MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Cinthia La Porte, BSN, RN, was named Loyola University Health System’s Fanchon Knight Nurse of the Year during its annual Nursing Excellence Award Ceremony on Wednesday, May 9. La Porte is the nurse manager of the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center.
“Cindi is deserving of this honor. She takes great pride in her department and in the nurses, physicians and ancillary staff who work with her,” said Sandra Weszelits, RN, LUHS, who nominated La Porte for the award. “She also pitches in to help whenever needed, and she spends countless hours with families who require extra attention."
La Porte has worked at Loyola since she began her career in 1977. As a lifelong pediatrics nurse, she has cared for some of the hospital’s sickest children. La Porte’s colleagues describe her as a skilled leader, clinician, role model, quality champion, collaborator and patient advocate. She also has set up a system in which staff development includes more than just a belief in education and certification, but rather an opportunity to match leadership potential with the needs of the department.
The Fanchon Knight Nurse of the Year Award was established by Knight’s family to support nursing practice and education. Knight passed away in December 2005, after working at Loyola for nearly 30 years in a variety of roles. At the time of her death, she was working with head and neck cancer patients in the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center.
Knight was a consummate role model for her peers. This attribute was apparent when she developed melanoma. During her final days, Knight asked her Cancer Center colleagues to come to her bedside so she could give them a list of her patients’ needs. This commitment to her patients truly defines the attributes of the Nurse of the Year, which is why the award was named in her honor.
“I was friends with Fanchon, so I am privileged to be the first recipient of this award,” La Porte said. “With Fanchon’s legacy, we will continue to make a difference for our patients and their families."
Several other nurses also were recognized for their clinical expertise, leadership, patient advocacy, mentoring or skills as advanced practitioners. The following is a complete list of award winners:
Suzanne Robertazzi, APN – APN
Bridget Gaughan, MS, RN, APN, CIC, CEN – Clinical Expert
Judy McHugh, MSN, RN – Innovator
Tammy Brownlee, LPN – LPN
Barb Pudelek, RN-BC, MSN, ACNP – Nurse Leader
Jennifer Schramm, RN, MSN, OCN – Nurse Leader
Lisa Reif, RN, MSN, CCRN, TNS, TNCC – Patient Advocate
Barbara Haseman, RN – Patient Advocate
Camille Robinson, BSN, RN – Role Model
Mark Byram, RN – Role Model
Christine Mueller, RN, BSN, VA-BC – Role Model
Judith King, RN – Role Model
Stacy Crescenzo, RN – Role Model