In celebration of National Nurses Week, Winter Haven Hospital, Inc., honored 33 Nurses of the Year, and from those, recognized four Nurses of Excellence. Each honored unit nurse was selected by their peers and chosen from every patient care unit from Winter Haven Hospital and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital. The regional BayCare Professional Practice Council, comprised of staff nurses from BayCare facilities in Polk County, then chose the four Nurses of Excellence from the group of unit-based Nurse of the Year honorees.
Nominations for these awards are based on how each nurse demonstrates and consistently reflects the BayCare values of trust, respect, dignity, responsibility and excellence. This year’s Nurses of Excellence are: Susan Jantomaso, Stacey Miller, Brittany Varner and Chase Varner.
Susan Jantomaso, RN, CAPA, a pre-op surgical nurse, began her nursing career in 1993 and began working at Winter Haven Hospital in May of the same year. She graduated from Brockton Hospital School of Nursing in Brockton, Massachusetts and is certified in Ambulatory Post Anesthesia nursing. She feels that she was born to be a caregiver and desired to work in the medical field at an early age. Her co-workers say, “Susan is an advocate for her patients and takes special care to preserve the dignity of her elderly patients; she makes sure to do whatever she can to decrease her patient’s anxieties…. Susan is thorough with care assessments.” Susan has worked in several different fields of nursing since beginning her career including neuroscience, home health, pediatrics, and now in the surgical field.
Stacey Miller, RN, a cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) nurse, began working at Winter Haven Hospital in January of 2013 after graduating from Polk State College. She is currently enrolled at Polk State College in the bachelors of science in nursing. She was inspired to become a nurse after attending her sister-in-law’s labor and delivery and watching the care she received from dedicated nurses. Her colleagues stated, “She has grown in her leadership skills. She is proactive in dealing with her patients. She is a great example for all on our unit and is not afraid to hold others accountable to maintain the standards of CVICU and BayCare.” Stacey serves as her unit’s safety chair, and does unit audits.
Brittany Varner, BSN, RN, a medical intensive care unit (MICU) nurse, began her nursing career at Winter Haven Hospital in 2012 as a nurse tech. She graduated in May of 2013 from Polk State College with her bachelors of science in nursing. Brittany was inspired to become a nurse because she knew it was a career course that would allow for each day to be different. Her co-workers called her “a nurse of excellence …. [who] delivers extremely high quality care with a true since of virtue. She holds herself to a set of standards that exceed (excellence).” Varner is known to hospital staff as an advocate for her patients.
Chase Varner, RN, a surgical intensive care nurse, began his nursing career four years ago at Winter Haven Hospital. He will complete his bachelors of science in nursing from Polk State College in August of this year. He was inspired to become a nurse because of the vast opportunities in the field and he said his decision was sealed when he began ICU clinicals. Throughout his career, Varner has earned the respect and admiration of his co-workers. His peers describe him as “an amazing nurse who listens to his patients, is multi-talented, and goes above and beyond for his patients and their families.” He is always willing to lend a helping hand and handles his role as a charge nurse well.
“We are fortunate to have caring, skilled and dedicated nurses to serve our patients and families,” said Carol Koeppel-Olsen, chief nursing officer for BayCare hospitals in Polk County. “Congratulations to our Nurses of Excellence, and all of the Unit Nurses of the Year that were nominated by their peers.”
The 2017 Nurses of the Year for Winter Haven Hospital and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital are:
• Amber Ward, Cardiovascular OR
• James Martinez, Endoscopy
• Lourdes Williams-Correa, Operating Room
• Stephen McNally, Post-Acute Care
• Lea Herring, Day Surgery
• Donys Hill, Outpatient Behavioral Health
• Samantha Walker, Adult Behavioral Health
• Candace Allmand, Nursing Rehab
• Allison Godoski, Emergency Department
• Bobbie Cox, nursing float
• Marsha Mullis, Labor & Delivery
• Holly Wunker, Neonatal Intensive Care
• Tanya Jones, Mother/Baby
• Jacqueline Kalogridis, Cardiac Medical Acute Multi-Care
• Crystal Waters, Dialysis
• Ashleigh Broadus, Infusion Center
• Lacy Bailey, Medical-Surgical-Telemetry
• Fatima Martin, Medical-Surgical
• Regan Bacolod, Neurology
• Melissa Bonds, Oncology
• Jennifer Giacin, Orthopedics
• Janice Louise West, Cardiac Catheterization Lab
• Serena Cisneros, Catheterization Lab Prep and Recovery
• Emel Sibaja, Cardiac Intensive Care
• Maritsa Saucedo, Cardiac Surgical
• Mia Jameson, Cardiac Rehab
• Emily Roberts, Cardiovascular Telemetry
• Caren Garcia, IV Team
• Duliana Reece, Interventional Radiology
• Chase Varner, Surgical Intensive Care
• Stacey Miller, Cardiovascular Intensive Care
• Susan Jantomaso, Pre-op Surgical
• Brittany Varner, Medical Intensive Care
About Winter Haven Hospital, Inc.
Winter Haven Hospital, Inc. located in Winter Haven, Florida, includes a 468-bed acute care hospital and a 61-bed obstetric hospital, respectively referred to as Winter Haven Hospital and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital. Winter Haven Hospital, Inc. joined the BayCare Health System in August 2013. Winter Haven Hospital was founded in 1926, and today concentrates in the treatment of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and behavioral health. The hospital also provides emergency care; outpatient diabetes education; endoscopy services; neurological, orthopedic and in-patient rehabilitation; outpatient surgery; and imaging services. The Women’s Hospital opened in 1987 and specializes in maternity services, neonatal care, women’s surgery, and breast health. For more information, call (863) 293-1121 or visit BayCare.org/whh.
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 13 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information visit www.baycare.org.