Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
09:45 AM

Friends of Nursing Awards Honor Lehigh Valley Health Network Nurses and Other Caregivers

Nurses are present on life’s most difficult days – and its most joyous ones. They use their voices to teach, lead, heal and encourage. At the 2018 Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Friends of Nursing awards program, held May 3 at the ArtsQuest Center at Steel Stacks™ in Bethlehem, we elevated the voices of nurses and honored the ways they excel as professionals in patient care.

Special guest was documentary director and author Carolyn Jones, whose work, The American Nurse, explores many facets of professional nursing and the “why” behind nurses’ dedication to their patients and profession.

Several nurses were featured in videos exploring their work in specific areas: as a hospice nurse, a nurse preceptor, an intensive care unit nurse and more.



Colleen Bolks, RN, Emergency Department, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, recipient, Edward and Anne Davis Award for Excellence as a Nurse Preceptor:

“I can help the new ER nurse feel confident in a world that is very scary at times, it’s very high intensity, and I help them form that confidence in themselves. The first words I always tell them is, ‘You’re never alone.’”




April Gheller, RN, Infusion Center, Health Center at Bangor, recipient, Advanced Practice Clinician Award:

“We had an elderly patient who needed to receive a daily antibiotic infusion, so this would be seven days a week, once a day for them. Monday through Friday we were able to accommodate the scheduled appointment at the Health Center at Bangor, but on Saturdays and Sundays, only our Cedar Crest location was open. I felt that if I was able to open up on the weekend for them, then I could do that and make the drive eight miles versus the 20 to 30 miles that they would commute on a Saturday and Sunday to Cedar Crest. I wanted to do anything I could that would alleviate stress or added stress when one is going through such a difficult situation.”


Louise Hunter, RN, Hospice, recipient, The Dr. Fred Fister Award for Excellence in Hospice Nursing:

“It is such an honor to be with someone when they are dying. If somebody asked you to be in the delivery room when they’re having a baby, you know what an honor that is. It’s just as much an honor to be with somebody when they are dying. That is just as much a transition to another world as a birth is, and it needs to be recognized as such.”



Jennifer Mulligan, RN, Intensive Care Unit, LVH–Muhlenberg, recipient Award for Excellence in Critical Care Nursing:

“You can make such a huge difference from life support to going home within a few days and really see the impact that you make. There’s always a new way to revise a current practice to make it better. Evidence-based nursing is always changing.”

The Friends of Nursing awards program kicks off National Nurses Week 2018 at LVHN. For more than 30 years, Lehigh Valley Health Network has recognized outstanding professional nursing practice through the Friends of Nursing awards program. This year, dozens of nurses, nursing units and other health care professionals were again honored at the annual Friends of Nursing Celebration, an annual event which is attended by hundreds of LVHN nursing professionals.

The following is a complete list of 2018 Friends of Nursing award recipients:

Advanced Practice Clinician Award

April Gheller, Health Center at Bangor

Hometown: Bangor

Award for Professional Nursing Certification – Department Greater Than 15 Staff Members

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, LVH–Cedar Crest

The Tewari Family Award for Professional Nursing Certification – Department Less Than 15 Staff Members

Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) Team

Trauma Nursing Award

Lori Karol – Transitional Trauma Unit

Hometown: Allentown

Professional Excellence Council Physician Friends of Nursing Award

Dr. Richard Kolesky – Allentown Anesthesia Associates

Hometown: Bethlehem

The Kim Jordan Transformational Leadership Award

Kay Werhun – Population Health

Hometown: Easton

The Cancer Institute Leadership Council Excellence in Cancer Care Award

Nicole Grossmann – Infusion Center, LVH–Muhlenberg

Hometown: Coopersburg

John M. Eisenberg, MD, Award for Excellence as a Student Nurse

Chelsea Lombardi – Cedar Crest College

Hometown: Effort, Pa.

Award for Excellence in Critical Care Nursing

Jennifer Mulligan – ICU, LVH–Muhlenberg

Hometown: Bangor

The Medical Staff Administrative Partner Awards

Denise Lenner – 7K

Hometown: Allentown

April Meyers – 6K

Hometown: Hellertown

The Medical Staff Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Patient Care

Amanda Reese – Patient Transport

Hometown: Allentown

The Medical Staff Technical Partner Awards

Karen Beadencup – Float Pool, LVH–Cedar Crest

Hometown: Topton

Christa Deily – 5T

Hometown: Whitehall

The Dr. Fred Fister Award for Excellence in Hospice Nursing

Louise Hunter – Hospice

Hometown: Allentown

Joseph and Judith Kaminski Award for Excellence as a Float Nurse

Jaclyn Goffredo – Float Pool, LVH–Muhlenberg

Hometown: Bangor

Award for Excellence as a Case Manager

Beth Budick – Case Management

Hometown: Emmaus

The Keri Fegley Suchy Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Ambulatory Care

Cheryl Bothwell – LVPG Urology

Hometown: Easton

Award for Excellence as a Pharmacist

Joseph Ottinger – Pharmacy, LVH–Cedar Crest

Hometown: Allentown

The Bill and Nancy Mason Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Rehabilitation Services

Brian Smith – Rehabilitative Services

Hometown: Quakertown

Josephine Ritz Nursing Award for Excellence in Patient and Family Engagement

Kathleen Newhall – Population Health

Hometown: Northampton

The Fleming Nursing Caring Awards

Lisa Forstburg – Open Heart Unit, LVH–Cedar Crest

Hometown: Macungie

Kimberly Bartman – 4K

Hometown: Boyertown

The Fleming Award to Recognize New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements

Eric Heck, Michael Pechulis and Sara Schwalm – Rehabilitative Services

The Fleming Award for Exemplary Performance Associated with the Nurse Residency Program

Tiffany Achenbach – 5T/7C

Hometown: Auburn, Pa.

Edward and Anne Davis Award for Excellence as a Nurse Preceptor

Colleen Bolks – Emergency Department, LVH–Cedar Crest

Hometown: Coopersburg

Edward and Anne Davis Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing

Dana Zindell – Perioperative Float Pool

Hometown: Bethlehem

The Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Nursing

Marsha Kvacky – Cardiovascular Recovery Holding Area, LVH–Muhlenberg

Hometown: Bath

The Medical-Surgical Nursing Award

Kristina Rosario – 4K

Hometown: Allentown

M.G. Asnani, MD, Award for Excellence in Pediatric Nursing

Michele Dzomic – Children’s Cancer Center and Multipurpose Infusion Center

Hometown: Danielsville, Pa.

Psychiatric Nursing Award

Maureen T. Bamert – Behavioral Health

Hometown: Breinigsville

The Legal Services/Risk Management Award for Exemplary Care and Professionalism

In a Critical and Challenging Situation

Heather Adams – Staffing

Hometown: Saylorsburg, Pa.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network Board of Trustees Patient Satisfaction Award

for Ambulatory Services

Breast Health Services at LVH–Cedar Crest, LVH–Muhlenberg and Health Center at Trexlertown

Senior Management Patient Satisfaction Award for Inpatient Care

Trauma Neuro Intensive Care Unit