2023 Tenacious Caregiver AwardS
The National Service Office for Nurse-Family Partnership ® and Child First announces the award winners of the 2023 Tenacious Caregiver Awards. Five distinguished Nurse-Family Partnership providers were recognized on Sept. 12 at the National Symposium, the National Service Office’s annual education summit.
The Tenacious Caregiver Award for NFP Nurse recognizes a professional who exemplifies the model’s client-centered principles and brings passion and excellence to their nursing practice. This year’s recipient of the Tenacious Caregiver Award for NFP Nurse was awarded to Lynne Easterly, B.S.N., R.N., of Intermountain Nurse-Family Partnership in Colorado.
Lynne Easterly, B.S.N., R.N., has been an NFP nurse for 16 years, both as a supervisor and nurse home visitor. Easterly’s career in nursing began with her work with the Peace Corp in Ecuador which helped prepare her to primarily partner with Latina moms through NFP. Easterly enjoys working with her clients on attachment theory, ecology theory and self efficacy theory as they define their goals as new parents. Easterly’s team loves her for her honest, passionate approach to her work.
The Tenacious Caregiver Award for NFP Support Staff is given to celebrate an NFP team member who provides critical programmatic, data and other support services. The award recognizes a professional who displays outstanding commitment to the program and who goes above and beyond to support innovation and impact on their team. This year’s recipient of the Tenacious Caregiver Award for NFP Support Staff was awarded to Heather Trajkovski of Oakland County NFP in Michigan.
Heather Trajkovski has dedicated 11 years of service to NFP which inspired her to further her education in the area of health and human services. She recently began her master’s degree in health administration. Trajkovski said working alongside the NFP team has encouraged her to be a compassionate leader herself. Her colleagues shared that Trajkovski goes above and beyond the call of duty to support her team, her agency and the families in her community.
The Tenacious Caregiver Award for Nurse Supervisor recognizes an outstanding team leader who goes above and beyond to support their team’s wellbeing, professional development and impact. The Tenacious Caregiver Award for Nurse Supervisor was awarded to Christine Wanous, M.P.H., B.S.N., R.N., from Nurse-Family Partnership of Forsyth County in North Carolina.
Christine Wanous, M.P.H., B.S.N., R.N., has served as a nurse supervisor since the NFP program in Forsyth County launched more than 10 years ago. She received eight nominations from her team – a true testament to her leadership and impact. Wanous says providing reflective supervision and leadership to such a caring and committed team is a highlight of her career. Already holding a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in public health, Wanous is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in public health.
The Tenacious Caregiver Award for NFP Administrator is given to an exceptional Network Partner leader who advocates for Nurse-Family Partnership in their community and supports high performance from their team. This year’s recipient of the Tenacious Caregiver Award for NFP Administrator was awarded to Laura Shulman Cordeira, M.P.H., from RVNAhealth in Connecticut.
Laura Shulman Cordeira, M.P.H., has led the NFP program since RVNAhealth began offering NFP in 2020. Despite the challenges that came with starting up during the pandemic, the program has grown impressively in a short time thanks to Shulman Cordeira’s dedication and leadership. She has been a steadfast advocate for NFP– using her voice to testify for increased funding and working to build a strong community of support behind NFP in her community and across Connecticut.
Finally, the Tenacious Caregiver Award for Network Partner recognizes an exceptional, top-performing site that has excelled in implementing the program and supporting impact for families. Chosen by the National Service Office, the award recognizes a partner who pursues collaboration in their community, is a leader in innovation and stands as an example across the Nurse-Family Partnership network. This year’s recipient of the Tenacious Caregiver Award for Network Partner was awarded to Nurse-Family Partnership of Houston County in Georgia.
The Houston County team has been implementing NFP in Georgia for 13 years. They have been a consistent and high-achieving partner – maintaining high operating performance, fidelity to the model and delivering life-changing outcomes for Georgia families. Despite the challenges that come with serving a rural population, the Houston County team consistently maintains full caseloads and their nursing team is truly dedicated to ensuring that families have the resources and support they need to thrive.
The NSO also awarded three outstanding Child First team members with Compassion Awards, which are similar to Tenacious Caregiver Awards. Child First is an evidence-based, intensive, early childhood model offered through the NSO that works with the most challenged young children and their families, helping them heal from the damaging effects of stress and trauma. This year, the NSO additionally presented the inaugural Compassion Awards which recognize outstanding members of the Child First community in three categories: Clinician, Care Coordinator and Clinical Supervisor. Read more and view the winners here.
2022 Tenacious Caregivers Winners
Network Partner: McLeod Health in SC
With seven hospitals, McLeod Health is composed of approximately 15,000 staff and more than 90 physician practices throughout its 18-county service area. The system currently has 988 licensed beds, including Hospice and Behavioral Health. The McLeod Health team has been implementing Nurse-Family Partnership in SC since 2014. They have been a consistent and high-achieving partner to the National Service Office – maintaining high operating performance, fidelity to the model and delivering life-changing outcomes to SC families. The team at McLeod Health has been willing to go above and beyond to advance the goals and mission of Nurse-Family Partnership.
Administrator: Lisa Ritchey, BSN, RN, Director of Nurse-Family Partnership at UPMC Home Healthcare of Central PA
Ritchey has dedicated more than 20 years of service to Nurse-Family Partnership during her 40-year nursing career. Ritchey has been a steadfast advocate for NFP in her community and beyond – from using her voice to push for new funding streams, to leading her team’s participation in several pilots with the National Service Office (NSO) to innovate and improve the collective impact. She is dedicated to empowering first-time families to succeed and has presented NFP to various human service providers across the region.
Nurse Supervisor: Lynn Lauri, BSN, RN, from Maternal & Family Health Services in PA
Lynn’s 40-year nursing career includes 20 years at Nurse-Family Partnership, where she has served as Nurse Supervisor for two years. Lauri’s personal goal is to change the future, one baby at a time. Lauri has proudly served 270 NFP families over the years. Even when her team doubled in size last year, Lauri never faltered in her support of her team’s professional development, self-care and reflective practice.
NFP Nurse: Maria Otero, RN, of Brooklyn Nurse-Family Partnership at SCO Family of Services in NY
Otero has dedicated 14 years of service to Nurse-Family Partnership. Her consistent performance – from her strong caseload to her retention of clients – shows her passion and dedication for bringing excellence to the nursing profession. It’s clear that Otero embodies NFP’s values. Most importantly, she is a steadfast advocate for her clients, who often feel unheard or ignored by the healthcare system.
2021 Tenacious Caregivers Winners
Network Partner: Northeastern North Carolina NFP at Halifax Community College
Administrator: Robin Bailey Callahan – Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Nurse Supervisor: Stephannie Cooper Senegal – Wake County NFP
NFP Nurse: Julie Ackerman – Boulder County NFP
2019 Tenacious Caregiver Winners
The four awards were presented at the 2019 National Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee in September, 2019. We had an amazing group of nominees in each category. The winners are:
Network Partner: Care Ring NFP – Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
Administrator: Patricia Yoder – NFP of Chester County, Pennsylvania
Nurse Supervisor: Manoucheka Chery – NFP Broward Regional Health Planning Council, Florida
NFP Nurse: Keisha Lucas – NFP of Forsyth County, North Carolina
2018 tenacious caregiver award RECIPIENT
We received inspiring and compelling stories and were honored to present the inaugural award to Cheryl Spicer, NFP Nurse at Sadler Health Center Nurse-Family Partnership in Carlisle, PA.