Denver, Thursday, October 30, 2014 — The Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross received the Susan Hassmiller Nursing Award at the 2014 Leadership Award Dinner held in Washington, D.C. Oct. 29, 2014. On hand to accept the award were Gino Greco, CEO for the Colorado & Wyoming Region, Christine Manson de Rabe, Disaster Program Manager for the Mile High Chapter, as well as, Brianna Sheridan, volunteer Red Cross Nurse with the Mile High Chapter who spearheaded the program recognized by the award.
“This is a tremendous honor to be recognized at this level,” said Greco. “Brianna spearheaded this team effort and we know it will have a positive impact on the service we provide in Colorado.”
The Susan Hassmiller Nursing Award is given to enhance Red Cross local service delivery capacity through the increased engagement of nurses in policy, leadership and service delivery positions.
The Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross will use proceeds from the 2014 Susan Hassmiller Nursing Award to attract and retain recently graduated registered nurses to the Disaster Health Services (DHS) program. Having trained registered nurses integrated into the chapter’s team of responders will enhance the chapter’s ability to effectively meet the needs of clients impacted by disasters.
The Mile High Chapter aspires to reach its goal by pairing newly graduated nurses with experienced DHS team members in a six-month internship. During this internship, the nurse intern will become a trained member of the DHS team, will respond to local disaster events, and will be responsible for an individual health services project targeted at the current needs of the team, region and community. The intern will be mentored by an assigned DHS team member, meeting frequently to set goals, review progress and collaborate on current DHS casework. This close mentoring and training is believed to be the key to engaging nurse interns in the program, as well as sustaining their involvement once the internship has concluded.
The chapter intends to create a self-sustaining program that can be replicated by other regions and that will increase the number of active registered nurses volunteering. The goals for this initiative include retaining nurses beyond their initial internship, partnering with local businesses to secure the funds and supplies to continue to produce training supplies and medication bags, co-sponsoring events with local fire departments to raise funds for additional smoke detectors as part of the Fire Prevention Campaign, and exploring additional capacity-building projects that can be undertaken by the interns while enhancing the readiness of the chapter.