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a special publication of the Peninsula Daily News

c e L e b r AT i N g

NurSeS

of the North Olympic Peninsula OcTOber 2010

Lily Thomson School nurse cares for Port Angeles kids

David Kanters Fills a town’s health care needs for two decades

Quen Zorrah Public health nurse works with families

Plus meet six other Peninsula nurses touching lives in our communities

o f t h e N o r t h O l y m p i c Pe n i n s u l a


{Celebrating nurses } We were blown away by the nominations received for our first annual Celebrating Nurses special section. Nominations for nurses to spotlight were solicited throughout September and into October from PDN readers. Clearly there are many quality nurses on the North Olympic Peninsula who touch the lives of their patients, co-workers and employers. Through your letters we learned about: • School nurses who are responsible for students and staff at several schools, at times traveling back and forth in one day. • Surgical nurses who patients may see only briefly, but who labor tirelessly behind the scenes to secure a positive surgical outcome for each patient. • The many dedicated nurses who work in long-term care facilities caring for the needs of our aging population. • Public health nurses who visit low-income pregnant mothers to teach them about prenatal care, parenting and ending the cycle of violence and abuse that many of them face. • Hospice nurses who tend to terminally ill patients while also administering to the patient’s relatives and caregivers to help them deal with the loss before and after their loved one passes. • Family health nurses that see patients throughout the year for general checkups and medical ailments, who get to know them over the years. And the list goes on. Choosing whom to profile in this section was difficult. From your letters, we tried to pick a crosssection of nurses working in various settings around the Peninsula because we wanted readers to see the myriad ways these nurses contribute to the health of our communities. To be sure, nursing is a field full of many men and women who have found their calling to serve, to inspire, to advocate for and extend compassion to their patients. We celebrate you!

CELEBRATING NuRSES is published by the Peninsula Daily News Main office: 305 W. First St., Port Angeles, WA 98362 360-452-2345 John C. Brewer, editor & publisher Suzanne Williams, advertising director Jennifer Veneklasen and Trisha McMahon special section editors 2

Celebrating Nurses 2010

Advocate for a village Elizabeth Smith continues to provide advice and education Elizabeth “Liza” Smith has taken care of many people in all her years as a nurse, but she also makes sure they are educated on how to take care of themselves. “Several generations seek Liza’s advice and gentle but persuasive personal direction,” says friend and registered nurse Joan Ridel, who nominated Smith for Celebrating Nurses. “She teaches in the clinic, post office, store, school, community hall — wherever her people are gathered,” Ridel writes, describing her friend as a nurse/advocate for an entire village. Smith is the case manager at the Sophie Trettevick Indian Health Center in Neah Bay. While many of her tasks are now on the administrative side of care, “I still get called in to help and give patients advice,” she says. And being able to provide care is one of the things she likes best about being a nurse. Smith, who was born and raised in Neah Bay, wanted to be a nurse while in high school. She was even accepted into a new nursing program in Boise, Idaho, but

photo by Lonnie Archibald / for Peninsula Daily News

Elizabeth Smith served as a hospital corpsman in the Navy before becoming a nurse.

upon graduation, she was unable to afford the tuition. So with nursing school temporarily on hold, she joined the Navy in 1958, where she would serve as a hospital corpsman — the Naval equivalent to

an Army medic. From Neah Bay, the tiny northwest corner of the continental United States, she traveled across the country to Bainbridge, Md., for boot camp.

continued on Page 5 >>

The Peninsula Daily News would like to recognize all the Clallam and Jefferson County nurses who were nominated by the North Olympic Peninsula community — many of whom received multiple nominations. A special ‘thank you’ goes to all the exceptional nurses who each day go above and beyond caring for patients. Ellen Adams

Janel Finley

Terry Markishtum

Irma Schneider

Becky Andrews

Lynn Fosket

Marti Melcher

Mary Sherwood

Cathy Abandonato

Michelle Gann

Linda Mellon

Brandi Smith

Bridgett Bell Kraft

Robin Gay

Linda Minor

Elizabeth “Liza” Smith

Michael Berg

Randy Gore

Ileana Murphy-Haggerty

Gayla Spratt-Nuffer

Paula E. Bertaud

Kim Gracie

Lee Norton

Lily Thomson

Dee Beverford

Ann Holleman (posthumously)

