical Nurse Educator
Texas Health Huguley Fort Worth South

Peggy Mancuso
Associate Dean for Research and Clinical Scholarship/Professor
Texas Woman’s University

Hayley McVay
Clinical Education & Academy Partnership
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Skip Morelock
Administrative Supervisor
Texas Health Presbyterian Plano

Kelly L. Rossler
Assistant Professor
Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Kristin L. Scheffer
Nursing Professional Development-Generalist
Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health

Jordan Schools
Clinical Educator
Children’s Health

Ressie (Nikki) Schwalls
Surgical Services Administration
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Stacy Smith
Senior Director, Integrated Ethics and Conflict Transformation
Children’s Health

Cheryl A. Tucker
Clinical Associate Professor, Level 2 Undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Nursing Coordinator
Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Mandy Diane Winkler
Multiple Sclerosis Department of Neurology and Neurology and Neurotherapeutics
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Karen Wright
Director of the Center for Nursing Education and Research
Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health

Leadership

Andrea Ansley
Nurse Manager, Medical-Surgery & Telemetry
Texas Health Plano

Juliemar Atanacio
Manager, Post Anesthesia Care Unit
Medical City Dallas

Lindsay Backschies
Transplant, Colon/Rectal, ENT
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

Jennifer Bowden
Clinical Manager, Ambulatory Care
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital

Casey Bradfield
Director, Magnet Program
Children’s Health

Joseph Brookshire
Emergency Department/Trauma
Texas Health Dallas

Karen Burgess
Clinic Manager
UT Southwestern Medical Center

W. David Campbell
Vice President, Chief Learning Officer
Children’s Health

Sally Carmen
Clinical Excellence Program Manager
Texas Health Resources

Linda Castleman
Women & Infants Specialty Health Nurse Admin
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Joe Don Cavender
Senior Vice President and Associate Chief Nursing Officer
Children’s Health

Mary Cazzell
Director of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice
Cook Children’s Medical Center

Nina Costilla
Medical-Surgical
Texas Health Dallas

Cheryl Crittendon-Glaspie
Care Management
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Sandipkumar Dhorajiya
GYN-Oncology
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Suzanne Diagle
Observation Unit-Emergency Department
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Shelby Do
Medicine ICU
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Pamela Ford
Women & Infants Specialty Health-Antepartum
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Viji George
Clinical Excellence Program Manager
Texas Health Resources

Michael Hernandez
Nursing Director
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Karen Hollis
Surgical Services-Ortho
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Kelly Ann Hoselton
Advanced Practice Service Manager
Children’s Health

Pat Jackson
Senior Director Infection Prevention
Children’s Health

Ginger King
Director of Acute Care Services
Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Alicia Ann Lankford
Labor and Delivery Nurse Manager
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

Dulce Lopez
Trauma
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Jody Mackling
Manager, Advanced Practice Service
Children’s Health

Dawn Marchetto
Executive Nursing Leadership-Emergency Department
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Karen McCarthy
Director of Clinical Operations
Medical City Frisco

Christopher McLarty
Associate Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Ambulatory Services
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Kathryn Osteen
Clinical Associate Professor: Texas Regional Executive Leader-The Children’s Heart Foundation
Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Kristi Owen
Trauma Clinician-Performance Improvement
Texas Health Resources 

Sudharshan Pathak
Medicine Specialties
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Napoleon Player II
Director of Nursing Perioperative Services
Texas Health

Alban Rector
Nursing Supervisor
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

Diana Rich
Perinatal Quality & Safety Nurse
Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health

Michelle Roberson
Nurse Manager
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Tommy Sawyers
Administrative Chief of Nurse Anesthesiology & Advanced Practice
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Kaye Schmidt
Senior Director
Children’s Health

Christi Smallwood
Nurse Manager
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

Tabitha South
Assistant Chief Nursing Office
Medical City Plano

Jean Storey
Senior Vice President
Children’s Health

Laura Sweatt
Director of Magnet
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Jeremy Taylor
Director of Trauma & Emergency Services
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Tami Turrubiarte
Clinical Manager
Children’s Health

June Van Hoose
Surgical Services Administration
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Brooks Williams
Director of Nursing, Critical Care Services
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Direct Care

Iris Andrade
Oncology Nurse Navigator
Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas

Jon Kyle Austin
Registered Nurse
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

Lincy Babu
Registered Nurse
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Megan Barnett
Inpatient Rehabilitation
Medical City Lewisville

Felicia Bessman
Registered Nurse, Family Nurse Practitioner, Adjunct Faculty (Texas Christian University), Licensed Professional Counselor
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–Grapevine

Virginia Buschardt
Ambulatory Clinical Support Services
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Kimberly Caldwell
Supervision Burn Clinic/Hyperbaric Oxygen Services
Medical City Plano

Jessica Cooper
Registered Nurse
Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Malia Cover
Registered Nurse
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

Natalie Creel
Critical Care & Rapid Response
Medical City Plano

Melissa Cunanan
Staff Nurse/Charge Nurse, Neuro ICU
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Valerie Michelle Duron
Staff Nurse Cardiac Rehabilitation
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano

Lindsey Flores
Registered Nurse/Patient Family Educator
Children’s Health

Mayra Garcia
Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
Children’s Health

Alaana Garris
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Levels Program Manager
Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Rhonda Green
Bluitt-Flowers Health Center
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Coleman G. Hall
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Texas Health Resources Dallas

Allison Harker
Newborn APRNs
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Helen Husbands
Neonatal Intensive Care
Texas Health

Barnabas Kon
Registered Nurse
Texas Health

Sissy “Lane” Kulovitz
Admissions Nurse
Children’s Health

Jodie Lantz
Ventricular Assist Device Clinical Nurse Specialist
Children’s Health

Penny Leatherwood
Women & Infants Specialty Health APP Specialty Clinics
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Manuel Loera
Registered Nurse/Intensive Care Unit
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

Michael LoSasso
Trauma-Med/SurgIn
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Joy Macaluso
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Children’s Health

Sarah Mackie
Registered Nurse
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–Grapevine

Jennifer Marusich
Patient Safety Specialist
Children’s Health

Stephanie Jane Mather
Day Surgery, Clinical Nurse Leader-Medical Surgical Telemetry
Texas Health Resources Plano

Amy McIntire
Neuroscience Acute Care Unit-Med/SurgIn
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Regina Miller
Staff Nurse
Lewisville ISD

Hector Murillo
Pediatric Intensive Care
Children’s Health

Lexie Nunnenkamp
Registered Nurse
Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital

Jayme Pemberton
Pediatric Air Medical Transport
Children’s Health

Cheryl Pittman
NICU APRNs
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Alma Rivera
Lactation Consultant-Women & Infant Education
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Tomika Rogers
Hospital Nurse Case Manager
VA North Texas Health Care System

Susamma Samuel
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Mary Cathleen Shellnutt
Complex GI Advanced Practice Provider
Medical City Plano

Karla Smith
Faith-centered Family & Mental Health
Hope Speaks

Gwen Spector
Complex Oncology Nurse Navigator
Medical City Plano

John Stevens
Chief Executive Officer/Clinical Director
deNovo Professional Group

Janaki Subramanian
SANE Program Coordinator
Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Danny Talanquines Jr.
Registered Nurse
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–Carrollton

Garnetta Terry
Cardiovascular Services, Heart & Vascular
Texas Health Presbyterian Plano

Karen Yates
Nurse Clinical Coordinator Chest Pain and EMS
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

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