Nurse and Support Person of the Year

Each year, Atlantic General Hospital recognizes a nurse of the year as well as a support person of the year to two individuals who live and work the mission and vision of Atlantic General Hospital.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, presented by the DAISY Foundation, honors the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day. The award is presented each month. Patients, families, visitors, colleagues, physicians and other staff can nominate an Atlantic General Hospital and Health System nurse for the DAISY Award at any time. Nomination forms are available in every hospital department and health system physician office.


DAISY - 2018

1st Quarter - Nettie Widgeon, RN

Atlantic General Hospital awarded the DAISY Award for excellence in nursing for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018 to Nettie Widgeon, RN.

Nettie has worked at Atlantic General Hospital for 13 years, starting as a CNA on the Medical-Surgical Unit. Nettie became a tech and transferred to the Emergency Department, eventually earning her nursing degree and becoming a charge nurse. Nettie was certified as a SAFE nurse, providing compassion and clinical exams for the victims of sexual assault. She worked in the Emergency Department until mid-summer of 2017, when she took the clinical supervisor position for Atlantic General Health System.

Of her nomination, Nettie said, "This is a true highlight of my career. There is no greater job in the world than being a nurse. It is who I am."

One nomination she received recounted a situation in which a patient was brought to the ER with slurred speech and disorentiation. While the patient admitted to having too much to drink, Nettie realized not all his symptoms pointed to alcohol intoxication. Due to her sharp observation, the patient was diagnosed with a severe brain hemmorrhage and he was immediately transferred for surgery.

The nomination stated, "In a quick and challenging environment, this was an exceptional medical assessment alert to the physician. All nurses are caring; some have more experience than others, however, a quick eye to the abnormal can result in a lifesaving event. Had the patient been treated for his agitation, rather than the hidden, immediate problem, this case could have resulted in a grim outcome."

DAISY - 2017

2nd Quarter - Kelly Fox, RN

Atlantic General Hospital awarded the DAISY Award for excellence in nursing for the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2017 to Kelly Fox, RN.

Kelly has worked in intensive care unit (ICU) at AGH for 11 years. This is her fourth DAISY nomination and her first DAISY award. Of her nomination, Fox said, "I am very honored to receive the DAISY Award. I work with an incredible group of nurses and physicians. It is truly a group effort."

One nomination Fox received stated, "the actions Kelly displayed, not only as patient care supervisor and nurse but as a compassionate individual, is what earns her this nomination for the DAISY Award."

1st Quarter - Anne Watson-Waples, RN

Atlantic General Hospital awarded the DAISY Award for excellence in nursing for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2017 to Anne Watson-Waples, RN.

Anne has worked with Atlantic General Hospital for over 11 years. She was the 2015 Nurse of the Year, after being nominated by a team of peers and leadership from the hospital. This is her second DAISY Award. Of her nomination, Watson-Waples said, "I am once again humbled by this recognition. Some of the greatest moments in my life will always be the bonds I've developed and the care I've given my patients and their families. It will always be about them."

One nomination she received stated, "My wife was dying and afraid. Nurse Watson-Waples provided professional assistance but, more importantly she provided comfort to my wife during this tragic time...She showed kindness, and compassion while performing her many duties in ICU. She lifted my wife's spirits, allowing her to address the inevitable end of her life. When my wife was in hospice, Anne Watson-Waples visited, stating only that she 'was in the area and decided to stop by.'"

DAISY - 2016

4th Quarter - Mary Wilgus, RN

Atlantic General Hospital awarded the DAISY Award for excellence in nursing for the fourth quarter 2016 to Mary Wilgus,RN.

She has worked with Atlantic General Hospital for over nine years. Wilgus supports the hospital in caring for the community and its visitors as a staff and charge nurse, as well as patient care supervisor. Of her nomination, Wilgus says, "There is no greater compliment than the kind words of the people we care for."

One nomination Wilgus received stated, "She tries her hardest to meet the needs of the patients and staff...making every patient feel safe and well informed. Mary is a blessing to everyone she comes in contact with!"

3rd Quarter - Patty Tull, RN

Atlantic General Hospital awarded the DAISY Award for excellence in nursing for the third quarter of 2016 to Patty Tull, RN.

Tull currently works in Surgical Services and has worked at Atlantic General Hospital since 2006. Winning the Daisy award was unexpected. Deciding to go back to school and changing my life and career, I always hoped to change and add to someone's life. This award makes me feel like I am becoming the nurse I always dreamed of hopefully being one day. I hope to continue being just that nurse," said Tull.Zimenkova currently works in the observation unit at Atlantic General Hospital. She received a nomination from the mother of an adolescent patient who said she is “so awesome!”.

2nd Quarter - Mariya Zimenkova, RN

Atlantic General Hospital awarded the DAISY Award for excellence in nursing for the second quarter of 2016 to Mariya Zimenkova, RN.

Zimenkova currently works in the observation unit at Atlantic General Hospital. She received a nomination from the mother of an adolescent patient who said she is “so awesome!”.

The family member that nominated Zimenkova was extremely grateful for the care and attention she gave her son while being treated at Atlantic General Hospital. “She was very supportive to us, answered all of our questions, and what a great bedside manner! She is such a wonderful nurse. Everyone was great, but she is the one that stands out the most!”

1st Quarter - Katie Zidanic, RN

Atlantic General Hospital awarded the DAISY Award for excellence in nursing for the first quarter of 2016 to Katie Zidanic, RN.

Zidanic currently works in the Med Surg department and has worked at Atlantic General Hospital for two years. She received two nominations, one from a patient and one from a family. The family member who nominated Katie wanted her to be recognized for getting her mother to smile. It was something she had not seen her mother do in a long time.