Roberta O’Dell

Paula Wahl

Mary Jackson

Lotta Pearl

Kim Warner

Nancy Johnson

Crystal Placos-McCullough

Tara Wilhelm

David Kanters

Jaimi L. Primrose

Mary Klock

Mary Reynolds

Bette Wood

Laura Kinsley

Paula Richter

Chuck Lilliandahl

Diane Root-Racine

Sten Christiansen Katie Curtis-Seal Kathy Craven Marca Davies Meg DePew Suzanne Dinius Jenny Edwards

LaDona Wilson Resa Yamamoto Quen Zorrah

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Seasoned nurse ‘no nonsense with a heart’ Although technically retired, Mary Sherwood makes a lasting contribution through volunteer work Mary Sherwood was an advocate for the Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics (VIMO) clinic before it even opened, says VIMO volunteer coordinator Patty Hannah. The clinic provides primary medical care, mental health care and referrals for specialty care to adults who live and work on the North Olympic Peninsula and do not have access to health care. As a retired nurse, Sherwood worked to gain support for the clinic within the medical community, and once VIMO opened, she volunteered five hours every Monday for three years as the clinic’s triage nurse. “In the beginning days of the clinic, most of VIMO’s patients had been unable to receive health care for some time — years in some cases — and Mary was their first medical point of contact,” Hannah says. “She did the initial assessment of the patient’s overall health, made decisions regarding the acuity of care needed and often recommended immediate intervention because of a health condition.” Hannah says that Sherwood has no doubt saved many lives because of her knowledge and ability to assess emergency situations. Sherwood is in her 70s and has recently had her own chronic health conditions causing her to reduce her volunteer work at VIMO to twice a month. But when she is at the clinic, patients notice. “Our patients love her and she gets rave reviews in our patient satisfaction surveys,” Hannah says. Sherwood is also a teacher and has offered invaluable insight to nursing students who rotate through VIMO as part of their curriculum. In addition to her community contributions through nursing, Sherwood is a guardian ad litem assigned to represent the best interests of children in Clallam County’s juvenile court system and is a state ombudsman for older adults. In her capacity as ombudsman, Sherwood visits county nursing homes and assisted living facilities to make sure that residents are safe and cared for. Patricia Nachreiner is a social worker who also nominated Sherwood for Celebrating Nurses. She says that Sherwood volunteers countless hours ensuring children’s safety in her role as guardian ad litem. “Mary advocates for the children,” she says. “But if she sees a glimmer of hope that the parents can reunify with their kids, then she supports them as well.” With her lilting southern accent, Sherwood uses words like “honey child” and “baby child” to put her little clients at ease, Nachreiner says. Sherwood also uses bristly humor to help adults realize that they are in the driver’s seat as far as making decisions to turn their lives around. “I know on many occasions after a long day of work, Mary will drop off a meal to a struggling family,” Nachreiner says. “For this reason children and adults keep her number close and she is the one they call first in times of trouble or celebration.” Fellow VIMO volunteer Judith Morris describes Sherwood as “no nonsense with a heart.” Morris volunteers as a VIMO receptionist and says that a number of patients come in asking, “Is Mary working today?”

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photo by Chris Tucker / Peninsula Daily News

Mary Sherwood at the Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics (VIMO) clinic located at 909 Georgiana St. in Port Angeles.

Student nurses often linger after hours to tap into Sherwood’s expertise as she goes around the clinic emptying trash cans and closing windows. “Mary is what many of us think of when we think of the ideal nurse,” Morris says. “I know that patients waiting for appointments are delighted when they hear Mary’s booming voice say, ‘Darlin, get on in here! Tell me what’s going on.’ ”

