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2013 Nurse of the Year Award Ceremony Recognizes Excellence

Children's Hospital Central California nurses receive awards in honor of Nurses Week


The 2013 Nurse of the Year Awards Ceremony to honor the dedicated nurses at Children's Hospital Central California opened with encouraging words from President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Suntrapak. “Everyone who lives in the Valley is truly blessed to have all of you,” he said to the nurses gathered for the event. “No matter where I go, I hear about the great work you do, and it’s often accompanied by a hug from a grateful parent with both a tear and a smile.”

Nurse awardsExecutive directors of critical care and acute care at Children’s Hospital, Randall Guerrero and Daniel Davis respectively, shared the honors of recognizing nursing excellence in four categories: clinical practice, education, administration/leadership and advanced practice. A friend of nursing award was also given.

Prior to awarding this year’s winners, Davis opened the floor to nurses, who nominate winners from among their peers, to share why reward and recognition is important in their field. One voice spoke out with a well-articulated response. She said, “We all come to work and do a really good job, but we don’t congratulate ourselves when we’re driving home. Instead we say to ourselves, ‘Oh, I should have done this and I should’ve done that.’ That is what’s so nice about awards like Nurse of the Year; it gives recognition to nurses for the jobs they do.”

To learn more about the exemplary nurses who serve families at Children's Hospital Central California, please take a moment to read the May 2013 issue of Nursing Excellence, an online publication written by nurses about “the jobs they do.”

The day after the awards ceremony at Children’s Hospital, the Nursing Leadership Coalition (NLC) of the Central San Joaquin Valley held a banquet to honor nurses for nursing excellence in the same four categories.

“At Children’s, we’ve chosen to align our process of recognizing nurses with the NLC,” said Denise Vermeltfoort, director, regulatory and clinical practice. “It gives us the opportunity to recognize our nurses at the regional level.” 

Children’s Hospital routinely forwards the Hospital’s winners as nominees for the regional-level award. This year, three Children’s nurses were recognized by the NLC.

“This was the first time we’ve received three awards in the same year,” said Beverly Hayden-Pugh, vice president and chief nursing officer, Children’s Hospital. In the 15 years that Children’s has been tracking the NLC Nurse of the Year awards, our nurses have won more than 25 percent of the available titles.

“I’m proud of all four of our winners,” said Hayden-Pugh. “We had over 40 people from Children’s at the banquet to support our nurses, and this year we had physicians in attendance to honor members of their staffs.”

Dr. Philip Hyden, medical director of the Guilds Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Center, attended in support of Leanne Kozub, the coordinator at the Center. Dr. John Gates, director of the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program, was there to support Jocelyn Alsdorf, coordinator of the program. Both nurses received the regional-level award. LuAnn Joy, director, perioperative services, also received an NLC Nurse of the Year award.

Congratulations to the 2013 Nurse of the Year Winners:

Jocelyn Alsdorf



Jocelyn Alsdorf, MSN, RN, CPON *
Advanced Practice
pictured with Daniel Davis, executive director acute care and patient care support





Amanda Flaherty





Amanda M. Flaherty, BSN, RN, RNC-NIC
Clinical Practice
pictured with Randall Guerrero, executive director critical care






LuAnn Joy



LuAnn Joy, BSN, RN, MBA,  NE-BC *
pictured with Daniel Davis, executive director acute care and patient care support





Leanne Kozub




C. Leanne Kozub, BHCA, RN,    CLNC *
pictured with Randall Guerrero, executive director critical care




Madeline Soto



Madeline Soto
Friend of Nursing
pictured with Daniel Davis, executive director acute care and patient care support





* Nursing Leadership Coalition of the Central San Joaquin Valley Nurse of the Year award winners