During National Nurses Week, Wellstar Health System is celebrating three finalists in Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2021 “Healthcare Heroes” Awards, including two in the Nurse category and one in the Community Outreach category. The awards acknowledge “the outstanding work on the frontlines” of the COVID-19 pandemic during an “exceptional year,” and highlight some of the many healthcare professionals who have created positive impact through their leadership.
Nursing professionals are instrumental in providing expert, compassionate care, no matter the medical circumstance. The 7,300 nurses at Wellstar are valued and vital caregivers for patients, communities, families, and each other, which has been pivotal to navigating the pandemic.
Two of the three finalists in the Nurse category are Wellstar nursing professionals:
• Vicky Hogue, chief nursing officer, Wellstar Paulding Hospital. Hogue’s background as a critical care and ICU nurse has been instrumental in serving as a leader throughout the pandemic and across her 41-year career. Her leadership is noteworthy and marked by Wellstar Paulding Hospital’s recent recognition as a recipient of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Award for performance excellence.
• Nadine Lynch, ICU unit manager, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital. Lynch cares for some of the sickest patients who need extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment for vital blood oxygenation, along with many of the facility’s COVID-19 patients. She knows it’s important to focus on more than just the medical care they need, which is why she is always considering ways to ignite her patients’ passions to meet their mental and emotional needs, which aids the healing process.
Both of these nurse leaders have emphasized that close teamwork and collaboration have helped them to achieve positive impact at Wellstar, with people at the center of everything they do.
The Wellstar finalist in the Community Outreach category is:
• Dr. Shara Wesley, assistant vice president, Community Health and Wellstar Center for Health Equity (WCHE). As a convener of thought leaders, community advocates, and action drivers, Wesley has demonstrated over a distinguished career her commitment to public and community health in nearly every facet of the industry.
The WCHE – an extension of Wellstar’s long history of community engagement and allyship to provide people-centric care – was formed under her leadership to drive lasting change at a grassroots level through activating strategic partnerships with government agencies, businesses, philanthropies, non-profit organizations, academia, and citizens.
Qualifications for the awards are that “the nominee must be: employed in the healthcare industry; based in metro Atlanta; and have at least one year in the nominated position or role, and with the same company.” Finalists were selected from nominations for healthcare professionals across Metro Atlanta that highlighted stories of outstanding work with “passion, expertise, and patient care” over the past year. Entries were judged by a panel of editorial staff members from Atlanta Business Chronicle. Winners of the “Health Care Heroes” awards will be announced and featured in a special section of Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 28.
Last month, Great Place to Work® and Fortune honored Wellstar Health System as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For®, Wellstar’s fourth time on this prestigious list of the best companies to work for in the nation. Wellstar is the only Georgia-based healthcare company included in the 2021 ranking; only two other companies headquartered in Georgia were included in this year’s list.