serve the uninsured and under-insured of Clallam County. The clinic sees patients who are chronically ill, have high blood pressure, diabetes and much more. She says that lately there have been a lot of new, younger people coming into the clinic for medical care. Sherwood says that many of those people are hardworking, but don’t have a lot of money or employers who offer health insurance. “You know, being poor and not knowing which way to Sherwood spent the first half of her working life as an turn is a bad feeling,” she says. intelligence analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “If the clinic wasn’t there, where would these people go?” She chose to go into nursing, she says, because she As far as advocating for neglected and abused children, wanted to work directly with people. she says it makes her feel special to help them. She attended nursing school in Alabama and later Vir“If I could do more, I would,” she says. “This is just one ginia, all while raising five kids. way I can do something.” At age 40 she began to work in hospital Intensive Care When asked if she plans to stay in Port Angeles, SherUnits — or ICUs —and spent 20 years as a registered critiwood says, “oh heavens yes.” cal care nurse. “I was getting a little antsy the other day,” she admits. “I made a good choice,” Sherwood beams about her nurs“But I’ve got two dogs and three cats, the garden is growing career path. “I graduated on a Friday and then started ing and then there’s the canning — I’ve got things to do!” work on Monday. I loved it.” When Sherwood chose to become a nurse some 30 years Sherwood worked at hospitals in several states, always ago, she says that people then went into nursing because in the ICU, and chose to work night shifts, she says, so that they cared. Today she sees some people choose nursing she could be around for her children during the day. because it’s a good, steady job. In 2003 she moved to Port Angeles, and although she But, she says, when you actually get into nursing, “the came here to retire, Sherwood has stayed very busy. truth is that you can’t help but care.” She works passionately to promote VIMO’s mission to — Jennifer Veneklasen Celebrating Nurses 2010  3


‘I found my niche’

photo by Chris Tucker / Peninsula Daily News

Mary Klock makes sure she gets to know the residents of Park View Villas Mary Klock has worked in long-term care facilities for more than 35 years and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else, but that wasn’t her initial plan. She originally wanted to be a park ranger and obtained a degree in parks and recreation from Central Washington University. But when she couldn’t find a job in the field, she took a job as an activity director for a long-term care facility. “I found my niche,” she says of working there. “I just fell in love with it.” Since then, she has continued to work in long-term care, holding positions ranging from social worker to administrator, and is now the resident care director for Park View Villas in Port Angeles. Klock moved to the North Olympic Peninsula in 1990 when her husband took a job as a nursing home administrator in Sequim. The move enabled her to pursue something she had wanted to do for years but had always taken a back seat to the rest of life — become a nurse. So she enrolled at Peninsula College and obtained her nursing degree in 1994. While attending courses, she knew she wanted to continue working with seniors. “I just love working with these folks,” enthuses Klock, who is a registered nurse with a certification in geriatrics. “We get so much

from them. We are who we are today because of seniors.” She especially enjoys the stories they tell her — and the history lessons she gains from their stories. As she talks about her role as a nurse and at Park View Villas, her passion and dedication comes through. “Every day is different,” she says of her work. “I get to know these people really well, and they start to think of this as their home.” Since it does become a new home for them, Klock says that saying goodbye is the hardest part of the job — whether it’s because residents move away to be closer to family or pass away. “You get a sense of satisfaction knowing you have given them good care, but it’s still sad,” she said. In her role as resident care director, she meets with new residents, assesses the care they need or want, and is responsible for the trained staff at Park View Villas. But according to residents and colleagues, many of whom nominated her for inclusion in Celebrating Nurses, she does much more. “Mary goes above and beyond,” says John LeClerc, executive director for Park View Villas. “She uses her own money to get the residents what they need, she sews and knits for them. She is always showing compassion

Mary Klock been the resident care director at Park View Villas for almost three years.

for both her staff and her residents.” Resident Virginia Pennoyer notes, “She is ready to come immediately to our aid, whether it be a sprained finger, broken hip or just a medical question.” Sometimes the impact comes down to the connection she makes with residents. “When I come into the Wellness Center, I not only get the answers I need, but a hug and an ‘I love you,’ ” Virginia Imhof writes in her nomination. “She goes beyond the norm by being interested in you as a person,” writes Dion B.C. Sutton. As Klock simplifies it, “We’re here for the residents.” If they want something from the

store, she makes sure they get it. If they need a doctor’s appointment, she makes sure it gets scheduled. Rachelle King, who works with Klock and also nominated her, says, “She advocates for the rights of the residents and continues to strive to make Park View Villas the best place for the elderly to live.” According to Klock, this role as a patient advocate is one of the most important roles for a nurse. “You need to honor their choices and respect them,” she said. So perhaps it was a good thing she couldn’t find that ranger job. — Trisha McMahon

