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ONA 2012 Awards

Click on the following awards to see the winner or scroll down for the full awards list

Honorary Political Involvement Award

Presented by Jack Dempsey to:

Linda Morley, PMHNP

Linda Morley, PMHNP, left, with ONA's Susan King, right.

The 2012 Honorary Political Involvement Award is given to a member who has made a significant impact/contribution to promoting the interests of nursing through political channels or has promoted nurses’ involvement in the political process, and is recognized by peers as a role model and inspiration for political involvement.

Linda has been instrumental in ONA and NPO’s payment parity legislative efforts. As one of the first active NPs on this issue, Linda has helped to build a strong group of NPs from around the state to work on this issue. She has made herself available on a number of occasions to meet one on one with legislators and testify before legislative committees on this issue. Linda’s has drawn on her background as a mental health provider and her experiences as a private practitioner to tell a story that has helped put the payment parity issue in context for many legislators. 

Legislator of the Year

Presented by Jack Dempsey to:

Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson

Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, left, with ONA's Susan King.

The 2012 Legislator of the Year Award is given to a the member of the Oregon legislature who has been most committed to advancing causes of importance to the nursing profession. The 2012 Award winner is Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson.

Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, as chair of the Senate Health Care Committee successfully passed ONA’s key priorities including a workable approach to influenza vaccinations, payment parity for Nurse Practitioners, and the implementing language for Oregon’s health transformation effort out of her committee. As the only Registered Nurse in the legislature, she has continued to seek ONA’s guidance on issues and fight for the good causes that impact nurses and the patients they serve. Over the past two sessions, Senator Monnes Anderson has voted with ONA and nurses 100% of the time.

Friend of Nursing

Presented by Jack Dempsey to:

Representative John Huffman

Representative John Huffman, left, with ONA's Jack Dempsey.

The Friend of Nursing awards are given to members of the Oregon legislature who, through their support on crucial legislative issues, help to advance those causes of importance to the nursing profession. We are proud to give Representative Huffman this award. 

Representative John Huffman is being acknowledged for his support of nursing during the last two legislative sessions. In particular for standing with our Nurse Practitioners, which he represents many in his rural district, when they attempted to restore some big cuts made by private insurance plans.

Honorary Nursing Practice Award

Presented by Susan King to:

Sylvia Pishioneri, RN

Sylvia Pishioneri, left, with ONA's Susan King.

The Honorary Nursing Practice Award is presented to a member who has made a significant impact or contribution in the improvement of patient care and is recognized by peers as a role model and inspiration for their own nursing practice. The 2012 award winner is Sylvia Pishioneri, an RN Care Coordinator at Peace Health in Florence.

In his nominating letter, Syvlia’s colleague Glen Dunlap wrote, "I have had the pleasure of working with Sylvia for the past year and have been amazed at what she has accomplished and how broad reaching her practice has become.”

When Peace Harbor Hospital was identified as a beta site for the Peace Health System Registered Nurse Care Coordinator program, Sylvia picked up the ball and, according to Glen, "ran with it.” She compiled resources, identified services and looked outside of the Peace Health system for solutions. Her work quickly became a model for other departments, ultimately resulting in improved patient care and reduced costs for Peace Health patients.

Sylvia’s "lead by example” approach, her incredible management skills and her commitment to sharing her knowledge and skill with new hires and other departments throughout the Peace Health system has made Sylvia a remarkable example of the benefits of case management, and has earned her the 2012 Honorary Nursing Practice Award from the Oregon Nurses Association.

Rising Star Award

Presented by Julie Shuff, RN, Chair, E & GW Cabinet to:

Clarice Gerlach, RN (OHSU)

Clarice Gerlach, right, with Julie Shuff, left.

The Rising Star Award is presented to a member who is relatively new to collective bargaining but has jumped into the sometimes murky water to become involved and who shows great promise of future leadership. The first of two Rising Star Awards goes to Clarice Gerlach of Oregon Health and Sciences University!

