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Nurses clapping and being recognized

Nursing Excellence Awards

Nurses are the key to our outstanding patient care.

EvergreenHealth's annual Nursing Excellence Awards recognize exceptional registered nurses who have performed beyond expectations and who have contributed to nursing as a profession. 

Individuals are nominated by their peers, and award recipients are selected by nursing managers and supervisors. They are honored during our Nurses Week celebration in May.

2022 Recipients

Rebecca Houghton

Behavioral Health

Focuses their work on health and wellness promotion through identification, prevention, care and treatment of individuals with mental health, addictive and behavioral health needs.

Rebecca Houghton, RN, BSN

"Rebecca is intuitive in her understanding of her patients, their families and their needs. She supports and educates both patients and families because she treats patients and their support network as one unit. She teaches and inspires all of her co-workers with her advocacy for the mental health wellness of our patients. We are so lucky to be able to work with her."

Darlene Grinde

Clinical Practice

Practices evidence-based care, understands standards of care for their specialty area and promotes health and well-being in an acute care setting through the care they provide to the patient/family.

Darlene Grinde, RN

"Darlene inspires our practice, and that of her other co-workers, by doing everything she can to move patients forward with their healthcare needs. She is compassionate, respectful and patient and encourages her clients and their families to engage in their healthcare."

Brittany Wagner

Rising Star

Recognizes an RN who is within the first 18 months of practice. This person demonstrates exceptional qualities that embody the best of nursing through outstanding caring, leadership and professionalism.

Brittany Wagner, RN, BSN

"In the short time Brittany has been here, she has shown a passion for lifelong learning and improvement, and accountability through being responsible for the quality and safety of her patients. Brittany is consistently seeking out opportunities to learn and grow, she is compassionate and caring, and she is someone who shows strong leadership qualities. Brittany is highly respected by her peers, and well loved by her patients. She is someone I am excited to see in the coming years as she just continues to grow in her nursing career."

Jamie Garagliano

Preceptor & Education

Serves as a role-model for the profession, maintains professional accountability by continued learning and addresses individualized learning needs, demonstrates innovation in teaching and provides feedback that encourages and promotes growth.

Jamie Garagliano, RN

"With Jamie's vast knowledge and experience she helps build their strong nursing foundation alongside new nurses. She does not cut corners and provides exceptional and safe care to her patients and instills her passion and drive into her trainees. She stays up to date with policies and procedures and best practice and educates her trainees the importance of following these and where to find them. She is patient and kind and teaches at their pace. Hands down she deserves this award."

Ellen Boswell

Inspiring & Motivating

Optimistic and enthusiastic, supporting positive change and empowers others through shared decision making to practice at their highest level.

Ellen Boswell, RN, BSN

"Ellen inspires me to be a better nurse every day. Her heart for people is big, and she strives to bring unity and camaraderie on our unit. She always tries to bring a new perspective and helps us to have more grace for our patients. Ellen makes everyone she meets feel like they are the most important person in the room, and that they are seen and heard."

Hannah Pankratz

Frontline Leaders/Nursing Leadership

Follows their inner compass to inspire, coach, and guide others with compassion, clarity, and purpose. Promotes the vision and values of EvergreenHealth and inspires others to work together in pursuit of a common goal. Holds a distinctive set of personal qualities: integrity, courage, initiative, and an ability to handle stress.

Hannah Pankratz, RN, BSN

"Hannah embodies what it means to be a strong and fearless leader. Since the day she started working in her managerial position, I've been continually impressed with her ability to remain calm under pressure, respond to issues that arise with justice and fairness, and be continually available to her unit as a whole."

Mally Michaely

Creativity & Innovations in Care

Functions as an agent of change, works to improve outcomes and the patient experience by leveraging technology, promotes "out of the box" thinking to improve care and/or support process improvement.

Mally Michaely, RN, BSN

"Mally is a master at ensuring continuity of care across the care continuum. In a rapidly changing outpatient care landscape, she has stepped up time and again with new ideas to bridge gaps and keep patients on track in their journey toward optimal outcomes. The demand and supply dynamics of outpatient care have fluctuated like whiplash over the last few years, yet her leadership has ensured that we continue to provide the highest quality care by shifting resources to meet patients where they are at."

Denise Soka

Continuum of Care

Integrates evidence-based knowledge in a patient-oriented system that supports ongoing access to care and health maintenance serving patients in non-hospital settings such as skilled nursing centers, assisted living, home health, public health and hospice.

Denise Soka, RN, BSN

"Denise is always calm, reliable, and extremely competent. She cares deeply about the patients and families she serves and is courageous enough to help guide patients through very difficult decisions. She is an incredibly valuable member of the team and yet never draws attention to herself. She also is a team player, taking on extra shifts and patients to help the entire organization. Whenever she calls me for symptom management, I know I can rely on her clinical assessment and recommendations with confidence."

Anna Neshomin

Patient & Family Advocate

Promotes, advocates for and endeavors to protect the well-being, safety and rights of the patient and their family while being culturally sensitive.

Anna Neshmonin, RN

"Anna has been working with our team for several years, and always demonstrates exemplary clinical skills, organization, and follow-through. Our nurses are the primary assessors and medical contact for patients on our service. This nurse is a gifted communicator and liaison between patients, families, and the larger medical system."

Heather Yang

Communication & Collaboration

Functions effectively with nursing and interpersonal teams, noted for being a team player by fostering open communication, mutual respect and shared decision-making to achieve quality patient care.

Heather Yang, RN, BSN

"Acknowledge suffering; Heather is so great at acknowledging the discomfort the family member had in being able to visit prior and guilt he felt around changing the goals of care. Anxiety is suffering; she alleviated the suffering by reassuring him this was the right thing to do. Coordinate care; she called and spoke to me at regular intervals to make sure as we were getting ready to move the patient to the floor, there would be no abrupt changes in comfort level. Heather is such a great patient advocate."

Babak Emami

Mentoring & Resource Person

Provides positive professional influence, guidance and support of other nurses, shares knowledge, coaching others to succeed.

Babak Emami, RN, BSN

"Babak has taken me under his wing; he reaches out to me just to say hello. He checks in to see how I am doing, to offer support and guidance. He sat with me for a couple hours one day and walked me through common procedures we do within our patient population. Things that are everyday occurrences for him, but that I have never done."

Mary Grobman

Ambulatory Care

Integrates clinical knowledge and skills in the care of patients in an outpatient setting, understands the standards of care for a diverse setting, promotes health and well-being of individuals, families and the community.

Mary Grobman, RN

"Mary is truly the lynch pin of the breast center with her many years of dedicated service not just ushering patients through their journey with breast cancer, but always providing a helping hand and an ear that's ready to listen. She has also trained 3 new nurses that have started during her tenure, guiding them as they help patients of their own. She is one of the warmest and most capable people that I know."