Though more than 800 extraordinary nurses work at Emanuel Medical Center, four have been honored for going above and beyond the high standards set by their fellow employees.
During National Nurses Week, four nurses at Emanuel Medical Center received the hospital’s Nurse Excellence Awards, including Julie Riddick, an Emanuel employee in quality services, Hospice Director Laura Springston, and staff nurses Alex Florez and Arnold Gubagaras. Each year, Emanuel presents the Nurse Excellence Awards to those who have exceeded in outstanding work.
“As a group, our nurses are wonderfully caring human beings and outstanding health care professionals,” said Emanuel President and CEO John Sigsbury. “So to be singled out from that group truly says something about the quality of these four.”
Riddick serves as the Associate Vice President for Quality Services and spends her time educating the entire hospital staff on Joint Commission standards, National Patient Safety Goals, and new regulations.
“Julie is the main reason we do as well as we do with core measures,” said Emanuel Vice President of Patient Care Services Connie Fairchilds. “Julie maintains high standards and we, at Emanuel, are lucky to have her on our team.”
Springston has been a nurse for 22 years, and has served at Emanuel Medical Center for the past seven years. She also supervises Hospice of Emanuel.
“Laura is an excellent leader,” Fairchilds said. “Her department has been transformed under her leadership. She is very knowledgeable of Hospice and has a great background of experience. She expects excellence and is able to share her knowledge and experience in a clear and understandable way.”
Florez has served as a nurse at Emanuel Medical Center for the past six years, and also works hard to make a monumental impact on the lives of those outside the hospital. Florez serves in the Progressive Care Unit at Emanuel.
“Alex has a prison ministry to which he donates a lot of his time and money,” said Fairchilds. “He also helps conduct depression groups and is very active in reaching out to the community with our church’s health ministry. Alex is a very humble individual and is never quick to seek praise or recognition. When he receives great reviews from patients he has helped, he gives all glory to God.”
Gubagaras, who works in medical oncology, has been at Emanuel Medical Center for the past nine years.
“Arnold has a passion for nursing and healthcare,” said Fairchilds. “He is always courteous and helpful to others. He is respected by his pees and appreciated by his patients. The combination of his ethical standards and vast experience enable him to be an excellent mentor to other employees and the nursing students that he trains.”
Not only is Gubagaras an excellent worker, Fairchilds said, but he is also an enjoyable co-worker to have around, as he makes it a point to always make others smile.
“Arnold loves to sing and make his co-workers smile,” said Fairchilds. “It’s not uncommon for him to start singing when things get a little tough – he has a way of lightening the mood. Everyone likes to work with him because he has such a positive attitude.”