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Executive Director of WJ Hospital Foundation Honored with 2013 Nightingale Award

Jennifer Steel, RN, the Executive Director of the West Jefferson Hospital Foundation, was honored with a Nightingale Award for Outstanding Community Achievement by a Registered Nurse, by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation during its 12th Annual Nightingale Awards Ceremony.

Steel has been a part of the West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) family for more than 40 years. In addition to being a registered nurse, WJ’s community liaison officer and Executive Director of the Foundation, she is also a member of the Board of the Harvey Canal Industrial Association, the Board of Café Hope and the Board of the Rotary Club of Westwego. She has also been involved with the Jefferson Chamber, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, United Way, Jefferson Parish Health task Force, PACE, and the West Jeff Hospital Auxiliary. Along with her husband, Lionel P. Bourgeois, MD, she has been a long-time volunteer for Westbank Beautification and has worked on litter abatement and beautification initiatives.

“The state Nightingale Award is truly shared with one’s employer, as well as colleagues in one’s respective nursing area,” Steel said. “I share this award with West Jefferson Medical Center, the organizations I have the honor of volunteering for and my family and our community.”

“We are very proud of Jennifer. It’s quite an honor to receive this state-wide award. Her love and commitment to our hospital family and to this community is truly heartfelt and has impacted many of us either directly or indirectly. Jennifer always takes the time to help others and her positive attitude and excitement are infectious. Congratulations!,” said Nancy R. Cassagne, CEO of West Jefferson Medical Center.

The Nightingale Awards were attended by more than 380 nurses, proud family members, co-workers and healthcare workers. More than 60 Registered Nurses representing a variety of healthcare institutions and schools of nursing were honored.

The Nightingale Awards ceremony is a special time when the nursing profession honors its own. The program is the “academy awards” of nursing and health care which recognizes quality service, commitment, and excellence for Registered Nurses in the state of Louisiana.

We are proud that WJ’s VP/Assistant Chief Nursing Officer, Anthony Digerolamo, was nominated as Nursing Administrator of the year. Tracie Lecompte, R.N., was nominated as Registered Nurse Mentor of the Year and WJMC was also nominated with a Hospital of the year Award.

“Congratulations to Anthony, Tracie and our hospital family. Nightingale nominations are quite special. The honors are well deserved. Both Anthony and Tracie exemplify nursing excellence. We are proud of our West Jefferson family members,” said Cassagne

The nominations in each category are reviewed by out of state judges—nursing leaders throughout the country. The Louisiana Nurses Foundation and Louisiana State Nurses Association wishes to acknowledge and thank this esteemed panel of judges for their assistance. Without the support and participation from these judges the event could not be possible. They are:

  • Susan Burnsted, MN, RN, Assistant Chief Nursing Officer, Via Christi Behavioral Health Center
  • Ernest Grant, RN, MSN, FAAN, Director of Outreach and Prevention, N.C. Jaycee Burn Center, UNC Hospitals
  • Gayle Harrell, MSN, NP-C, CWCN, President, Mississippi State Nurses Association
  • Kathleen Kaufman, MS, RN, President, Utah State Nurses Association
  • Winifred Kennedy, MSN, RN, PMH-CN, BC, President, New York State Nurses Association
  • Jane Nelson, CAE, Executive Director, Oklahoma State Nurses Association
  • Donna Policastro, APRN, CNP, Executive Director, Rhode Island State Nurses Association
  • Ellarene Duis Sanders, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, Interim Director, Texas State Nurses Association
  • Mary Sletten, DM(c), MSN, RN, President, New Mexico State Nurses Association
  • Leslie Verucci, MSN, RN, CNS, CRNP, APRN-BC, President, Delaware State Nurses Association
  • Norine Watson, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children
  • Roberta Young, MSN, RN, President, North Dakota Nurses Associatio