Heritage Valley Health System Announces Cameos of Caring Awardees

Heritage Valley Health System congratulates the Health System’s 2020 Cameos of Caring Awardees, Darby Hupp, RN, Cardiopulmonary Unit, Heritage Valley Beaver; Rich Pongratz, RN, Emergency Department, Heritage Valley Kennedy; and Sara Manfredi, RN, Progressive Care Unit, Heritage Valley Sewickley. The Cameo of Caring Program & Awards was established in 1999 in keeping with the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing’s commitment to the advancement and promotion of the nursing profession.

The Cameos of Caring Awards honors exceptional bedside nurses who work in acute care hospitals. Recipients must demonstrate a commitment to consistent, evidence-based clinical decision-making and excellence in nursing care; serve as an effective advocate for patients and their families; encourage and motivate others, and be recognized as a role model for the profession of nursing; practice nursing involving direct patient care; be a licensed RN and be a direct employee of the hospital.

Darby Hupp, RN works in the Cardiopulmonary Unit at Heritage Valley Beaver hospital. 

Darby finds that the most satisfying part of her career is having a role in improving a person’s life. She has learned to take time at the beginning of a shift for each patient -- to get to know them, assess their condition, pass medications and talk with them about their goals for the day and plan of care. Darby has been part of the COVID-19 Unit during the pandemic.  “As the pandemic unfolded and the idea of the nurse as a hero emerged, it initially made me very uncomfortable,” said Darby.  “Truly though, this year every nurse on the front lines deserves to be recognized for the sacrifices they made and the risks they took to their own health.”     

Rich Pongratz, RN, is a nurse in the Emergency Department at Heritage Valley Kennedy hospital.

Energetic, compassionate and dedicated, Rich proactively provides a high level of care to all his patients. He is a preceptor to nursing students and a nurse that his peers rely on for guidance and support. Rich is motivated to deliver high-quality care and to treat all patients as he would want his family to be treated. “As a nurse, you get to be hands-on, frontline, especially in the Emergency Department,” said Rich. “It’s rewarding to see people feeling better than when they first arrived.”  


Sara Manfredi, RN, is a nurse in the Progressive Care Unit at Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital. For nearly ten years, Sara has practiced the highest level of clinical judgment and critical thinking to ensure quality care is provided to patients. Her telemetry and stroke knowledge is invaluable to her department and peers. As a preceptor, Sara mentors graduate nurses and is a consistent source of knowledge, kindness, patience, and encouragement. “The most satisfying part of being a nurse is watching a patient’s recovery and knowing that I aided in that,” said Sara. “It’s such a fulfilling feeling to know that you are helping someone get better.”  

“Heritage Valley is fortunate to have highly skilled and dedicated nurses at all of our locations,” said Linda Homyk, MSN, BSN, RN, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Patient Care Services at Heritage Valley Health System. “Darby, Rich, and Sara are excellent nurses who are committed to patient care and promoting the nursing profession. We’re proud to have them as Cameos of Caring awardees.”

Darby, Rich and Sara were honored at a virtual celebration on March 6, 2021. Congratulations to these healthcare heroes who deliver the highest quality care to our community each and every day!


About Heritage Valley Health System

Heritage Valley Health System is a $535 million integrated delivery network providing comprehensive health care for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with 3,800 employees and more than 600 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical, and diagnostic services at its three hospitals: Heritage Valley Sewickley, Heritage Valley Beaver, and Heritage Valley Kennedy; in 55 physician offices; and more than 21 community satellite facilities.  For more information about Heritage Valley Health System, please visit www.heritagevalley.org.