Texas Children’s honors extraordinary team members during Nurses Week

May 13, 2024

Nurses Week might be over, but our appreciation for the more than 4,400 nurses across the Texas Children’s system is endless. From daily dress-up themes and sweet treats, to massage sessions across hospital campuses, it was a week filled with celebration and camaraderie.

“To each and every nurse across the Texas Children’s system – we celebrate you, we care about you and above all else, we support you,” said President Debra F. Sukin in an email to team members. “Whether you are caring for patients at the bedside, coordinating complex treatments, or providing comfort and support to those in need, you are the pillar that holds our organization together.”

2024 Nursing Excellence Awards

Texas Children’s Nursing Excellence Awards are presented each year during Nurses Week, an observance recognizing exceptional nurses for going above and beyond in patient care, collaboration with team members and for their overall contributions toward driving positive change and innovation in the nursing profession.

“In the field of nursing, excellence is the standard,” said System Chief Nurse Executive Dr. Jackie Ward. “However, there are members of our team for whom that standard is surpassed day in and day out. Our Nursing Excellence Awards honor these individuals for their life-changing work.”

This year’s award winners are:

  • Staff Nurse of the Year: Kim Murphy (Staff Nurse, 11 WT)
  • Nurse Resident of the Year: Suzanne Alonzo (Staff Nurse, 11 WT)
  • Nurse Preceptor of the Year: Zenda Amancio (Staff Nurse, PICU)
  • Advanced Degree Nurse of the Year: Lauren Salinas (Clinical Specialist, CICU)
  • Nurse Leader of the Year: Nikashia Franklin (Assistant Clinical Director, Palliative Care)
  • Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year: Dr. Kelli Irwin (Nurse Practitioner, CICU)
  • Friend of Nursing: Dr. Bradley Scherer (Physician, ACHD/CICU)

Additionally, several nursing scholarships were awarded to provide financial assistance in continuing education and career development:

  • Dr. David & Polly Roth Nursing Scholarship: Jacqueline Gutierrez
  • Len Slusser Nursing Scholarship: Kimberly Lopez
  • Flo McGee Nursing Scholarship: Ashlynn Engel & Victoria Ann Madrigal
  • Molly Mae LeBlanc Nursing Scholarship: Mary Ann Callejo & Elena Boyaci
  • Dr. Lois J. Moore Nursing Scholarship: Karina Moreno

Team members at our brand-new North Austin Campus were also recognized at their inaugural Clinical Excellence Awards ceremony. The winners included:

  • Nurse Leader of the Year: Kami Stone (Assistance Clinical Director, EC & Transport) & Lindsey Servino (Assistant Clinical Director, Women’s Inpatient)
  • Staff Nurse of the Year: Cathy Hensley (Staff Nurse, Otolaryngology)
  • ATX Award: Dwain Roberson (Assistant Director, Support Services)
  • Clinical Excellence Award: Kristen Davis (Diabetes Education Specialist)
  • Friend of Nursing: Dr. Pam Ashley (Physician, EC) & Raymond Scott (Manager, Biomedical Engineering)
Houston Chronicle’s Salute to Nurses

Every year, the Houston Chronicle recognizes and celebrates the integral roles nurses play in delivering patient care by requesting nominations from the Greater Houston community. Texas Children’s is proud to announce Sharon Staton (Clinical Specialist, BMT) was included among the Top 15 Nurses of the Year – in addition to being named on the Texas Nurses Association’s 25 Outstanding Texas Nurses for 2024 list!

Congratulations are also in order for the 32 additional Texas Children’s nurses who earned recognition among the Salute to Nurses Top 200 Nurses of the Year list:

  • Aleida Stark
  • Alice Thomas
  • Alva Mixon
  • Amy Valdez
  • Annabelle Gonzalez
  • April Lyle
  • Arlene De La Cruz
  • Barbara Ruddell
  • Brandi Mealey
  • Candace Zenger
  • Chelsea Campbell
  • Cindy Thompson
  • Claire Myers
  • Corey Gates
  • Cynthia Shelby
  • Diana Harter
  • Donna Daigle-Tinsley
  • Janet Winebar
  • Jennifer Segovia
  • Kate D’Ambrosio
  • Katherine Crockett
  • Kathleen Ulanday
  • Mandy Sachs
  • Marlon Villanueva
  • Max Abogador
  • Meghan Benigay
  • Mercy Thundiyil
  • Nikashia Franklin
  • Olivia Davis
  • Rachel Gresham
  • Randall Bowen
  • Reji Biju

There was a May 2 luncheon celebration at the Royal Sonesta Hotel to recognize all the honorees. Click here to learn more about Salute to Nurses.