Nurses have always served patients and communities on the frontlines of healthcare, but the COVID-19 pandemic this year has put the spotlight on their extraordinary contributions.
A handful of special nurses from across the Twin Cities were honored for those contributions during the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards ceremony on Oct. 23.
We’re proud to announce that eight M Health Fairview representatives were named March of Dimes Nurse of the Year award winners, another earned a special Nurse Legacy distinction, while 23 more were recognized as finalists. M Health Fairview had more combined winners and finalists than any other health system in Minnesota, with Nurse of the Year finalists spanning 15 categories, including leadership, oncology, and diversity and advocacy.
The March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards honor nurses for their outstanding work and compassionate care. Each year, nurses are nominated by peers, family, or friends. Finalists and winners are then selected by a team of qualified nurses.
Our winners include Nurse Midwife Ann Forster Page, DNP, APRN, CNM, FACNM, who won the Distinguished Nurse of the Year Award. While this year has brought on unprecedented challenges, her passion for nursing remains strong. “What gives me hope during this time is watching how all members of the healthcare team have come together for patients and for each other,” Forster Page said.
Scroll down for a full list of winners and finalists from our system.
Ruth Conoryea, Mental Health Award
“I am passionate about reducing the stigma and shame around nurses who suffer from Substance Use Disorder. I encourage nurses to come out of hiding and have led groups of nurses to support each other through the Nurses Peer Support Network for the last six years.”
Michael Petty, Advanced Practice Award
“For me, nursing is about helping the whole patient and those around them to be as successful as possible in maintaining and regaining health. My passion is in working with patients, nurses, teams, and systems to develop strategies to support that vision.”
Brianna Fedde, General Care Award
“I am passionate about building the future of nursing by being a mentor and a resource for all nurses – as well as learning from them. I like to have the mindset of ‘our’ patients rather than ‘my’ patients and work together as a team to take care of all patients.”
Danyel Downs, Rising Star Award
“Being a patient is tough, and being the family member of a patient is tough. I am passionate about making that experience just a little less hard and providing a little light at the end of the tunnel.”
Ryan Ruzicka, Friend to Nursing Award
“Although I am not a nurse, I am passionate about my role in Quality & Patient Safety because of the opportunity I have to partner with nurses and other healthcare professionals to build our internal processes and improve patient safety. Nurses are a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the hospital and I am inspired by the dedication and compassion they have toward their patients and their families.”
Maria Raines, Leadership Award
“Nursing for me is a calling to always provide the best and most compassionate care for those that seek it. As a nurse, I have been honored to share the most personal and vulnerable moments with patients and families. I know that I have made an impact in their lives as I provide support, healing and my nursing skills.”
Ann Forster Page, Distinguished Nurse of the Year Award
“The reason I was drawn to nursing and midwifery is the same reason that drives my passion in the work I do now. I believe all people deserve safe, individualized healthcare where they feel heard and respected and are able to fully participate in their care decisions.”
Leah Chapman, Critical Care Award
*Leah was recognized for her contributions within our system and has recently relocated to the West Coast.
In addition to our Nurse of the Year honorees, former M Health Fairview nurse Deb Hurd was honored with the Nurse Legacy Award, which is presented to a nurse who has dedicated their life to elevating the nursing profession. Hurd, who recently retired as vice president of nursing practice and clinical excellence, has been a nurse for 43 years, including 20 years within our healthcare system.
“My grandmother was a nurse, and I grew up listening to her stories. I knew at a very early age that I wanted to be part of something that served patients and brought such joy to those that served,” said Deb.
Here are the M Health Fairview finalists for this year’s March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards:
Ann Forster Page
Diversity & Advocacy
Education & Research
Friend to Nursing
Innovative & Non-Traditional Nursing
Mary McMahon Bullis