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Excellence Round Up

Staff Report | September 26, 2016

Ann Benedict 

Ann Benedict, RN, who works in MUSC’s pediatric cardiology ICU, has been named a 2016 GEM Award regional winner in the Excellence in Clinical Nursing Category. She is one of only five nurses — each representing a separate category — to be honored from the Southern region.

“Winning the GEM Award is an honor to me, and I am especially delighted that this brings a national spotlight to MUSC Nursing Excellence, specifically to my home unit: PCICU,” said Benedict.

Her supervisors and colleagues believe patient care is stronger as a result of her direct and committed involvement in practice improvement initiatives. It was noted in her nomination that she spearheaded a project that reviewed the means of obtaining blood samples from arterial catheters in the PCICU. The project evaluated the evidence of comparative studies between closed blood conservation devices with stopcocks and determined and implemented best practices. Data collected showed in 2015 there were four sustained quarters of compliance with the best practice change recommendation, a result partly due to Benedict’s efforts. believes in publicly recognizing and celebrating nursing excellence and regards the GEM Awards program as the largest and most prestigious of its kind in the nation. Each year, they conduct an online coast–to–coast search for nurses of excellence and bestow GEM Awards to those identified by their nursing colleagues as being the best of the best.

Christine Puskar, RN, who works on ART 5E in Acute Cardiac Care, recently received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 National Patient Safety Foundation’s DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

The DAISY Foundation, an organization that was founded to honor nurses who provide exceptional, compassionate care, teamed up with NPSF in 2015 to recognize nurses with the National Patient Safety Foundation’s DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Puskar received her original DAISY Award in February 2015 for helping a patient when he wasn’t able to afford his medications. She went above and beyond to get him the help he needed, ensuring that her patient would be successful post–hospitalization.

MUSC's Institute of Psychiatry was recently presented the 2016 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) South Carolina Hospital of the Year award at the NAMI SC Annual Mental Health Conference. The award is presented to the hospital that demonstrates a commitment to serving the mission of NAMI by raising mental health awareness and offering education and support to those affected by mental illness and their family members.

Throughout the past decade, the Institute of Psychiatry has partnered with NAMI to provide a weekly NAMI Connection support group for inpatients, host the Family to Family program each spring and fall and graduate more than 150 staff members from the Provider Education Program. MUSC’s local NAMI members are active on the IOP’s Patient Family Advisory Council. This council has been awarded grants to fund the purchase of bus passes for its patients who rely on public transportation and to create an activity cart for psychiatric patients in the MUSC Emergency Department, who are waiting for an available bed at the IOP. This is the fourth time the IOP has received the Hospital of the Year Award from NAMI SC, including 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2016.

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