St. Catherine of Siena award winners
Each year, Via Christi recognizes nurses for their outstanding work with awards named for the patron saint of nurses, St. Catherine of Siena. Winners are registered nurses or licensed practical nurses in Via Christi’s Wichita ministry locations, and may be nominated by patients, patient families or co-workers.
An overall St. Catherine Award is presented, as well as awards for each of Via Christi’s three Core Values: Human Dignity, Stewardship and Excellence. A new-to-nursing award is presented to an exceptional nurse who has practiced for two years or less.
The following nurses were honored during the 2013 St. Catherine of Siena awards ceremony.
Nurse Recognition Award - Keisha Humphries, RN, MSN, OCN, Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis
Human Dignity Award - Elizabeth Hedges, RN, Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis
Excellence Award - Kalen Dusek, RN, Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis
Stewardship Award - Michele Hemberger, RN, BSN, Via Christi Hospital on Harry
New-to-Nursing Award - Polycarp Mochama, LPN, Via Christi Village on McLean
Nurse Recognition Award
Keisha Humphries, RN, MSN, OCN, Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis, has been named as the 2013 St. Catherine of Siena Nurse Recognition Award recipient, as the Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita nurse who best represents the Via Christi Core Values of Human Dignity, Stewardship and Excellence.
Humphries is the service line administrator for Oncology, overseeing radiation and bone marrow transplant, outreach and prevention services and managing the Wichita Community Clinical Oncology Program. As one of 68 CCOPs nationwide sponsored and funded by the National Cancer Institute, Wichita CCOP brings national clinical trials to central Kansas.
Humphries' mission of improving patient care for cancer parents and doing whatever she can to help find new treatments is driven by personal experience.
When a beloved uncle was hospitalized with cancer in Dayton, Ohio — while she was still in nursing school — his cancer journey and the oncology nurses caring for him were the inspiration for her career choice. She's spent her entire 20-year nursing career working with cancer patients, joining Via Christi's staff in 1998. She's been in her current position since last year.
When she realized being a research nurse would mean making a difference in cancer treatments, she went back to school to get a bachelor's degree so she could be involved in clinical trials. She's played an instrumental role in Wichita CCOP's high patient and physician participation rate — among the highest nationally.
Her dream of creating even more patient-centered care through having survivors help develop programs has come to fruition in the past few months with two Patient Advocacy Boards — a result of a capstone project while finishing her master's degree in health care leadership this spring.
"They tell us their stories so that we can create programs to help others in the community who are getting ready to start their fight,” Humphries said.
It's a program her staff is excited about.
"It is going to make a monumental difference in our care for oncology patients because these (former) patients have a voice,” said Maggie Ward, RN. “This (effort) is a benchmark for the Via Christi system.”