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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Honors Seven with Nursing Excellence Awards

Taylorville Memorial Hospital honored seven of its registered nurses with nursing excellence awards.

Geri Kirkbride, a registered nurse and the director of quality, safety and compliance, received the nonprofit hospital’s first Florence Nightingale Legacy Award, which is awarded to a nurse whose legacy has and will continue to shape patient care for years to come.

With 40 years of experience in nursing and nursing administration, Kirkbride has worked at Memorial Health System since 1983. She has shaped patient care at Taylorville Memorial Hospital at the bedside, in leadership, through education and research. 155 

Kirkbride completed her doctorate in 2014 through the University of Iowa. Her research interests include patient safety and organizational systems.

Six other Taylorville Memorial Hospital registered nurses were honored in May.

  • Heather Alwerdt received the Pathways to Excellence Well-Being Award, which celebrates a nurse’s contribution to the well-being of fellow nurses and clinical staff, promoting a balance between work and personal life. Alwerdt has worked within Memorial Health System since 2002, transferring to the Emergency Department at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, where she is a charge nurse and a preceptor for new employees. Alwerdt has led efforts promoting employee health, such as a softball game, yoga, volleyball and nature walks.
  • Pamela “Sue” Benton received the Pathways to Excellence Safety and Quality Award, which celebrates a nurse’s effort to prioritize both patient and nurse safety. She has been a nurse for 25 years, serving in the Emergency Department at Taylorville Memorial Hospital since 2005. Benton participated in several quality measure projects that helped to promote an environment focused on safety and improving patient outcomes.
  • Tori Donaldson received the Professional Development Award. Donaldson came to the Acute Care unit in 2019 after graduating from nursing school. She took quick initiative to represent Taylorville Memorial Hospital at the Memorial Health System Wound and Skin Champions monthly meeting. As a new grad nurse, Donaldson also participated in the Memorial Health System nurse residency program, where she was part of a project that improved patient hand hygiene.
  • Anna LeVault received the Pathways to Excellence Shared Decision-Making Award. Since 2007, LeVault has served in the Surgery department at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, where she is a circulator and a member of the Surgery UBC and TMH Shared Governance committees. LeVault assists with duties outside of the operating room as well, which includes data collection for quality improvement in surgery.
  • Morgan McWhorter received the Pathways to Excellence Leadership Award. McWhorter has served as the main outpatient infusion nurse at Taylorville Memorial Hospital for about one year. McWhorter juggles patient care needs while helping develop processes, build policies and market the department.

Cassandra Peat received the Pathways to Excellence Well-Being Award. Peat has worked within Memorial Health System since 2007, starting at Memorial Medical Center as a tech, graduating in 2011 with her nursing degree and transferring in 2012 to the Emergency Department at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, where she is a charge nurse and an instructor for new employees. Peat has led efforts promoting employee health, such as a softball game, yoga, volleyball and nature walks.

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