Saturday, March 2, 2024 Mar 2, 2024
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The Excellence in Nursing Awards 2022

These nurses bake cakes and knit homemade quilts. They improve algorithms and lead multi-million dollar capital campaigns. They’ve been bedside during a pandemic for two years, dedicated to helping their patients and families. We salute them.
Eva Anderson
Jonathan Zizzo

From baking birthday cakes and gifting handmade quilts to improving algorithms and leading multi-million-dollar capital campaigns, these outstanding nurses make lives better every day. We congratulate the winners, and to every nurse, named or not, we give our thanks for helping us through yet another unimaginable year.

Eva Anderson, Clinical Instructor

Louise Herrington School of Nursing of Baylor University

Eva says she was called to be a nurse from childhood, and she has followed that calling for more than 60 years. Working as a single mother of four children, Eva established herself as a nursing leader in the early development and rapid expansion of the DeBakey cardiac transplant ICU in Houston before returning to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. After Eva earned her master’s degree in nursing, her love for teaching nurses and nursing students continued to grow, and she felt drawn to the field of psychology. She joined the nursing faculty at the Dallas College El Centro Campus and taught nursing clinicals for 30 years at various local hospitals, including psychiatric nursing  at Terrell State Hospital. 

Not content to retire, Eva returned to her alma mater, continuing to teach psychiatric nursing for the past 20 years. She has remained committed to high standards throughout her nursing career as she has taught and promoted policy changes to improve patient outcomes in mental healthcare settings. Eva has seen the changes in psychiatric nursing from the early 1970s and inspires her students to exercise grace and compassion while establishing professional boundaries with their patients.

An energetic and inspiring nursing instructor and fellow faculty member, Eva continues to contribute to the next generation of nurses. As the policies and protocols were being established for quarantining students and faculty exposed to the COVID-19 virus, she demonstrated a courageous commitment to the students by encouraging them to maintain their focus on completing their educational goals to graduate on time. No small number of nurses working in the Dallas-Fort Worth area healthcare systems over the last 50 years will remember their experiences with professor Eva Anderson at Terrell State Hospital as they moved from fearful to confident in caring for patients with mental illness. Janice Edmonson, Assistant Clinical Professor, Baylor University Medical Center

Chanse Boehringer, Registered Nurse

Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

When a military veteran came into the COVID-19 unit on his birthday, Chanse arranged to have the hospital police provide a color guard and present the patient with a birthday cake and the U.S. flag. They all saluted him and sang “Happy Birthday” to him. Because of this nurse’s actions, you could see the joy and happiness in this soldier’s eyes. 

He was instrumental in creating a celebratory parade for COVID-19 patients as well as other nurses in the hospital, placing balloons on their wheelchairs, playing songs on his iPhone for all to hear, and presenting the patients with handmade quilts for them to take home. He also created a private area in the parking garage for family members to use when picking up a patient from the hospital.

Chanse allows COVID-19 patients to use his iPad for FaceTime visits with family members and serves as their extended family at the hospital, which has a no-visitor policy. He reduces nurse exposure time to COVID by using extension tubing to move the IV pumps outside patient doors to reduce the need for nurses to frequently enter patient rooms.

The morale is heightened, the energy is vibrant, and it’s like we are a family when Chanse is in charge. Nora Frasier, Chief Nursing Officer, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Deborah Cates, Women’s and Children’s Services Director

Medical City Lewisville

Deb’s leadership capabilities resulted in our hospital receiving our second official NICU designation from the state of Texas, the highest level of neonatal care available for critically ill newborns of all gestation ages. As a labor and delivery nurse who also served as a childbirth educator, Deb saw a need to provide childbirth education to women who were choosing adoption. She partnered with the Gladney Center for Adoption to develop a curriculum to address the special needs of birth moms choosing adoption for their baby. Deb taught classes for this very special group of moms to prepare them for the birth of their child and help them on their journey through adoption. Deb has also developed strong perinatal bereavement programs to address the unique needs of families experiencing the loss of a pregnancy or a newborn.

Recent successes involve leading a high-quality team to implement best practices such as Bare Below the Elbows (to help with hand hygiene) and shields for all phones in the NICU; decreasing unplanned extubations in the NICU through a multidisciplinary approach; and reducing the number and severity of obstetrical hemorrhage through evidence-based algorithms and nursing and physician education. Gina Harrison, Magnet Program Director, Medical City Health

Cheryl Kaplan, Clinical Director, Solid Organ Transplant Service

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Cheryl recently led the successful startup of a Living-Donor Liver Transplant program, streamlined living-donor kidney transplant evaluations, helped achieve reaccreditation of our cystic fibrosis and Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) programs, and led the multimillion-dollar capital expansion and renovation of our Kidney and Liver Transplant Clinic.