Clarice has been engaged, but not involved in AURN work throughout her career at OHSU. Recently, she had jumped into the process head-first. Clarice not only serves on the Grievance Committee, the PNCC and the Reward and Recognition Task Force at OHSU, but has taken the prestigious role as a member of the Economic & General Welfare Cabinet, a role very suited to Clarice’s professionalism and education training. Clarice continually impresses her leadership, peers and labor representatives with her knowledge of labor relations despite her short time doing this work. Clarice continues to be a unit representative for AURN and a Resource Nurse on her unit. Clarice has been a great asset to the AURN leadership group and she will continue to do great things to advance the collective bargaining power of OHSU nurses.

Rising Star Award

Presented by Susan Johnson RN, Vice Chair, E & GW Cabinet to:

David Baca, RN (RVMC)

Cyndie Hampton, left, accepts the award on behalf of David Baca from Susan Johnson, right.

The Rising Star Award is presented to a member who is relatively new to collective bargaining but has jumped into the sometimes murky water to become involved and who shows great promise of future leadership. The second of two Rising Star Awards goes to David Baca of Rogue Valley Medical Center!

David Baca has been an active member of ONA since he graduated from nursing school, but in the past two years he has become one of RVMC’s most active workers. For many nurses, David is the face of ONA at RVMC. He speaks to nurses personally about ONA and does more than anyone to promote RVMC messages with an understanding of the concerns of nurses. In addition, David is active on the RVMC Labor/Management and Benefits Committee; he also assists with grievances and was a member of the Negotiating Team for the most recent contract. David actively recruited delegates to Convention and worked on an information package to assist new recruits. David developed an e-mail newsletter to make nurses more aware of ONA business and has steadily increased the mailing list to nearly 400 nurses.

Outstanding Union Leader Award

Presented By: Julie Shuff, RN Chair, E & GW Cabinet to:

Lynda Coats, RN (St. Charles-Bend)

Lynda Coats, right, with Julie Shuff.

The Outstanding Union Leader Award award is presented to a member who, through their unique contribution, has strengthened the local unit and provides leadership for nurses on a state and national level. The winner of the Outstanding Union Leader Award is Lynda Coats of St. Charles Medical Center, Bend!

Lynda served as an expert Staffing Committee co-chair at STC-B for over six years, and has also been appointed at the state level. Recently this committee had difficult crucial conversations after the Hospital proposed reorganization. Lynda has successfully built a collaborative relationship with management, and her leadership helped the STC-B staffing committee through a very challenging process – without allowing management to run roughshod over the process. Lynda recently joined the negotiating team when it became apparent that hospital management was attempting to make unilateral changes to the staffing plan, without bringing these changes to the staffing committee. Lynda is very knowledgeable about Oregon’s Staffing Law and, using this knowledge, worked with the BU Team and the nurse members to stop these changes. Lynda and the Committee were able to collect data around best practices that compelled management to include staff nurses in these changes and decisions. Lynda is an advocate for staff nurses to become involved in policy at the local, state and national level so that their voices will be heard.

Outstanding Grievance Chairperson Award

Presented By Sharon Rose, RN, E & GW Cabinet to:

Janice "Jan" Robinson, RN (St. Vincent)

Jan Robinson, right, with Sharon Rose.

The Outstanding Grievance Chairperson Award is presented to a member who assists nurses in their bargaining unit to understand the rights within the contract and effectively represents bargaining unit nurses. The winner of the Outstanding Grievance Chairperson Award is Jan Robinson of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. 

The St. Vincent grievance committee is working to regain momentum, but Jan has been a steadfast resource to the nurses, and the APRN. She has represented nurses in multiple grievances and has been successful in all the grievances in which she was involved, including her own grievance regarding low census. Jan is an ICU nurse who also works part-time in the Rapid Response Team (RRT) at PSVMC. She has the greatest respect of her peers, and was awarded the PRIDE award in December 2011 for outstanding performance by the Medical Center. Jan is an impressive advocate for fairness, equity, and consequences for those that do not follow these principles.

