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VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System
VA healthcare professionals recognized for service
By By Kevin Hynes
Thursday, May 6, 2021Omaha, Neb. – Four VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System health care professionals were recognized for their significant contributions to providing care to Veterans – which was made even more difficult during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – when they were presented with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Award for Excellence in Nursing, Tuesday, May 4.
Receiving the awards were: Jerrice Taplett, RN, who received the Award for Expanded Registered Nurse Role; Tracy Meling, RN, who received the Award for Staff Registered Nurse Role; Jennifer Goodban, LPN, who received the Award for Licensed Practicing Nurse Role; and Debra Thompson, who received the Award for Nursing Assistant/Health Technician Role.
The awards were part of VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System’s traditional annual observance of National Nursing Week, which is typically celebrated between May 6 – 12 to coincide with Florence Nightingale’s birthday. This year, in light of the incredible impact that the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has had upon the nursing field, the observance has been extended to become National Nursing Month.
Eileen Kingston, VA NWIHCS associate director for Patient Care, said this year’s commemoration is particularly meaningful considering all that VA nurses were called upon to do over the past 12 months.
“We truly moved mountains this year,” Kingston said, referring to the VA NWIHCS nursing response to the COVID-19 pandemic while also continue to provide care to the region’s Veterans. “COVID was a very scary thing at the beginning, but you continued to provide care for our Veterans.”
“Thank you for your leadership and your care of these Veterans,” she added. “I just can’t be any prouder of each and every one of you.”
Of the four recipients, three work at the Omaha VA Medical Center, while the fourth works at the new VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Lincoln.