She performs especially well in high-pressure situations. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she led first response efforts to create protocols to promote safe in-person care. Cheryl also helped to develop our telemedicine program, which has provided safe and effective care throughout the pandemic for our patients, many of whom are immunocompromised. Thanks to her leadership, we were able to jump from only a handful of virtual visits in 2019 to more than 18,000 in 2020.

Change of this magnitude can often come at the expense of clinical outcomes or patient satisfaction, but Cheryl’s steady hand and analytical approach have helped to improve efficiencies to accommodate growth. And her natural instincts as a leader have provided strong mentorship to a diverse and strong-willed group of nurse leaders working under her guidance. Although care of the transplant patient varies significantly by organ, Cheryl has brought the teams to common ground, set aspirational and measurable goals, and pushed them to evolve as leaders. Her direction has helped our programs achieve 140 percent growth in transplant volume over the course of her tenure, becoming the largest transplant center in North Texas. Ava Jones, Senior Communications Specialist, UT Southwestern Medical Center

The Excellence in Nursing Awards 2022

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, communities, and professions. 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 108 winners. We also vetted the registered nursing licenses and reviewed any disciplinary actions of each winner.

Direct Care

Elena Acosta-Garcia
Clinical Nurse Texas Health Dallas

Petra Adams
Nurse Practitioner Dallas Pulmonary and Critical Care

Michelle Alberty
Registered Nurse Children’s Health

Kaitlin Alexander
Registered Nurse UT Southwestern Medical Center

Justina Arize
Clinical Nurse Coordinator Medical City Dallas

Tammy Avants
Palliative Care Coordinator Medical City McKinney

Beverley Benskin
Registered Nurse Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-McKinney

Chanse Boehringer
Registered Nurse Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Keira Brown
Registered Nurse Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Irving

Edie Brucker
Advanced Practice Provider Manager UT Southwestern Medical Center

Brenda Cannedy
Clinical Nurse Coordinator-Emergency Department Medical City McKinney

Natalie Creel
Registered Nurse Medical City Plano

Mason Delgado
Staff Nurse-Emergency Department Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Kaitlyn Dupriest
Registered Nurse UT Southwestern Medical Center

Allene Goetz
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse UT Southwestern Medical Center

Alexandra Gonzalez
Registered Nurse Children’s Health

Toni Haynes
Registered Nurse Children’s Health

Christina Hudson
Staff Nurse Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Keri Hurst
Centralized Staffing Office Manager Children’s Health

Anlan Jiang
Registered Nurse UT Southwestern Medical Center

Bijula Joy
Nursing Clinical Coordinator Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Cathy Kennedy
Registered Nurse Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Sharron Kerber
Registered Nurse Medical City Plano

Amanda Kundert
Registered Nurse III/Charge Nurse Scottish Rite for Children

Mallory Landry
Registered Nurse Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital–Plano

Amber Lee
Nursing Supervisor Baylor University Medical Center

Deanna Lewis
Nursing Clinical Coordinator Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Barb Madison
Registered Nurse Care Coordinator Children’s Health

Dale Martin
Registered Nurse Children’s Health

Christian Mote
Nurse Manager Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Joshua Neal
Registered Nurse Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Lualhati Obenita
Sepsis Coordinator Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Valerie Parks
Registered Nurse Medical City Dallas

Huldah Pimentel
Staff Nurse Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Milagros Ranario
Nurse Supervisor Baylor University Medical Center

Patricia Retzer
Clinical Coordinator Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Zandra Richardson
Clinical Nurse Coordinator Medical City Plano

Dedric Richey
Cath Lab Registered Nurse-Clinical Team Lead Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Keely Rocha
Registered Nurse Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Plano

MaRae Rosas
Oncology Nurse Baylor University Medical Center

Prath Selvanesan
Nurse Clinical Team Leader Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Julie Ann Shadonix
Nursing Supervisor IVFMD

Lisa Maureen Smith
Assistant Nurse Manager, Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit UT Southwestern Medical Center

Juliet Tennison
Staff Nurse Methodist Charlton Medical Center

Mercy Kutty Thomas
Registered Nurse Texas Health Dallas

Avery Voigt
Registered Nurse Medical City Dallas


Eva Anderson
Clinical Instructor Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Nora Billodeaux
Nursing Professional Development Specialist Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Katie Choy
Regional Nursing Director, Nursing Professional Development Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Plano