Public health nurse comes full circle As a 19-year-old, single mother, Quen Zorrah was visited by a public health nurse who showed up on her doorstep with information about prenatal care, childhood immunizations, breastfeeding photo by Steve Mullensky and nutrition. “I was probably what would have been considered high-risk at the time,” Zorrah says, “but I was really motivated to make changes and have a healthy baby.” The continued visits not only taught Zorrah how to care for her young child, but they steeled her determination to become a public health nurse, too. “I had been a high school dropout and had no real job skills,” she recalls. “But I kept making changes.” Quen Zorrah 4  Celebrating Nurses 2010

The nurses, she says, were always very supportive and positive — their encouragement changed Zorrah’s life. She completed her GED and went on to get her associate degree in nursing from Seattle Central Community College. She says her goal was always to work in public health, but for that she needed a bachelor’s degree. So, for the time being she worked in general nursing at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She later moved to Port Townsend, bought a home for herself and her two children and got a job at what was then Jefferson General Hospital. Years later she learned that the University of Washington, in conjunction with Peninsula College, was offering a bachelor’s degree program in Port Angeles. She immediately enrolled and went on to fulfill her dream of becoming a public health nurse. John Austin, a Jefferson County commissioner, nominated Zorrah for Celebrating Nurses, and says that she began work at Jefferson County Public Health in 1992 with a

desire to improve the lives of families throughout the county. “She continues now to change lives and improve quality of care,” he says. Zorrah works primarily with families and together with her team, the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), provides visits to low-income families with young children and pregnant women. NFP educates parents and helps them find their own path to positive change. Zorrah teaches parents how to protect their children from the same adverse experiences they lived through as children. She made a formal presentation to the State Board of Health on NFP’s programs, Austin says. The board commended Zorrah and the team’s work to curb the spread of violence, substance abuse and neglect in Jefferson County. Austin says that children served by the NFP program do better when entering school, have better health outcomes and spend less time in the juvenile justice system. continued on Page 10 >>

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Elizabeth Smith:

at Wayne County Community College in Detroit and became a nurse in 1975. “That was a goal of mine,” Smith says. Smith received her education from the “I didn’t do it right way, but I still ended up Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, doing it.” Ill., and returned to Maryland, where she She remained in Michigan and began was stationed for three years. working with the Urban Indian Health When she got out of the Navy, she Association in Detroit, where she soon returned home to Neah Bay and started started its free Indian Health Clinic. her family, but her traveling and education She returned to Neah Bay in 1976 and has weren’t done yet. been there ever since. After her husband at the time got out of She worked as an alcohol addiction counthe Army, they moved to Michigan, where selor until the health clinic opened. his sister lived. Still wanting to be a nurse For 30 years she worked at the clinic while and not wanting her G.I. Bill benefits to go to it was managed by the federal Indian Health waste, Smith enrolled in the nursing program Service, serving as the head nurse until she {continued from Page 2}

She continues to educate herself and teach others about healthy living. She teaches a workshop called “Living Well with Chronic Conditions,” a course designed by Stanford University that provides tools and support for living a healthy life with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, chronic pain, arthritis and hypertension. In her first course, 14 of the 18 people who signed up completed the six-week workshop. “It really motivates people to manage their health and know how to communicate with their provider,” she says. “People were enthused about it.” — Trisha McMahon

Nurses: The

of Olympic Medical Center

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eventually retired from civil service. But she hasn’t retired from being a nurse. Since the health center became self-governed by the Makah tribe a few years ago, Smith has continued to work there, transferring to the administrative side as a case manager. She remains dedicated to patient advocacy and education and acting as a liaison. As Ridel describes her, she is “an ombudsman for her people” and the health officer “tasked with public health and environmental concerns.” During the 2009 flu pandemic, Smith was appointed Makah health officer and worked with the tribe to provide community education, information and health kits.

