Accepting the Organization Excellence awards were: (left to right) Vickie Abel, Vice President of Organizational Excellence; Cheryl Verschelde, Quality Coordinator; Samantha Kack, Quality Coordinator and Amy Otten, Quality Coordinator.

Strand, 'Caregiver of the Year'

Avera Marshall Registered Nurse Toni Strand has been presented with the Minnesota Hospital Association’s (MHA) Caregiver of the Year Award. In addition, Avera Marshall received MHA’s Patient Safety Improvement Award.

MHA honored outstanding leaders in health care and innovative programs at its annual awards ceremony. The MHA Caregiver of the Year Award honors a caregiver who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to the delivery of care to patients and their families.

Strand is a Charge Nurse at Avera Marshall. She serves across a wide spectrum of care, including behavioral health, medical/surgical, OB/post-partum, emergency and ICU.

She is in charge of code teams, is a super user for the electronic medical record system, and led Avera Marshall’s medication reconciliation project. She began caregiving at age 16 as a certified nursing assistant, and progressed to LPN and then RN. “Toni is so deserving of this award,” said Dodie Derynck, Avera Marshall Chief Nursing Officer.

“She is engaged, eager to help, supportive and a good problem solver. She customizes her approach in all settings, whether she is caring for a critical care patient or an elderly lady suffering from dementia. She leads by example, serving as a resource and support person for the community of nurses at Avera Marshall who, like herself, wear many hats.”

The MHA Patient Safety Improvement Award recognizes hospitals that have taken extraordinary and innovative steps to make patient safety a top priority throughout the hospital. The award was granted to Avera Marshall for the organization’s work in implementing a daily safety huddle — a standardized approach to identifying and addressing safety issues. Leaders gather for a quick daily meeting, 10 minutes or less, to address safety issues from the previous 24 hours, look ahead for potential issues in the coming 24 hours. And they follow-up on items identified in the previous day’s huddle.

“I’m proud of our team’s work in implementing the daily safety huddle,” said Mary Maertens, Regional President and CEO, Avera Marshall.

Caregiver of the Year Toni Strand

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