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.
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.
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.
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.