Climbing the Ladder

Nurses climb clinical ladder8689PACENurses

Twelve nurses recently completed SAMC's clinical ladder program. The Professional Advancement in Clinical Excellence (PACE) program is an annual development program available to all bedside nurses.

The program objectives are:

  •  Offer professional growth and increased satisfaction for the nurse
  •  Recognize and reward clinical expertise and excellence
  •  Recruit and retain highly skilled nurses
  •  Improve patient outcomes

Those completing the program, and the level achieved, include: (front row, from left) Charlotte Carter, 6E, Level 2; Kysha Howard, 7E, Level 2; Lana Moseley, 6E, Level 3; (second row) Debora Guice, 6E, Level 2; Stefanie Kincey, 7E, Level 1; Betty Lee, 6E, Level 2; Cynthia Hinson, 3C, Level 2; Mitzi Trawick, Family Birth, Level 1; (back row) Michelle Summerlin, 6E, Level 2; and Cathy Vance, 3C, Level 2.

Not pictured are Jenifer Schneider, 7E, Level 1, and Lou Worley, 6E, Level 2.

SAMMY Nominees

SAMMY awards recognize employees who consistently demonstrate excellence at SAMC. The SAMMY serves as our employee recognition program and is held annually at the Dothan Civic Center. The winter 2013 nominations for the award were announced in January.

Natalie Leighty, Radiation Oncology

Natalie is a compassionate nurse who after accepting the new position of8157NatalieLeighty120x150 research nurse at Southeast Cancer Center, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

As a patient and nurse, she made it her mission to make sure every patient she worked with knew that someone shared their plight. She shared her story, becoming the inspiration many cancer patients need. After undergoing chemotherapy, Natalie started giving Hallmark cards to all those who needed a pick-me-up. She spoke directly to one patient who wanted to discontinue treatment, convincing her to change her mind.

Because of her own personal struggles, Natalie is a powerful voice for SAMC's cancer care program.

Cheryl Holland, Anesthesia

Cheryl approached her supervisor one day thinking she was in trouble.8892CherylHolland120x150 She confessed that she had given money to a dialysis patient who had come to surgery to declot a graft. Cheryl was the patient's nurse anesthetist and learned he did not have the money to buy gas to get to the dialysis clinic. Cheryl was worried that her selfless act of caring and compassion would get her in trouble.

Instead, it makes those who work with her very proud. Cheryl has continued to further her education from RN to nurse practitioner to CRNA. She also mentors other CRNA students and is always quick to work holidays so fellow team members can be home with their small children.

Victoria March, Behavioral Health Services

Victoria has significant medical problems yet she is patient and compassionate on the job.8155VictoriaMarch120x150 As a technician, Victoria sometimes must deal with difficult patients. She always approaches them with kindness and respect.

She is also a positive role model in the community. She is the neighborhood mom who takes care of other children, making sure they have a ride to their after school activities. She opens her home to these children on the weekends and gives them fresh-baked cookies and other treats. She brings canned goods to SAMC and puts it in the lounge for anyone who needs food.

She also supplies helpful items for patients who have no family members.

GAITRite System

New carpet measures movement

The Neuromuscular and Balance Center has a new 16-foot electronic walkway7810GAITRiteVictoriaErinLizzie that helps analyze a patient's gait or the movement of limbs when they walk.

The GAITRite System measures timing and distance of footprints to identify abnormal gait patterns that can suggest problems in walking. A normal gait pattern is essential for maintaining independence and preventing falls in older adults.

The Center, located inside Rehab Services, is the first physical therapy facility in the state to acquire this unique system used to compare gait before and after therapy.

"For many patients, it is an awareness," said Victoria Light-Whitehead of GAITRite Systems. "This technology helps us give them an ambulation score that helps us justify treatment and allows the patient to set a goal."

The electronic pathway contains more than 13,000 sensors that capture every7820GAITRiteDemoLizzie footfall in real time on any computer. The system uses software that allows for multiple reports and analyses. The data is valuable in assessing patients with Parkinson's disease, a brain tumor, spinal cord injury and more. When patients undergo therapy to improve balance and walking, it decreases their risk of falls.

For more information on the services offered by the Neuromuscular and Balance Center, call Erin Keefer in Rehab Services at 334-793-8961.