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ER nurse named ‘Nurse of the Year’ at La Grange

La Grange – For Peder Storandt, being a nurse is about more than recognizing the signs and symptoms of acute illness and treating patients – it’s about connecting with patients and their families.

“What I tell nursing students is that you can’t just show concern; you have to genuinely be concerned,” said Storandt, a La Grange resident who has worked in the emergency room of Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital for five years. “If I can offer patients and their families a tiny bit of comfort during such a stressful time, I’m glad to do that.”

His compassion spurred one patient’s family to write thank-you letter to Chief Executive Officer Rick Wright. “Peder was very gentle with my father,” the patient’s daughter wrote. “You could tell he was concerned with preserving his dignity.”

Because of his unwavering commitment to excellence, Storandt was named the hospital’s “Nurse of the Year” at a ceremony May 6, the first day of the 2009 observance of National Nurses Week.

He was among five nurses chosen to represent each quality of the hospital’s S.H.A.R.E. principles: Sense people’s needs, Help each other, Acknowledge and accept people’s feelings, Respect people’s dignity and Explain. More than 60 nominations were submitted.

The celebratory theme was “Nurses: Building a Healthy America.” Storandt received $1,000 for his award; the four following nurses who earned special honors each received $200: · Angeli Buenvenida, RN, intermediate care unit (IMCU), Woodridge resident · Michelle Lucak, RN, cardiology, Willowbrook resident · Kathy Arneson, RN, OR (Surgery), Westmont resident · Rebecca Tenney, RN, 5 East/West, Willowbrook resident “These nurses represent excellence in patient care not only because of their technical skills, but more importantly their ability to treat patients individually with care and compassion,” said Mary Murphy, vice president/ chief nursing officer of Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. “We are proud of their commitment to patient care.”