MAYWOOD, Ill. (May 18, 2015) – Marilyn Parker, RN, was named Loyola University Health System’s Fanchon Knight Nurse of the Year during its annual Nurse Excellence Award Ceremony on Wednesday, May 6. Parker, who has worked at Loyola for 39 years, was honored for her leadership skills and her exceptional care of patients and colleagues.
Parker works in Loyola’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. Her colleagues who nominated her noted that she is a role model who has helped other nurses and patient-care technicians grow professionally over the years. They also reported that she has genuine warmth and an amazing sense of humor that she uses when caring for patients or when helping staff.
“If you ask anyone who has worked with Marilyn, they would certainly agree that she demonstrates the qualities that many strive to achieve in their career,” said Janet Palutsis, BSN, RN, manager, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center clinics, who nominated Marilyn for this award.
The Fanchon Knight Nurse of the Year Award was established by Knight’s family to support nursing practice and education. Knight was a beloved nurse who 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 caring for head and neck cancer patients in the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center.
Parker worked with Knight and was among the nurses who cared for her when she became ill.
“It took my breath away when I saw Fanchon’s name on the award,” Parker said. “Fanchon was a very special person. She was an exceptional nurse who loved her profession like no one I have ever seen before. This is an incredible honor to be selected among all of the incredible nurses I have worked with for an award that carries on Fanchon’s legacy.”
Several other nurses were recognized at the awards ceremony for being clinical experts, leaders, innovators, patient advocates, community servants, mentors, role models or skilled advanced practitioners. The following is a complete list of award winners:
- Lucy Bensfield – Coach/Mentor
- Nancy Coppin – Nurse Leader
- Lisa Coy – Clinical Expert
- Carol McDonald – Team Player
- Melissa Kierkowski – Innovator
- Julie Marks – APN
- Jeanne Mueller – Community Contributor
- Patricia Scafuri – Patient Advocate
- Elizabeth Szydlo – Role Model
- Maria Carmen Galvan (Carmen) – Operating Room Nurse of the Year