Registered nurse Nancy Johnas at Ministry Health Care’s Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill plays an important role in the dedicated team charged with caring for those who depend on the services the hospital provides.

Johnas recently joined 76 other health care employees from across the state at the 2009 Wisconsin Health Care Employee Pride Program recognition dinner at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The program, sponsored by the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) is designed to celebrate the health care workforce and recognize their “truly amazing” contributions to the health of their communities, according to WHA President Steve Brenton.

“People who work in hospitals are among Wisconsin’s most dedicated and valuable employees. It takes special people to care for others and our communities are richer, safer and healthier places to live because of these professionals,” Brenton said. “Whether they are on the front lines, or supporting those who deliver patient care, every health care employee helps improve the health status in the community where they live and work.”

Employees were asked to describe what led them to choose an occupation in health, and why they decided to work in a hospital. Hundreds of health care employees submitted essays. A committee at each health care facility selected the winning essay, and that person was honored at the recognition banquet May 7.

As Johnas put in her submission, “I believe when you go above and beyond the standard expectations you are an exception. The patients feel the warmth from your heart and soul. They feel that you are there just for them. Every patient expects you to know your skills and what you were taught to do. I found it is the little things that count and that is what the patients will remember, such as giving an elderly person a hot pack for their cold feet, holding their hand when they are scared, a back rub when they can’t sleep and talking to them on a personal and professional level instead of just the nurse that comes in and out of their room to get the job done. That is what the patient remembers, not how well you performed your everyday

“Nancy is an excellent selection for the 2009 WHA Employee Pride program,” said Good Samaritan Health Center Vice President of Patient Care Kris McGarigle. “She sets a fine example for her coworkers and plays a key role in the high quality patient care the people of the Merrill expect from our facility.”

The recognition program is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Society of Healthcare human Resources Administration, and the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives.

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