Celebrating Nurses 2010  5


Handling the needs of students and more As the two nurses for the Port Angeles School District, Lily Thomson and Resa Yamamoto take care of everything from bumps and bruises to vision and hearing tests Getting Lily Thomson and Resa Yamamoto in the same place at the same time can be a task. There is no single office for the duo, who comprise the nursing staff of the Port Angeles School District. Throughout the week, they travel between schools to serve a population of more than 3,500 students and handle a multitude of tasks — take care of bumps and bruises or a broken bone, perform hearing and vision tests, administer medications, educate students and staff, and, of course, care for the students who are ill and injured. Thomson works with the elementary students, splitting her time between Hamilton, Dry Creek, Franklin and Roosevelt schools. Yamamoto is primarily the nurse for the older students, working at Port Angeles High School, Lincoln High School and Stevens Middle School, plus Jefferson Elementary. “I first thought it would be Bandaids and hearing and vision tests, but it’s become so much more,” says Yamamoto, who has been with the district for 12 years. In recent years, they have been handling more psychological and social situations and students with significant health needs. “They go ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty daily in their work,” writes Tina Smith-O’Hara, communications specialist for the school district and one of several people who nominated them for the Celebrating Nurses section. “I believe it stems from their strong commitment to health and learning and their love of children.” Many of the nominations described all the tasks Thomson and Yamamoto handle as part-time nurses for the district, while always remaining compassionate, caring and fun. “They are pulled in a number of directions every day and are able to handle it all,” writes Robin Hubbard Swanson, who has worked with them as part of the hearing and vision screening team in the fall. “Thousands of our community’s children have been cared for by these hardworking, compassionate, professional women.” “These ladies have to have absolute compassion and have to be able to understand their patients sometimes through tears and sobs,” writes Joyce Stockard, who has also worked with them on hearing and vision tests. With so much to take care of, Thomson and Yamamoto have found ways to keep themselves from becoming overwhelmed and stressed. “You have to compartmentalize,” Yamamoto says. “Some things have to wait until next week 6  Celebrating Nurses 2010

photo by Chris Tucker / Peninsula Daily News

Port Angeles School District nurses Lily Thomson, left, and Resa Yamamoto are responsible for more than 3,500 students in eight schools.

school district was in the process of hiring its own nurses, having previously contracted with the county for nursing staff. She applied for an opening, and 16 years later is still at the district. She also continues to work part-time at the Peninsula Children’s Clinic, which fits with her work in the school district. “A lot of students are patients there so it’s very collaborative,” she says. nursing was a field that combined many of Yamamoto’s interests. She had an interest in science and “how the body works” early in life, and in high school she became interested in educating people. That’s when she realized that all those pursuits could be met through nursing. “I could be an educator of a patient,” she explains. Nursing was “a mesh of my desire to help people plus the science piece.” She received an associate’s degree from Northwest Nazarene College (now University) in Nampa, Idaho, and a bachelor’s degree from Boise State University. She had worked at a hospital before taking an 11-year hiatus from nursing to raise her family. When she decided to return to work and to nursing, the school district nurse position provided her a work schedule that correlated with the academic year, which worked perfectly for her and her family.

Thomson and yamamoto find that handling on-going issues can be difficult in their job because deep down they want to fix everything. Thomson explains how she might wake up at 3 a.m., wondering how to fix a situa— Robin Hubbard Swanson, who nominated Lily Thomson and Resa Yamamoto tion a student may be going through. “It’s hard to let things go,” Yamamoto adds. But despite any difficulties, they still while you address what’s more important.” Both took different paths that led enjoy their roles. Echoing Yamamoto, Thomson says she them to be nurses for the school district. “I love the incredible variety of what makes a list the night before of all the things Medical situations with her own family drew I learn every year,” Yamamoto says. “It she wants to accomplish the next day. Thomson into the medical field later in life. doesn’t get routine.” “If I can get 25 percent of it done, that’s a She had been working at the Peninsula For Thomson, one of her favorite mogood day,” she says. Children’s Clinic in Port Angeles when she ments is when she is recognized by her Their support of one another, ability to decided to put herself through nursing young students outside of school. consult, and collaboration also help in what school at Peninsula College. “Someone goes, ‘Mom, there’s my school they describe as a unique role. “It was a challenge, but the clinic was very nurse!’ ” she says. Sometimes they will even Both agree that e-mail has helped imaccommodating,” she says. come up and give her a hug. mensely with contacting parents, teachers Thomson’s daughter, Heather Buckmaster, There is a wonderful feeling in “knowand the different schools throughout the day. notes in her nomination how while her ing you helped and made a difference,” And while an emergency or a meeting mother was in nursing school she was “still she says. might require them to travel from one school working full time, helping care for her grandto another, they try to stay at the school they child, and all at the ‘advanced’ age of 40.” ­— Trisha McMahon are at on a given day. As Thomson was finishing school, the

“They are pulled in a number of directions every day and are able to handle it all. ... Thousands of our community’s children have been cared for by these hardworking, compassionate, professional women.”

