Congratulations 2020 Leadership Award winners!

This story was published in the Winter 2021 issue of The Washington Nurse magazine.

The WSNA Cabinet on Economic and General Welfare recog­nized this year’s award winners during our virtual WSNA Nurses Unite! event on Nov. 9, 2020. So much has happened since the last Leader­ship Awards were given in Fall 2017 — and that doesn’t even include the COVID-19 crisis — that the Cabinet gave out two awards in each category. We applaud these incred­ible WSNA union leaders.

Outstanding Local Unit Chair #

Cheryll Howe, Multi­Care Good Samar­itan Hospital

Colleen Little­john, Arbor Health Morton Hospital

This award is presented to someone who is known for the ability to get things done. He/​she/​they leads by example, promoting WSNA to local unit members, poten­tial members and the commu­nity around them. Their ability to inspire, mentor and conduct the business of the local unit is unsurpassed.

Cheryll Howe from Multi­Care Good Samar­itan Hospital makes sure everyone is in the know,” and she is always avail­able to reply to and discuss union issues. She always tries to recruit more people to help and makes sure that nurses know their rights.

Colleen Little­john from Arbor Health Morton Hospital has an extra­or­di­nary ability to organize and lead her fellow nurses. Whether serving on the staffing committee or confer­ence committee, completing griev­ance work or encour­aging her coworkers to do Assign­ment Despite Objec­tion (ADO) forms, Colleen can do it all. She is always there when her fellow nurses need her.

Adversity #

Kadlec Regional Medical Center negoti­ating team

St. Joseph Medical Center Tacoma negoti­ating team

This award is presented to an RN or group of RNs who have faced a partic­u­larly diffi­cult challenge within their workplace, and with persis­tence, perse­ver­ance and deter­mi­na­tion have prevailed in their fight for truth and justice.

Both the Kadlec Regional Medical Center and St. Joseph Medical Center negoti­ating teams fought long and hard against huge corpo­ra­tions. The two teams were willing to stand strong and strike if neces­sary, and they fought and won fair contracts for their nurses.

Outstanding Negotiating Team #

Provi­dence Sacred Heart Medical Center

Skagit Regional Health

This award is presented to an outstanding negoti­ating team that fought long and hard to achieve a fair contract for their nurses.

The Provi­dence Sacred Heart Medical Center negoti­ating team bargained long hours at the table and remained dedicated to keeping the members informed, energized and ready to strike. They organized, strate­gized and overcame huge obsta­cles throughout 14 months of negoti­a­tions. The Sacred Heart team brought the fight to Provi­dence and did not back down.

The Skagit Regional Health negoti­ating team faced many challenges and success­fully fought off changes to retire­ment and health benefits. They worked hard over one year and 20 sessions. One team member even became pregnant and gave birth between the first and last negoti­ating sessions and brought her newborn to the final session.

Outstanding Grievance Officer #

Janet Stewart, St. Joseph Medical Center Tacoma

Diane Gates, Seattle Children’s

This award is presented to an individual who helps nurses in the bargaining unit under­stand their rights within the contract and effec­tively repre­sents the bargaining unit nurses.

Janet Stewart from St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma has raised the bar when it comes to repre­senting nurses. She treats each situa­tion with compas­sion and competence.

Diane Gates from Seattle Children’s is a true advocate for nurses. She repre­sents nurses in all situa­tions with fair-minded­ness and a stead­fast approach.

Both Janet and Diane work tirelessly to achieve a just outcome and are well respected by their peers.

Local Unit Star #

Nonie Kingma, Provi­dence Sacred Heart Medical Center

Kara Yates, Seattle Children’s

This award recog­nizes a member who stepped forward in the past year to become more involved and make a positive impact.

Nonie Kingma at Sacred Heart is widely recog­nized as a steady-and-true hand through the rough times of negoti­a­tions. She is always helpful and goes the extra mile.

Kara Yates at Seattle Children’s is described by peers as one of the smartest and most well-spoken nurses on the Children’s negoti­ating team, and one whom members turn to for answers.

Nonie and Kara both stepped up in a time of need and went above and beyond the call of duty.

Membership #

Rachael DeSouza, St. Joseph Medical Center Tacoma

Teresa Wren, Univer­sity of Washington Medical Center

This award recog­nizes work in devel­oping the local unit through member­ship recruit­ment, improved commu­ni­ca­tions and commu­nity outreach.

Rachel DeSouza from St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma has been instru­mental in building an engaged and active local unit. She is very dedicated to conducting presen­ta­tions to new hires, writing personal postcards to them and organizing member gatherings.

Teresa Wren from UW Medical Center – Montlake is a constant presence at local unit events; her work on the member­ship committee increased the average recruit­ment of new members by more than 30% through her active engage­ment at new employee orientations.

Emeritus #

Judy Lund, Peace­Health South­west Medical Center

Debbie Pronk, Evergreen­Health

This award is presented to a retired WSNA member who has made a signif­i­cant contri­bu­tion to their local unit.

Judy Lund from Peace­Health South­west Medical Center was an advocate for both staff and patients during her 32-year nursing career. Her ability to bring everyone together to work as a team will be missed. Nurses could always count on Judy to be at their side — bringing laughter, smiles, genuine compas­sion toward staff and excep­tional patient care with her.

Debbie Pronk from Evergreen­Health was a strong advocate for nurses during her 20-year career at Evergreen, including serving as a griev­ance officer for 10 years. The nurses at Evergreen are grateful for her calm and resolute leader­ship in demanding fair and safe working conditions.

Both Judy and Debbie exhib­ited wisdom and leader­ship, and inspired, molded, guided and lead new and seasoned nurses throughout their careers.