SPARTANBURG — Seven nurses from Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) have earned the Palmetto Gold Award, a designation given by the South Carolina Nurses Foundation to honor the state’s 100 best registered nurses (RNs).
Established in 2002, the Palmetto Gold Nurse Recognition and Scholarship Program recognizes 100 RNs each year who exemplify exceptional caring and commitment to patients, families and colleagues while also demonstrating leadership skills that promote the nursing profession. Awards were presented at the Palmetto Gold Gala in Columbia, S.C., on April 16. Proceeds from the gala support the Palmetto Gold scholarship program, which provides funding to nursing students across South Carolina.
SRHS winners of the 2016 Palmetto Gold Award — which honors excellence in patient care and commitment to the nursing profession — include:
• Courtney Askins, BSN, RN, NE-BC
Courtney Askins is the manager of Emergency Services at Pelham Medical Center, a division of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, in Greer, SC. She has been part of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s team for more than 10 years, previously serving as a bedside nurse and unit educator. In her current position as manager, she has exemplified great leadership. She is determined to uphold the highest standards regarding quality, patient advocacy, professionalism and accountability. Courtney’s positive disposition and caring nature encourages a work environment that is cohesive and familial. Courtney believes in leading by example, and her enthusiasm, sense of fairness, foresight, and innovative nature has fostered a skilled team of nurses and ancillary staff.
• Paigelyn M. Biggs, RN, CHPN
Demonstrating a passion for Spartanburg Regional Hospice, Paigelyn Biggs has been nationally board certified in hospice and palliative care since 2009. Paige is described as the “foundation of hospice.” She is not only a patient advocate, but also an advocate for her colleagues. Paige is an active member of the Employee Engagement Team, which promotes education and positive outcomes for staff. Paige is a mentor to new employees and nursing students. She is a member of the Nursing Advisory Board for the Daniel Morgan Technology Center, and volunteers at Christopher’s Camp, a bereavement day camp for children. For the past eight years, Paige also has assisted with the delivery of Easter and Thanksgiving meals to Spartanburg Regional Hospice patients and their families.
• Suzanne Camp, MSN, RN
Suzanne Camp, MSN, RN, has been the patient safety officer for Spartanburg Medical Center and Pelham Medical Center for two years. Suzanne began her nursing career working in the Level I Emergency Trauma Center. After working at the bedside for five years, she moved into a clinical analyst role within the Emergency Department and was instrumental in implementing a new electronic health record system. She was inspired to become a nurse after spending countless hours in hospitals with her brother, who was born with a heart condition. As the patient safety officer, Suzanne identifies patient safety issues and collaborates with all levels of nursing to share data and support improvements. She is a member and advisor to many committees, such as the Medication Safety Committee, Fall Prevention Committee and Catheter Association Urinary Tract Infection Subcommittee. Suzanne is also passionate about giving back to her community and serves as a board member for The Haven, a shelter for the homeless in Spartanburg.
• Amber Elise Dewberry, BSN, RN, CMSRN
Amber Elise Dewberry, BSN, RN, CMSRN, is the manager of Hospital Education and Professional Development at Pelham Medical Center (PMC). Amber is an instructor for American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS). She partners with corporate education at Spartanburg Medical Center to manage academic affiliations and student clinical placement coordination. Her nursing journey began at PMC as a bedside nurse on the medical/surgical telemetry unit when the hospital first opened its doors as Village Hospital in 2008. Prior to working at PMC, she worked as a bedside nurse in various hospitals, most frequently as a pediatric nurse.
• Kim Hendrix, BSN, RN, ONC
Kim Hendrix, BSN, RN, ONC, has a passion for orthopaedics and it has played a major role in her nursing career. She has served as both a staff nurse and charge nurse, and is currently the clinical unit educator for the orthopaedic unit at Spartanburg Medical Center. Kim also enjoys teaching her patients – she has been instrumental in enhancing a pre-operative education class for future hip and knee replacement patients. As an American Heart Association BLS Instructor, Kim also teaches life-saving techniques to her co-workers as well as at local middle schools and in the community. Kim has also earned a national certification in orthopaedics.
• My Nguyen, BSN, RN, CEN
My Nguyen, BSN, RN, CEN, is the clinical coordinator educator for emergency services at Pelham Medical Center in Greer. She is part of the first generation of Vietnamese immigrants raised in the United States. She was raised by determined parents seeking a better life, and My’s life experiences are what inspired her to become a nurse. My is most passionate about educational improvement and growth. Her passion is demonstrated by her care and commitment to fellow colleagues; she promotes professional growth and excellence in each of them. My mentors students and new associates, and fosters success and competence in experienced nurses. She focuses her mentoring on improving patient outcomes and the overall practice of nursing. My says that choosing nursing has been one of the best decisions of her life.
• Vanessa Thompson, GNP, PMHNP-NE-BC
Vanessa Thompson has worked at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System for 29 years, and currently serves as the Director of the Inpatient Behavioral Health. She is a board certified Geriatric and Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Vanessa has a passion for promoting excellence in nursing. Her coworkers say she is empathetic, supportive and caring to everyone she meets. She is an active member of the Spartanburg County Behavioral Health Taskforce and has served on the South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health Integrated Care Committee. She is a board member for the Mental Health America of Spartanburg County committee and a board member for the New Day Club House of Spartanburg. Ms. Thompson is a facilitator for the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) process. She serves as a preceptor for APRN students at Clemson University and the University of South Carolina. Ms. Thompson served as the 2013-2015 Past President for the Spartanburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc.
About Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) offers a full spectrum of services through four hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Union Medical Center. SRHS also includes Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, 113-bed long-term care, skilled nursing facility that offers nursing care and rehabilitation services. SRHS provides unparalleled oncological care through the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute. The multidisciplinary Medical Group of the Carolinas has more than 300 physicians across seven counties in two states. SRHS employs nearly 6,000 associates and offers outpatient surgery centers, a vibrant post-acute division, a Level I Trauma Center, and Advicare, a licensed Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Advicare provides Medicaid services to residents throughout the state of South Carolina. U.S. News and World Report ranked Spartanburg Medical Center the No. 1 regional hospital in South Carolina in 2014-15. The Commission on Cancer gave Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute its Outstanding Achievement Award.
This story was submitted by the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.