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Toiling behind the scenes

“In surgery no two days are the same,” she says. “I love my patients and the surgical team is almost like a family. The stressful environment and single focus pull you together.” The most challenging aspect of her job, she says, is that over the years patients have become sicker due to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, immune deficiency disorders and cancers. Increased government and insurance regulations are also a big challenge. The part of her work that she most enjoys is the rapport she through training in Olympia. is able to build with patients. When Schneider’s husband got out of the Navy, the couple Patients come into surgery feeling very vulnerable, she says. spent seven months traveling the country and visited 33 states. They are apprehensive about their privacy, worried if they are They chose to put down roots in idyllic Port Angeles. Schneider was hired as an LPN at Olympic Medical Center, going to live or die, and nervous they’ll come out of surgery with a terminal prognosis. and in 1983 went on to graduate from the Peninsula College “They need to have confidence that I will protect their safety Nursing Program. and privacy and that I’ll take care of them in a professional She continued to work — now as a registered nurse — at manner,” she says. OMC and at Peninsula Children’s Clinic. “Establishing a relationship where they can trust me is so She also volunteered evenings at Family Planning of Clalimportant. I feel fortunate that I can easily connect with most lam County where she was drawn to the work of the nurse patients.” practitioners. Benson says that on many occasions she has seen Schneider “They [nurse practitioners at Family Planning] were so go out of her way to connect with a nervous or scared patient instrumental as role models for me as they taught women all and put them at ease. about their bodies and good health habits,” she says. “It is a pleasure to work with someone who comes in “I was determined to do that.” every day with a positive attitude and a willingness to get Schneider moved to Los Angeles for four months of a nine month program, right after discovering she was pregnant, and the job done,” Benson says. completed her advanced medical training at UCLA. OMC surgical nurse Lotta Pearl was nominated for Because she was pregnant at the time, studying women’s Celebrating Nurses by orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Margaret Baker. health was exceedingly personal. “Watching Lotta work is like watching a well-choreoSchneider returned to Port Angeles and worked as Family graphed ballet, or perhaps a finely-tuned Nascar pit crew,” Planning’s nurse practitioner from 1984 to 1998. By ‘92 she wanted to try something new and chose surgical Baker says. “She hustles so quickly and effortlessly, one can hardly see nursing because of its diversity of patients, medical issues, and her feet touch the floor.” surgical specialties. Pearl says that she decided to become a nurse when she photo by Keith Thorpe/ Peninsula Daily News was in third grade and has never wavered. She went to nursing school at Spokane Community College right out of high school and began her nursing career in a long-term care facility. Later she worked in succession at two Spokane hospitals and then moved to North Dakota where she worked for 10 years in an emergency room. She loved the challenging, fast-paced environment of the emergency room, but after starting a family Pearl craved more regular hours. This led her to surgical nursing where she has remained ever since. In 2002 Pearl and her husband, a retired general surgeon, moved to Port Angeles so they could be near the water and enjoy a life full of sailing. Pearl made a seamless transition into the surgical department at OMC. She counts caring for surgeons and lessening their stress, along with advocating for patients, as the most important aspects of her job. “You want to provide the best care that you can for patients,” she says. To do that, surgical nurses must anticipate the needs of surgeons, which in turn will lead to optimal outcomes for their patients. “Having a nurse like Lotta at my side can be a Godsend, especially in the dark of night with a surgical trauma patient suffering from a life or limb-threatening injury,” Baker says. According to Baker, it’s Pearl’s unique combination of professionalism and personal excellence that sets her apart. “Surgical nurses are primarily assigned to one operating room, one patient at a time,” Baker says.

Specialized nurses Irma Schneider and Lotta Pearl ensure that surgical patients at Olympic Medical Center receive the best in care Behind the scenes, surgical nurses are a patient’s best friend. Each patient’s comfort and security before, during and after a procedure is safeguarded by a surgical nurse who anticipates events, monitors movements in the surgery room, continuously counts and re-counts instruments and sponges, and generally makes the busy operating room — or OR — environment run smoothly. Not only do they assist the surgeon, but also the scrub technician and anesthesiologist. The many complex tasks that these nurses juggle directly contribute to each patient’s outcome. “The reason we have such an outstanding safety record in our operating room is due to the diligence of these unsung heros,” says Dr. Carleen Benson, chief of surgery at Olympic Medical Center. Benson nominated Irma Schneider for Celebrating Nurses, saying that Schneider is the quintessential OR nurse. “She performs her job not only competently, but with an obvious joy for what she does,” Benson says. Schneider got into nursing in the early 1970s after realizing that her “sit-down job” at a bank wasn’t working for her. She was fascinated by the human body, interested in nutrition, and had a passion for science. “I wanted to teach people about their bodies, and I wanted to be able to get a job anywhere in the U.S.,” she recalls. Schneider became a licensed practical nurse, or LPN,

Irma Schneider, left, and Lotta Pearl sit outside the surgical suite at Olympic Medical Center.