The patient who nominated Zidanic said, “If my whole family could have voted, you would have had 50 nominations for Katie.”

“It is truly an honor to be recognized for a career that I feel so passionately about and one that I feel like I was born to do,” Zidanic said. “Within days of working at AGH I knew that I had been placed here for a reason. I work with THE best group of nurses, techs and doctors.”

Nurse of the Year - 2016

Tracey Wooden, RN was recently recognized as AGH Nurse of the Year. Other nominees included three past DAISY awardees Patti Tull, RN; Mariya Zimenkova, RN and Katie Zidanic, RN. (The DAISY Award is a national program that honors nurses on the local level who have gone above and beyond in their delivery of patient care.)

Wooden works in Supportive Care Services as a Palliative Medicine Nurse and has been with AGH since 2005. Wooden holds a BS degree in Cultural Anthropology from SUNY at Buffalo in New York and obtained her RN from Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md. She currently is completing her masters to become a nurse practitioner in palliative medicine. Wooden is a clinical expert in palliative medicine and has achieved the title of certified hospice and palliative medicine nurse through the National Hospice and Palliative Medicine Association.

“Wooden is described as epitomizing the spirit of nursing. She is deeply caring, a loving and devout advocate for patients and their families, and skilled in providing effective symptom management. Tracey focuses on all aspects of care for patients and their caregivers,” added Colleen Wareing, vice president of patient care services at Atlantic General Hospital.

As an ardent and compassionate palliative medicine nurse, Wooden provides education and interventions to our Supportive Care Services patients, their families, and others on the health care team.

Wooden commented, “I am truly honored to receive the Nurse of the Year Award. I am fortunate to be a part of such a caring, devoted team of nurses and caregivers.”

Nurse of the Year -2015

Anne Watson-Waples, RN, received the 2015 Nurse of the Year award at the Nurse’s Week Kick-Off breakfast held on Monday, May 4th. On hand to see her receive the award were both current and former colleagues excited to see her recognized for her outstanding patient care and dedication to the organization and community.

Anne currently serves as a charge nurse in the Intensive Care Unit and has worked at Atlantic General Hospital for ten years. She is chair of the Nurse Peer Review Council and also serves on numerous hospital committees and taskforces. She is a mentor and role model for her peers.

Active in her community, Anne was instrumental in the development of the Faith-Based Partnership, which helps bring health education into the community. She was also recently recognized by a patient for the compassionate care Anne provided her during an extended stay in the ICU. The patient wrote, “Ms. Waples has earned her wings.” When asked which of our organizational values Anne exemplifies, the patient wrote “all of them!”

Friend of Nursing - 2016

The Friend of Nursing for 2016 was awarded to Diana Boze. She is a nurse technician in the medical surgical nursing area. Boze received an incredible letter of recommendation attesting to the dedication and professionalism she displays each and every day in her position.

Other nominees included Cheryl Spanninger from medical infusion, Linda Walter from case management/CDI, Yvonne Bass from the Wound Care Center, Nakia Annis from emergency department registration, Cindy Grachik in the emergency department, Dr. Susan Andrews from ICU, and Aaron Schoepf from surgical services. A subcommittee of the Professional Nurse Council selects the recipient from a pool of those nominated by fellow AGH associates.

Friend of Nursing -2015

Betty Mitchell received the Friend of Nursing 2015 award. Betty has worked at Atlantic General Hospital for 9 ½ years as an Executive Assistant. She was nominated by a group of associates working throughout the organization. She was described as “the glue that holds the nursing department together”.

She not only keeps our VP of Clinical Operations organized, Betty is instrumental in the execution of most nursing related events, whether they are administrative or social, including our annual Nurse’s Week celebrations. “Betty has at one time or another worked on a project for one of the nursing departments above and beyond her assigned jobs and she does so without hesitation. If you need help, she will make sure it gets done.”

Nurse of the Year - 2014

Melissa Welch, RN, is a charge nurse on the Med Surg unit and is the Clinical Coordinator for the Stroke Center. She has been instrumental in the Atlantic General Hospital Stroke Center obtaining the highest recognition from the American Stroke Association. This was her fourth nomination for the award.

Clinical Associate of the Year - 2014

Debbie Patterson is the Unit Secretary for Med Surg and has worked at Atlantic General Hospital for over four years. She is committed to customer service, patient safety and acts as a mentor to new associates. She is described by her co-workers as someone who “always goes above and beyond.

DAISY - 2015

Tracey Wooden, RN, CHPN received the fourth quarter DAISY Award at a presentation held on Thursday, July 23rd.

Tracey currently works for the Supportive Services department and has worked at Atlantic General Hospital for ten years. Tracey began her nursing career at AGH working on the Med-Surg unit, but felt strongly that chronically ill patients and their families deserve access to resources that will allow them to live without pain and suffering. In her current role, Tracey is able to assist with symptom management, emotional support and allowing the patient’s to attain their goals.

Tracey received two nominations, one from a patient and one from a family. One family wrote, “While the situation had a tragic end for our family, you were a bright spot in the situation with the care, concern and help you provided”.

Of her nomination, Tracey said, “It is truly a collaborative effort to support our patients and families and I work as a part of that team. I am so honored that a family would take the time to write this nomination, especially during such a difficult period."

DAISY - 2014

Atlantic General Hospital recently unveiled the Healer’s Touch statue in the hospital’s serenity garden in conjunction with honoring its first DAISY Award recipient, registered nurse Tracey Donalds. Donalds joined Atlantic General Hospital in 2010 as a nurse in the medical surgical department, where she helped with the initial development of the Observation Unit. She currently works in the emergency department. According to one of her nominees, Donalds “is the most fiercely compassionate medical professional we have ever encountered.”