Outstanding Local Bargaining Unit Chairperson Award

Presented By Susan Jonhnson, RN, Vice Chair E & GW Cabinet to:

Patricia "Pat” Cirello, RN (GSRMC)

Pat Cirello, left, with Susan Johnson.

The Outstanding Local Bargaining Unit Chairperson Award is presented to a member who has worked to develop the local bargaining unit through a variety of activities and under difficult conditions. The winner of the 2012 Outstanding Local Bargaining Unit Chairperson Award is Pat Cirello of Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center! 

While acting as the member Chair of bargaining for 2011, Pat went above and beyond to make sure nurses at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center (GSRMC) were kept in the loop at every step in the bargaining process. After each negotiation/mediation session, Pat stayed late into the night helping to craft bargaining updates, then came in early and on her days off to make sure these updates were distributed hospital-wide. Throughout the contract campaign, nurses from around the facility provided positive feedback to ONA staff about the improvements in communication under Pat’s watch. When talks went south and a mediator was called in to the negotiations, Pat maintained a cool head – always managing to be diplomatic and thoughtful in her feedback both at and away from the bargaining table. When nurses were asked to vote on whether to move forward with informational pickets, Pat spent most of the day at the balloting site, answering questions and offering insight into the bargaining process. During the picket, Pat acted as a unit spokesperson…talking to local and state press about the tough contract fight nurses were engaged in. As the final days and hours of negotiations approached, Pat’s commitment to her bargaining unit never wavered. 

Internal Organizing Award

Presented By Clarice Gerlach, RN, E & GW Cabinet to:

Richard App, RN (American Red Cross)

Richard App, right, with Clarice Gerlach.

The Internal Organizing Award is presented to a member or a group of members who worked to develop the local bargaining unit through activities such as membership recruitment, development of a phone tree, fund raising, development of community public relations at the local bargaining unit and other projects which promote the bargaining unit and ONA. The winner of the first Internal Organizing Award for 2012 is Rich App of the American Red Cross!

Rich serves as the Executive Committee Chair and BU Chair for the American Red Cross and was at the table during last year’s contentious negotiations with ARC. Rich’s demeanor and level-head helped to keep the team together when discussions got really tough were sent to mediation. Rich’s experience at the table prompted his desire to become even more involved with ONA and his peers as a leadership nurse. He was recently nominated and elected as President of the Executive Committee. In addition, he recruited other nurses to fill vacant positions on the Executive Committee and the PNCC, and, for the first time in a number of years, there are no vacancies on either one. Rich has also begun to attend meetings with the ONA representative and HR, which is planned to continue on a monthly basis and is also new to the relationship between ARC leadership nurses and ARC. Rich had been serving on the PNCC prior to his new leadership position and attended the Bargaining Unit Convention in Cottage Grove this last year. While Rich is new in his role as a top leadership nurse amongst the ARC nurses, he has already demonstrated qualities of a great leader.

Internal Organizing Award

Presented By Sharon Rose, RN, E & GW Cabinet to:

Bobbi Rychlick, RN (St. Vincent)

Bobbi Rychlick, right, with Sharon Rose.

The Internal Organizing Award is presented to a member or a group of members who worked to develop the local bargaining unit through activities such as membership recruitment, development of a phone tree, fund raising, development of community public relations at the local bargaining unit and other projects which promote the bargaining unit and ONA. The second winner of the Internal Organizing Award for 2012 is Bobbi Rychlick of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center!

Bobbi Rychlick is the APRN Secretary and Officer Liaison on to the Membership Committee at PSVCMC. Despite the resignation of the members of our Membership Committee, Bobbi has single-handedly kept this group afloat. Bobbi assists new members with questions, with new employee orientations and is consistently working to bring up new leaders in other units. She has recruited over five stewards for the Stewards’ Council and is very successful in energizing nurses to get involved!