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continued on Page 10 >> Celebrating Nurses 2010  7


Gail Dosey, RN Director of Nursing

~ Our Staff Provides The Commitment You Deserve ~

Ed Ebling Administration

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Deanna Thurston, RN

Lydia Nelson, RN

Donna Munday, RN

Janet Fisher, LPN

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Catalina Marcial, RN

Jay Rydberg, RN

Chris Lanning, LPN

Stephanie Overby, RN

Barb Ahlstrom, RN

Karen Tyler, RN

Liz Wolfe-Troberg, RN

John Petrisin, RN

Deb Youngblood, RN

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Julie Juntilla, LPN

Glenda Warn, LPN

Mamie Curtis, RN

Heather Marquette, RN

Ruth Schlottmann, RN

Jane Redwine, RN

Claudia Jaquish, RN

www.sequimskillednursing.com

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Realizing a community need photo by Chris Tucker / Peninsula Daily News

David Kanters opened nurseowned walk-in medical clinic in Port Angeles

Jamestown Family Health Clinic Thank You, Practice Team Nurses! David Kanters says he is “not done” and will continue to pursue interests after CliniCare closes.

So he enrolled in what would be the first class of nursing students at Peninsula College. From there he later obtained a degree from the University of Wisconsin. Kanters dedicated much time to the clinic; multiple nominations noted that he frequently worked 12 hour days, seven days a week. When asked what he likes most about the job, Kanters couldn’t pinpoint any one specific thing — there were many. “I like the different patients and different challenges they present me with,” he says. “People come in worried and concerned. I like making them feel better and helping them come up with a solution.” And after they leave the clinic, he enjoys being able to see them around, knowing he played a role in their lives. After years of providing care through the walk-in clinic, Kanters will be closing CliniCare in early November. He chose to step down and sell the clinic after many years of running it with his staff, but was unable to find a buyer.

Although CliniCare is closing, Kanters will remain in the area and explore other pursuits. “I like the work and I like seeing patients,” he says. “I’m going to keep working in some capacity.”

He adds, “Over the past 40 years, this job has been more fun and more rewarding than anybody deserves. I’ve had a good time, and I’m not done.” — Trisha McMahon

Beverly Simmons, RN Erin Wallner, RN Dorothy Frascati, RN Wendy Dolhay, RN Dana Ward, LPN Jane Rynearson, RN Michelle Grinnell, RN Haley Jones, RN

Many nurses have the skills... but the best provide care with compassion. Our nurses are on staff

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We appreciate each and every one! Residents and Management of

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Jamestown Family Health Clinic honors each of you for your many years of dedicated and inspirational service to our patients.

808 North 5th Ave., Sequim, WA 98382 360-683-5900 Hours: M-F, 8 am to 5 pm Celebrating Nurses 2010

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— David Kanters

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Family nurse practitioner David Kanters saw the need for a walk-in clinic in Port Angeles. So in 1989, he opened CliniCare, an acute care facility and the only privately owned walk-in medical clinic in Port Angeles. “CliniCare became the medical home for many of those in our community without access to a primary care physician,” says Len Borchers, one of several people who nominated Kanters for Celebrating Nurses. Borchers was the administrator for the Port Angeles Clinic, where Kanters worked prior to opening CliniCare. “Dave chose to strike out on his own when he pioneered the opening of CliniCare,” Borchers writes. “He has successfully treated thousands of patients over the years and provided a cost-effective alternative to the hospital emergency room.” CliniCare would receive 35 to 45 visits per day — more than 12,000 per year. It was open seven days a week, and appointments were not needed. Kanters grew up in Wisconsin and served as a medic in the Army during the Vietnam War. “That’s probably where most of my expertise came from,” he says. A combination of factors, including needing a job after Vietnam and essentially picking a city from a map, brought him to Port Angeles. “They didn’t need any combat medics in the states,” he points out.

