The Ottumwa Courier

May 6, 2014

MHP employees named among '100 Great Iowa Nurses'

Ottumwa Courier

---- — OSKALOOSA — Mahaska Health Partnership nurses Andrea Hagist, BSN, MSN, of Ottumwa; Michelle Manternach, RN, of Eddyville; and Kerrilyn Nunnikhoven, RN, of Oskaloosa, have been named to the 10th annual listing of “100 Great Iowa Nurses.”

This award recognizes outstanding nurses whose exceptional contributions to patients, colleagues and their profession are truly remarkable. More than 350 nominations from around the state of Iowa were first evaluated by reviewers, and final selection was determined by representatives of the Iowa Hospital Association, Iowa Nurses Association and the Iowa Nurses Foundation. Recipients were honored at a special celebration recognizing National Nurses Week on May 4 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

According to MHP Chief Nursing Officer Darlene Keuning RN, BSN, MS, those chosen for this honor are to be commended for advancing and leading the profession of nursing.

“It is a great affirmation of the skill, quality and compassion of the nursing staff at Mahaska Health Partnership,” Keuning said. “I’m extremely proud that three of our nurses received this independent, external recognition. Our nurses know the value of making health care personal for our patients and visitors, and having three of them recognized for this prestigious honor reaffirms our belief that we have the best nursing staff in the region.”

Hagist currently serves as the director of MHP’s emergency services. She supervises and manages emergency and ambulance services, coordinates emergency preparedness and supervises MHP’s trauma program. She also oversees the medical examiner investigators in Mahaska County.

With more than 20 years as a nurse, Hagist has devoted her career to caring for those in need and improving the quality of care provided by others. She willingly takes on the responsibility and challenge of teaching others and is a leader who is open to questions. She maintains her role as mentor to new nursing directors and is the “go-to” person for many other directors who have questions regarding leadership.

“Andrea’s vast clinical experience, her positive ‘can do’ attitude, her work ethic and her skills as a leader were all contributing factors to this nomination,” Keuning said. “Andrea sees the big picture and dedicates herself in order to ensure our community will continue to have quality healthcare resources close to home.”

Manternach is the surgical services coordinator. She was actively involved in the planning and execution of the department’s move to the new patient care wing. She also continues to make significant contributions to the development of the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) at MHP.

“In three years, Michele has tracked and abstracted over 2,000 cases with a 99 percent success rate of meeting all prescribed criteria with no fallouts,” said MHP Director of Surgical Services Paul Topliff. “The implementation of measures she developed helped improve documentation throughout the patient’s stay, which increases patient safety and reduces post-op surgical complications and infection rates.”

Manternach is often mentioned in patient satisfaction surveys for her care and compassion, and she is an active volunteer both at MHP and in her hometown of Eddyville, organizing and coaching youth sports teams.

Nunnikhoven was a nurse at MHP for more than 34 years, spending her entire career in surgical services. Known for her abundance of compassion and concern for patients and their families, Nunnikhoven was often mentioned in patient satisfaction surveys as a nurse who helped ease the fears and calm the nerves of those she served. During her tenure at the hospital, she saw a lot of technological advancements in the surgery field as well as on the MHP campus.

“She touched the lives of thousands of patients throughout her career, offering top-notch nursing in surgery, as well as comfort and encouragement to patients and their families,” Keuning said. “Kerrilyn’s support of her co-workers made her a wonderful addition to the department, which supports more than 10 surgeons. Kerrilyn recently retired from MHP, but her work ethic and genuine, compassionate nature are examples of what all in health care should aspire to be.”