Michael Cook, RN, of Forward Township, a Behavioral Health Unit nurse, will represent Jefferson Regional Medical Center at the 13th Annual Cameos of Caring® Awards Gala on Nov. 5 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh.
Cook was chosen by his peers from among a record field of 18 candidates from 15 different hospital departments. He started working at Jefferson Regional in 1989 as a patient care technician, a position he held for 20 years before enrolling at Community College of Allegheny County South Campus to become a Registered Nurse.
“Michael has demonstrated a remarkable and persistent dedication to improving the lives of those in need, and particularly to the treatment of our patients with mental health problems and concerns,” said Joseph Cvitkovic, PhD, director, Behavioral Health Services. “He worked full-time and attended nursing school in his efforts to develop his skills to have further positive impact on the health and well-being of our patients.”
Karen Saylor, patient care manager, Behavioral Health, nominated Michael for the Cameos award. She said he demonstrates his nursing skills beyond expectations and his patients and their families are a number-one priority.
“He has become an instructor for both CPR and the Comprehensive Crisis Management Class and a member of the hospital Patient Identification Committee,” she said. “The decision to become an instructor, leader and role model includes with it many hours of continued education in recertification in order to educate others.
He also functions as a nurse facilitator of Psychiatric Intensive Outpatient where he conducts therapy groups for patients and facilitates family sessions. In his role as a mental health therapist, he deals with crisis situations in the ED and in the hospital.
Cook and his wife, Lia, have six children: Andrew, 24; Adam, 20; Mallory, 10; twins Elise and Emma, 9, and Audrey, 2. He enjoys camping, teaching swimming and spending time with his family. Before entering the healthcare field, he served with the Air Force, stationed in San Antonio, Texas. His mother, Sharon Cook, RN, now retired, also worked as a nurse at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in the Behavioral Health department.
Louise Urban, senior vice president of hospital operations and CNO, said, “We were excited to see so many nominations this year and applaud all who took the time to nominate a nurse. Jefferson Regional is blessed to have so many Cameos among us and we look forward to celebrating with Michael throughout the year!”
Other Jefferson Regional nurses who were nominated for the 2011 Cameos Award include: Cynthia Andrews, Gloria Artis, Anna Delduca, Kathleen Donnelly, Jill Germinaro, Kimberly Harmon, Jaye Hoelke, Karen Kuskil, Aileen Lash, Dawn Moore, Janet Ries, Marsha Sneddon, Margie Malley, Richard Wilson, Susan Wojnovich, Jamie Yaroscak and Allison Zelinsky.