“Over the past 40 years, this job has been more fun and more rewarding than anybody deserves. I’ve had a good time, and I’m not done.”

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“In just seven days I can make you a man!”

Quen Zorrah: {continued from Page 4}

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“Quen is a remarkable woman with an attitude that inspires hope within the families she serves and the nursing team she works with,” Austin says. In her role as a public health nurse, Zorrah is charged with finding the people she serves. “It’s different than working in a hospital where patients come to you,” she says. “We look for levels of risk and go out to meet people where they’re at.” The toughest part of her job, Zorrah says, is the lack of funding that is tearing her team’s work apart. “We’ve built up a system where every family in the county that needs help can get it, but now we’re really struggling to meet the demand of families,” she says.

There are currently less resources for housing, mental health services and subsidies for child care available. “Families are under so much stress and the kids are the ones who are suffering,” she says. On the flip side, Zorrah finds the longevity of her work with families, among other things, to be highly rewarding. She is able to watch her clients make changes over a long period of time and she says that it’s encouraging to see how hard people are willing to work. Through her work as a nurse, Zorrah sees women in her community get out of longterm abusive relationships, she sees kids flourish in school, and young “at-risk” moms graduate from college — just as she did. — Jennifer Veneklasen

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Celebrating Nurses 2010

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So many wonderful nurses were nominated for Celebrating Nurses, and unfortunately, we could not feature all of them. Here are some excerpts from a few of the other nominations we received: Chuck Lilliandahl, Crestwood Convalescent Center “Chuck always has time for the extras. ... An example is a resident [who] is constantly interrupting everyone looking for her home over and over. Chuck always gives her a smile and treats her as if it was the first time she has ever asked.” — Linnie Didier

for helping others. She is the only mental health provider for clients at VIMO [Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics] at this time and without her, the needs of the community would not have been met.” — Gina M. Steinmetz

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As CliniCare winds down in the last few weeks of operation we would like to express our gratitude to all the patients who have entrusted us with their care over the past 22 years and to all the public and private support extended to us these last few months. We also would like to say thank you to The Jamestown Clinic, Drs. Carl & Asma Weber of Pacific Primary Care and the Lower Elwha Clinic for taking on so many of our patients and to Cedar Grove Recovery for taking on our drug screens.

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Look for our second annual Celebrating Nurses special section in 2011. Nominations for the section will again be solicited from PDN readers during the weeks preceding publication. We hope you’ll take the time to nominate a Clallam or Jefferson County nurse who goes above and beyond the call of duty.

uites

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Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County team “Each of these women delivers Jodi compasFairchild Licensed in sionate, caring and skillful nursing services to Robin Gay, Dr. Dan Addison’s office Medical Aesthetics hundreds of people in our community who “I have seen her perform brilliantly in lifesaving office emergencies, as well as com- are nearing the end of their lives. ... These passionately caring for individuals of chronic nurses administer to family members, relatives and caregivers to assist in ways that help them illness. She has given our patients her cell deal with the loss before and after their loved phone number, so that they may call her at any time. ... She has carefully created patient one passes. ... They are in every sense sensaeducation systems to allow people to under- tional ambassadors of the nursing profession.” — Tom Cox stand not only chronic health problems, but preventative care steps.” — Dee Groves Ileana Murphy-Haggerty, Family Medicine “Guiding patients, staff and students to see the value and the path to change, she has Terry Markishtum, Quileute Health Clinic been a champion for compassionate, respon“Terry is a great teacher and often goes out sible care. ... Her effect on healthcare services of her way to educate the native population on how to take care of their health. ... Terry is in our community, Washington state and the country is immense.” a great mentor ... and as a result of this men— Dr. Stan Garlick torship with Terry I really want to further my education and become a nurse myself.” — Veryl M. Garibay Lee Norton, Olympic Medical Center “Lee is an outstanding nurse. ... She atMeg Depew, Peninsula Community Mental Health tends to her patients physical needs, as well as their emotional needs, thus treating the “She has been an instrumental part in whole patient not just the disease. Lee makes serving the uninsured or underserved meneveryone feel safe in her care.” tal health clients of this community. She is — Edie Thompson professional, caring and has extreme heart

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Nursing Section 2010