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Twenty-five nurses from throughout northeastern Wisconsin were recognized for their many accomplishments at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s 18th annual Nightingale Dinner held May 5 in the Reeve Memorial Union Ballroom.

At the banquet, sponsored by the College of Nursing and the Board of Visitors and with the support of regional healthcare organizations, six of the 25 nominees were honored with Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Practice.

Each recipient received $1,000 and a piece of commissioned art work representing the spirit of Florence Nightingale. They are as follows:

Lisa Ebert, trauma case coordinator for Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, serves as a lead instructor for National Child Passenger Safety Certification for Wisconsin. She has been an injury prevention speaker at many conferences, including the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference and the Wisconsin EMS-C Conference. Since 1993, she has volunteered as coordinator and speaker for Wausau’s Think First, a program that focuses on head and spinal injury prevention.

Barbara Grunwald, a staff nurse and night charge nurse at St. Joseph Residence in New London, distinguishes herself as a strong patient advocate, raising questions about the rationale for special treatments or the timing of a procedure. She spends extra time with patients — just to hold their hands or to watch a Packers game with them — demonstrating her deep care not only for patients’ physical health, but also their emotional wellbeing.

Amanda Kane, a registered nurse for St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, has served as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) since 2005, educating and emergency department staff and training new SANE nurses. As part of her work, Kane works with detectives and legal professionals who prosecute sex crimes. Her positive attitude, exceptional care and compassion, and clear communication are a tremendous asset to her patients and those who call upon her to testify at preliminary hearings and trials.

Matthew Mangan, a nurse clinician II at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, has an obvious gift for understanding and empathizing with mentally ill individuals. He was recruited to work at the institute following a clinical at its children’s unit. Mangan is a board-certified psychiatric nurse, a crisis prevention management trainer and an expert in de-escalating and safe take-down techniques. Following an experience whereupon he encountered a motor vehicle crash, Mangan is inspired to pursue duties as a volunteer EMT and a military psychiatric nurse.

Lynn Rinzel, who works in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at St. Agnes Hospital, has developed an intuitive sense over the past 40 years, allowing her to intervene early and effectively. Operating from a holistic perspective, Rinzel embraces life-long learning and uses her vast knowledge to treat a patient’s body, psyche and spirit. She also serves on the hospital’s Mission Effectiveness Committee.

Rosemary Wittchow, who works with the surgery department at Ripon Medical Center, began her career as a CAN in 1965. Thirty-seven years later — and with an LNP credential to her name — she still has the same enthusiasm as her first day. Wittchow embraces the role of teacher and student, serving as a mentor for many new RNs and surgical technicians and also embracing every opportunity to learn new techniques and technology.

See more photos from the 2010 Nightingale Dinner.

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