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Health Care

Health Care Heroes: Nurse

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 21, 2022

Honors a nurse whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other health care providers.


GWEN DEININGER

Title: Administrative coordinator, labor and delivery and high-risk antepartum; Registered nurse 

Organization: Novant Health NHRMC

What the nominator said: “I met Gwen in 2009 when I started my OB/GYN residency at NHRMC. At that time, she was a coordinator and staff RN on Labor and Delivery. She made an immediate and lasting impression. Any good physician knows that they can learn much from a really good or experienced nurse. Gwen has taught so many of us so many things. As an intern, she formally taught us how to read fetal monitor tracings during labor and also helped us think through the best plan for a complicated patient. She has a way of letting her knowledge and experience be understood while still valuing my perspective and knowledge as well.  

“Gwen can take on any role on the unit (and I have seen her do it all!). She can be coordinator of the entire labor floor, manage a laboring patient, and step in as the delivery nurse for a different patient’s newborn – concurrently. … Gwen is the best nurse I have worked with in 13 years and I truly cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor.”

– K. Brooke Chalk, OB/GYN physician

ANASTASIA PHILLIPS

Title: Registered nurse

Organization: Lower Cape Fear LifeCare

What the nominator said: “Anastasia started only one year ago as an RN Case Manager with Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. She had no hospice experience, working in a doctor’s office and clinic for many years. She had also been a nurse supervisor at Home Helpers, a school nurse, a CPR and first-aid instructor and a volunteer camp nurse. Despite her lack of related experience, Anastasia has flourished in her new role. For instance, she has developed an outstanding relationship with one of our partner facilities, Universal Healthcare in Brunswick County.  She has a real rapport with their staff, as well as their medical provider, building trust and confidence in both our agency’s care as well as her own personal capabilities. …
“An example of Anastasia’s commitment to her patients happened at another facility, where she was caring for a dying individual. Unfortunately, this patient had been exposed to COVID … so it was difficult for the facility to provide support during this critical time, and she could not be moved to our Care Center. Undaunted, Anastasia took it upon herself to personally provide multiple hours of crisis care and pain management until the patient’s death.”
– Missy Combs, chief clinical officer, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare

MARIAN SMITH

Title: LPN          

Organization: Well Care Health

What the nominator said: “When you think about nursing care, words come to mind like compassion, empathy, consistency, and continuity of care; all these words describe Marian Smith. Marian has been an LPN for over 30 years. Twenty-eight years of her career have been spent with one patient, providing private duty nursing care on behalf of Well Care Home Care. … Marian met her patient as a teenager not long after the patient’s accident and return home from the Shepherd Center. The patient was now a quadriplegic and was on a ventilator. Marian and her team were there to support the patient and worked hard to keep her spirits up. She was given no more than 10 years to live after the accident, but here we are 28 years later. Marian assisted her patient with the day-to-day challenges of finishing high school and earning her high school diploma, and they didn’t stop there! With the patient’s spirit and determination, support from the family, and excellent nursing care and encouragement from Marian, she went on to college and earned a degree in criminal justice.”

– Jill Daye, regional manager, Well Care Health

Read more about all of the 2022 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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