Carroll Deighton
Women and Children’s Services Maternal Program Coordinator Medical City Lewisville

Penny Huddleston
Nurse Scientist Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Irving

Mari Ann Lewis
Manager, Clinical Education & Professional Development UT Southwestern Medical Center

Tiffany Montgomery
Program Manager, Nurse Residency Program Children’s Health

Diana Montoya
Team Leader, Clinical Education Children’s Health

Pamela Munoz
Critical Care Educator Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Shinto Thomas
Manager, Clinical Education and Professional Practice UT Southwestern Medical Center

Ashton Tolbert
Clinical Nurse Educator, Ambulatory Nursing UT Southwestern Medical Center

Michelle Walsh
Clinical Nurse Educator, Ambulatory Nursing UT Southwestern Medical Center

Karen Zwerneman
Director, Nursing Leadership Development Baylor University Medical Center


Tanya Alosi
Nurse Manager, Clinical Education Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Séverine Arrieudebat
House Supervisor Medical City Dallas

Susan Baby
Director, Senior Health Clinic Medical City Lewisville

Agnes Bieinek
Manager, Ortho Surgical Trauma Unit Medical City McKinney

Tyler Bonny
Nurse Manager, Critical Care Baylor University Medical Center

Jessica Buhite
Nursing Operations Specialist Parkland Health & Hospital System

Kayla Carey
Nurse Manager, NICU Baylor University Medical Center

Deborah Cates
Director, Women and Children’s Services Medical City Lewisville

Alexa Collins
Nurse Manager UT Southwestern Medical Center

Christa Combs
Manager Care Coordination Children’s Health

Casey Cox
Clinical Manager, Emergency Department Baylor Scott & White Regional Medical Center-Plano

Kelsey Davidson
Assistant Nurse Manager UT Southwestern Medical Center

Patricia DeFrehn
Vice President, Patient Care Services Baylor University Medical Center

Hayden Dutton
Clinical Manager Children’s Health

Kelly Finney
Nurse Manager Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Jeanne Gaines
Clinical Manager Children’s Health

Megan Gallegos
Chief Nursing Officer Medical City Lewisville

Michael Haben
Manager, Surgical Services Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital-Denton

Alejandra “Alex” Hernandez
Ambulatory Care Clinical Manager, Rheumatology Scottish Rite for Children

Carrie Hood
Value-Based Senior Healthcare Consultant Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Lake Pointe

Candice Johnson
Senior Director, Nursing Children’s Health

Cheryl Kaplan
Clinical Director, Solid Organ Transplant Service UT Southwestern Medical Center

Cyndi Kay
Nurse Manager Medical City Plano

Cyndi Kelley
Nurse Manager Texas Health Dallas

Randall Kelley
Nurse Manager Texas Health Dallas

Michelle Kuchta
Director of Nursing Parkland Health & Hospital System

Joyce Lee
Nurse Manager, Oncology Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

Amy Mabry
Director of Nursing, Critical Care Services Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Kim McCarthy
Program Director, Chief System Clinical Practice Children’s Health

Brooke McCartney
Supervisor UT Southwestern Medical Center

Susan McCollom
Clinical Manager Children’s Health

Melissa Mitchell
Director, Nursing Education & Professional Development Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Jeffery Price
Regional Manager, Dialysis Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Plano

Patricia Pugh
Director, Community Care Program Baylor Scott & White Health

David Rivera
Director, Acute and Critical Care Medical City Lewisville

Cheyenne Ruby
Director, Magnet Program Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Olivia Sidereas
Manager, Emergency Room Medical City McKinney

Amanda Smith
Nurse Manager Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Irving

Trista Smith
Manager, Progressive Care Unit Medical City McKinney

Allison Steen
Director of Nursing, Oncology and Wound Care Baylor University Medical Center

Marshall Stephenson
Senior Director, Pediatric ICU Children’s Health

Latonya Tippens
Nurse Manager, Family Centered Care Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Marcella Upshaw
Director, Acute Care Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Irving

Theresa Van Tang
Interim Manager, Burn/Trauma Medical City Plano

Rachel Vannoy
Director of Nursing/Regional Women’s Director Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Centennial

Michael Vansteel
Director, Nursing Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Amy Veenstra
Nurse Manager Baylor University Medical Center

Melissa Winter
Vice President, DFW West Regional Chief Nursing Officer Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Grapevine

David Wyatt
Chief Nursing Officer UT Southwestern Medical Center

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