Contact: Daniel Murphy
Release: August 2009
Moon Twp., PA (August 13, 2009)
– Heritage Valley Health System is pleased to announce the 2009 recipients of the Cameos of Caring Awards Program. The Cameos of Caring Award honors exceptional bedside nurses who work in acute care hospitals. This year’s winners from Heritage Valley are Maria Rexroad from the Pediatric Unit and Community Health Services (Pediatric Asthma Program) at Heritage Valley Beaver and Desiree Dunn, RN from the Progressive Care Unit at Heritage Valley Sewickley.
A resident of Rochester, Maria Rexroad, has been a nurse for 33 years and is a diploma graduate of St Francis Hospital School of Nursing in New Castle, PA. She sets an example for her love and passion of nursing and patient care in many ways.
Maria has been part of Heritage Valley Health System’s Pediatric Asthma program since its inception in 1998. As part of the Community Health Services Programs at Heritage Valley, the Pediatric Asthma program goals are to improve quality of life in children with asthma. Maria has been passionate about and instrumental in the success of this program and has improved patient care for children with asthma. Through this program, Maria and her team have been successful in reducing the number of emergency department visits, the number of days missed from school and work, and the number of inpatient admissions.
As a young girl, Maria dreamed of becoming a teacher. Maria states, “Not a day goes by that I do not have the opportunity to educate my patients at perhaps one of the most vulnerable and stressful period of their lives. I can make a difference by the way I act and care for them. I am a teacher in every sense of the word.”
A resident of Hopewell, Desiree Dunn, RN has been a nurse for 31 years and is an ADN graduate of Community College of Beaver County. Desiree began her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse from 1978 to 2003 and then pursued further education to become an RN. She is the first and only RN on progressive care unit to obtain her PCCN (Progressive Care Certified Nurse) and is a member of AACN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses).
Her passion in nursing has been through education. She is a mentor, a preceptor, and a resource nurse. She works with nursing students often and has helped forge the character and values of students and new graduates. Desiree has also taught educational in-services for staff members on stroke and dementia, and has assisted in the development of protocols for chest and feeding tubes.
In addition to education, Desiree is a true and effective patient advocate. Desiree states, “I believe it is essential to listen to our patients’ thoughts. It is important to try to understand their inner turmoil and to be compassionate about their healthcare needs.” Desiree’s commitment to education, her excellence in nursing care, her professionalism, and leadership makes her a role model for the profession of nursing.