Nurses Week Awards

Every year, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital celebrates National Nurses Week. At this time, we honor the legacy of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale and recognize the associates in our nursing staff who serve our patients with the utmost care and compassion.

For this year’s celebration, we hosted many festivities including the Nursing Awards Luncheon, during which several members of our nursing leadership announced winners for Nurse of the Year, Caring Nurse, Trusted Nurse, Advancing Practice Nurse and Rookie of the Year. In addition to awarding our nurses, we also honored one care associate with the Tech of the Year Award. The winners were nominated by their fellow associates who wrote compelling stories about their peers, and after reading the entries, several members of the Professional Development Council selected the winners.

Here are the winners for 2016 and statements from their fellow associates. To see past winners, check out the Nurses Week Archive.


2016 Nurses Week Award Winners

“Nurse of the Year” Award
Leila Ignacio-Macale, Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Leila is the epitome of what a nurse of the year represents.  She is on multiple committees and is always so eager to help her teammates. She always has a smile on her face, no matter how stressful the day is. 

Leila is well deserving of this award. She is a nurse with an enormous amount of skills, knowledge and compassion for her patients. She is a team player, a patient advocate and an overall excellent nurse.  No one deserves this award more than this great nurse.

Leila is one of the most conscientious nurses I have ever worked with. She is always on time and keeps the unit functioning like a well-oiled machine. She takes excellent care of all of the patients on the unit. She is very knowledgeable and shares her knowledge with others. 

“Caring Nurse” Award
Phoebe Taillon, 5th Floor

Phoebe came to work on the 5th floor as a new nurse in September, 2013. She successfully completed her orientation and quickly grew in her clinical and critical thinking skills. But in addition to these skills, Phoebe excels in her ability to assess her patients holistically—identifying their psycho-social and spiritual needs. Her customer service skills are so polished you would never know she is having a “bad” day — a smile comes naturally to her. 

Phoebe comes prepared to plan-of-the-day rounds so she can address her patients’ needs. She is an excellent patient advocate. She follows policies and procedures to provide her patients with quality care and to keep them safe.

Phoebe had a patient who was anxious and concerned about their condition. Consulting with the patient’s family, she found out that the patient liked listening to gospel music and played several songs to help calm the patient. Almost immediately, the patient improved. When the family came in later that day, they stood around the patient and joined in singing the gospel songs. It was such a beautiful moment, and the family will never forget Phoebe’s kindness. 

“Trusted Nurse” Award
Karen Zielinski, Ambulatory Surgery Unit (ASU)

Karen has worked many years at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital (MGSH) and has been charge nurse in the ASU through much of that time. She can be trusted to keep the unit running smoothly and in an organized manner. She takes the initiative to make sure that our unit is in compliance with hospital and Joint Commission requirements. In addition, she usually takes the lead in acknowledging staff accomplishments (i.e. graduation, retirements, even spearheading the birthday club). She has been a part of the scheduling committee for many years. Karen also has been an active member of MGSH’s Professional Practice Committee. I hope that her efforts and accomplishments can be rewarded prior to her retirement at the end of May. She will be missed.

“Advancing Practice” Award
Nadine Stewart, Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Nadine exemplifies what it means to advance in nursing. She holds a BSN, an MSN and MBA, two certifications, and is preparing for another. She is on multiple committees, including the falls committee, the co-chair for the Research Committee and now the Professional Development Council. This September, she will be pursuing her Ph.D at Walden University. I nominate her wholeheartedly.

“Rookie of the Year” Award
Lisa Lonchiadis, Emergency Department

Lisa became a nurse after graduating in 2015, and her first nursing job was in the Emergency Department. She excels in patient care, critical thinking skills and time management. She is caring and compassionate to her patients, always willing to take on a challenge and succeed. Recently, she had a patient who required special medication and the family was anxious about making the decision on the patient's behalf. Lisa remained calm and compassionate while explaining everything to the family. As a new nurse, it can be difficult to manage a critical patient confidently and independently, but Lisa did so and maintained a positive attitude.

“Tech of the Year” Award
Marge Lugenbeel, Endoscopy

Marge Lugenbeel has been with MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital for approximately nine years. She has worked in the Endoscopy department during this time and has brought much knowledge to the staff. Marge consistently demonstrates the hospital’s SPIRIT values. Margie demonstrates the SPIRIT values because of her dedication to the job. She talks to the patients and if she can help them in any way, she does so. She always ensures that they are warm and comfortable and that their dignity is preserved. 

Margie has obtained the respect of her peers by her knowledge and understanding of Endoscopy. She is in constant teaching mode and willingly shares her knowledge with the staff. She has given in-services to the O.R. staff on several occasions and is the tech who trains new nursing staff.

“Tech of the Year” Runner-up
Emerito Infante, Emergency Department

I nominate Emerito because of his compassion, skill set and urgency for our patients in the ED. He is always respectful to patients and family members as well as the staff. When things get tough, he is always on the front line supporting the entire ED. His technical skills are superb! 

Emerito always ensures that patients are safe and comfortable. He follows protocol and stays updated on his patients' condition, aware of new equipment that will make patient care easier. He goes above and beyond to serve our patients and staff. I am proud he is on our team.