Tonawanda News — Kenmore Mercy nurses were recognized Friday at a ceremony awarding the hospital with the Pathway to Excellence Award. The hospital is the first to receive the award in the Western New York area.
“This national award is truly an honor and speaks to the wonderful work our nurses do,” Cheryl Hayes, vice president of patient care services, said. “It verifies that yes, we are going on the right path to excellence and helping our patients.”
Kenmore Mercy is one of three hospitals in New York state to receive the honor, and less than 90 hospitals have received the award nationwide.
To apply for the award, a committee of nursing staff developed a 700 page document detailing the
hospital’s adherence to 12 Pathway to Excellence standards.
“The standards include positive patient outcomes, a healthy work environment, competitive wages, and interdisciplinary collaboration,” Hayes said.
After submitting the lengthy document, Kenmore Mercy nurses were required to participate in an anonymous survey to validate the information in the report. The surveys must be over 50 percent positive for a hospital to receive the award. The entire application process took about a year and a half to complete.
“We are so proud of this award because it is nursing based, unlike a lot of other accreditation awards,” Mary LaMartina, a nurse in the intensive care unit at Kenmore Mercy, said. “It shows that the hospital supports the nurses and the nurses are driven to make a difference in patient treatment.”
LaMartina, along with other staff nurses, played a large part in developing the application. LaMartina was thrilled to take part in the process.
“Even though we are bedside nurses, we are involved with everythingâ€”and it is great,” LaMartina said. “We review new products for the hospital, are part of discussions about new policies, and take part in interviews for job candidates.”
LaMartina has been an ICU nurse at Kenmore Mercy Hospital for almost 25 years and has noticed many changes at the hospital since she began her career.
“Treatment used to be very doctor driven,” she said. “But I think doctors are finding that nurses can really make a difference. They trust our judgment, and we can work together to improve patient outcomes.”
The positive environment created by these trusting relationships encourages nurses to stick around for years. Despite working at the hospital for over 20 years, LaMartina said that over half of the nurses in the ICU have been there longer than she has.
Hayes and LaMartina believe the award these allows these hard-working nurses to be proud of themselves and take the next step forward.
“This award will be really empowering for the nursing staff,” LaMartina said. “We have the culture and the environment so that we can go anywhere.”Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.