Recognition by their peers, co-workers and patients distinguish a special group of Beth Israel Medical Center nurses who were honored at the recent Beatrice Renfield Circle of Excellence Awards ceremony and represented the hospital at the 1199 SEIU-League of Voluntary Hospitals Nurse of Distinction competition.
Two staff nurses from the Kings Highway Division (KHD) — Faye Dunn, RN, and Melinda Vinco-Mones, RN — were honored at the Beatrice Renfield Circle of Excellence for “Excellence in Patient Centered Care,” along with Jane Ashe, RN, of The Robert Mapplethorpe Residential Treatment Facility; and Diane Carroll, RN, Phillips Ambulatory Care Center.
Each Beatrice Renfield honoree received a commemorative pin and a stipend of up to $1,000 for a continuing education activity. The award is named in honor of the late Beth Israel trustee who believed that quality health care is a direct result of excellent nursing.
Dunn, along with her KHD colleagues Marie Mellon, RN, and Kathleen Rogers, RN, were selected by their peers to represent the best of nursing at the Brooklyn division as Nurse of Distinction, Nurse Preceptor and Nurse Leader, respectively. Mellon and Rogers were also nominated for the Beatrice Renfield Awards, along with Galina Pinkasov, RN, and Susan Adler, RN.
An immigrant from Jamaica, Dunn worked her way from LPN to RN, earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Medgar Evers College while keeping her job at the hospital and taking care of her family. The East Flatbush resident received her med-surg certification in 1998 and staffs KHD’s telemetry unit. Emma Koralek, RN, vice president for Patient Care Services, praised Dunn for “her ability to troubleshoot and problem-solve in an independent way.”
Vinco-Mones is a staff nurse in three North of the Kings Highway Division. She earned her Bachelor Degree from St. Paul’s College in the Philippines and has been a nurse at Beth Israel for 16 years. “She handles difficult situations and emergencies with ‘grace under pressure,” said Nurse Manager Linda O’Flaherty, RN. “She has a ‘sixth sense’ of knowing when assistance is needed and never needs to be asked.”
Mellon’s roundabout way into nursing is probably a contributing factor to her being chosen as nurse preceptor. She came to the US from Haiti in 1975 and started out as a secretary, then became an EKG tech and phlebotomist before she hit the books and earned a degree in nursing from Iona College. Her mother always wanted her to be a nurse, and she has a sister, a nurse, who is a role model. Mellon loves sharing her knowledge with new nurses — teaching, training and nurturing about three to four a year.
Like Mellon, Kathleen Roger’s mother had something to do with her choice of profession. “I was 15 and my mom was dying from cancer…that’s when I decided to become a nurse,” said the nurse manager. “She has always been the wind beneath my wings.”
Rogers has dedicated more than 25 years to nursing at the Kings Highway Division, where she has been employed since 1982, a year after receiving her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, She has worked in virtually all the nursing departments at the hospital, except the operating room. She was an ER nurse for 15 years before transitioning into management in 1999.
“The most satisfying part of my job is being an advocate for both my patients and my staff,” Rogers said, who was commended by Koralek for “actions which often go above and beyond her responsibilities…she is knowledgeable and a tremendous resource, and provides a sense of stability, skill and support for the staff.”
Beth Israel-Kings Highway Division is located at 3201 Kings Highway.