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Metro Health Names 2016 Nurse Exemplar and Nursing Chosen Physician of the Year

Metro Health Hospital has named Teresa Phillips its 2016 Nurse Exemplar and Dr. Barbara Karenko its 2016 Nursing Chosen Physician of the Year.

The annual Nurse Exemplar award recognizes a registered nurse who is directly involved with patient care and who has demonstrated exceptional nursing practice that goes beyond the expected. Nominations are made by peers and physician colleagues, then evaluated by Metro Health’s Professional Nursing Council, or PNC. The PNC evaluates nominations based on the nurse’s ability to deliver outstanding care, stimulate critical thinking in peers, provide continuous assistance, serve as a mentor and positively influence the work of the entire health care team.

Metro Health’s PNC also annually recognizes a Nursing Chosen Physician of the Year. The award is given to a physician who exemplifies best practices and who supports the role of nurses as part of the health care team. The hospital’s clinical nursing staff proposes candidates and nominations are reviewed by the PNC. The recipient is selected by secret ballot.

Teresa Phillips Resized

Phillips joined Metro Health in 2013 and currently works as a nurse in the Metro Health Emergency Department. According to her nomination form: Phillips “is known throughout the department as the ‘patient whisperer.’ She has a calm, steady voice and tone that resonates with the most difficult patient. She has the ability to steady the intoxicated, redirect the suicidal and ensure safety with the aging population suffering from dementia.”

Phillips’s nomination goes on to highlight her influence on the work of the healthcare team. According to her nomination: Phillips “has not forgotten what it is like to be new. She is the first nurse to approach someone she doesn’t know, shake their hand and introduce herself, welcoming them to Metro, etc. She seeks our new hires to observe challenging processes or tasks not often performed, and mentors them with professionalism.”

Barb Karenko_ResizedKarenko joined Metro Health in 2010 and is a board-certified cardiologist and internal medicine physician. Karenko’s nomination notes: “The collaboration of this physician with the nursing staff creates an environment that makes staff feel at ease approaching and asking questions of the physician. This creates a positive culture of safety for all patients. This makes for a comfortable and enjoyable working environment with this physician.”

Her nomination form goes on to express nursing staff’s appreciation of Karenko: “This physician is dedicated to her patients and her career and routinely goes above and beyond the normal call of duty. We are honored and privileged to work with such a hardworking, caring and dedicated individual.”

She holds a bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University and a doctor of osteopathic medicine from the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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joseph.weller@metrogr.org