Adversity Award

Presented By Clarice Gerlach, RN E & GW Cabinet to:

7 Surgical Unit at Sacred Heart Medical Center

The Adversity Award is given to a member or a group of members who has gone forward to success despite terrible odds! The winners of the 2012 award are the members of the Surgical Unite at Sacred Heart Medical Center, Kim Blair, Mari Gillespie, Nancy Deyhle and Brian Smith!

After changes to their staffing levels in June of 2011, nurses concerned with safe staffing levels on the Surgical Unit at Sacred Heart, brought their concerns to the PNCC, Staffing Committee, Managers and ONA Executive Committee. With the help of Sue Davidson and ONA leaders at the Medical Center these nurses presented data to management about the need for more staff. When that didn’t get the results they wanted the nurses went to the PNCC to speak to the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). The PNCC followed-up with the CNO to state their support for the nurses’ requests. After months of advocating for their patients, these nurses were able to get the staffing levels changed. The Nurses STOOD-UP and wouldn’t back down until they were heard. It also worthy to note, these nurses had not been active in the union before this occurred and through collective action were able to affect change on behalf of all nurses and patients on their unit. One of the Staffing Committee members congratulated the nurses as "heroes” for having the courage to speak up. The 7 Surgical Unit Nurses at Sacred Health Medical Center "heroes” deserve recognition for their efforts. 

Special Acknowledgement Award

Presented By Susan Johnson, RN, Vice Chair, E & GW Cabinet to:

Pioneer Memorial Hospital Organizing/Negotiating Committee

Mary Pyke, RN, left, accepted the award from Susan Johnson, right, on behalf of the committee.

The Special Acknowledgement Award is given to a member or a group of members whose vision was to seek and achieve better wages, hours, and working conditions for nurses through the collective bargaining process. The winners of the 2012 Special Acknowledgment Award are the Pioneer Memorial Hospital Organizing and Negotiating Committee, Mary Pyke, Tami Noble, Mike Worlein, Theresa Wood, Billy Smalstig, Jen Wine, Melissa Thompson, Heather Lytle and Juliet Delgado!

The Pioneer Memorial Hospital (PMH) organizing drive was led by a great bargaining team through ENDLESS bargaining, lasting more than two years, and also the longest ever recorded mediation sessions. The Team also led the effort to retain ONA after a former manager filed a decert petition which ONA won by 81.5%. The results? A good contract, with fair share and just cause, arbitration, a pay scale with salary steps. The average raise upon ratification was 8.9%. The team leader Mary Pyke, RN was elected by her team as the BU Chair at PMH and the contract was ratified after the last convention.

The Negotiating and Organizing Committee members have all worked diligently, bringing professionalism to the Bargaining Table and they are all to be applauded and recognized for the great accomplishments on behalf of the PMH nurses.

Outstanding PNCC Award

Presented By Sue Davidson, RN, PhD to:

Sacred Heart Medical Center PNCC Nurses


The Outstanding PNCC Award is given to a PNCC which has consistently worked to resolve practice problems and promote the practice of nursing in the employment setting. The winners of the 2012 Outstanding PNCC Award are the Sacred Heart Medical Center PNCC Nurses; Brian Smith, Ray Zielonka, Suzanne Seeley, Patricia Trachtenberg, Nancy DeBoard, Diane Starns and Stacie Johnson!

Nurses have been privileged to share information and help resolve and/or improve the many issues brought forth to the PNCC. The PNCC has helped support new members on various units, helped resolved scope of practice issues in the OR with Techs and RNs and discussed staffing plan issues and SRDF numbers. There were many challenges placed upon the shoulders of the PNCC Team; but they faced each challenge as a Team in order to promote the quality of nursing practice at SHMC. It is very satisfying to examine and help resolve issue and concerns between the floor nurses and management. The PNCC Team is looking forward to the challenging times ahead and plan on being present to make a difference in the lives of Nurses.

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