Augusta Health Announces The 2021 Excellence In Nursing Awards

A group of nurses at an excellence in nursing event

Date: June 21, 2021
Categories: Press Release

FISHERSVILLE, Virginia—Augusta Health’s 2021 Excellence in Nursing award recipients were recognized during a special celebration on Thursday, June 17 at Hotel 24 South. The Excellence in Nursing awards, sponsored by the Shared Governance Council and made possible by the Augusta Health Foundation, recognize outstanding nurses and nursing collaborators who fulfill the goals, mission and vision of the Shared Governance Council and Nursing Division of Augusta Health. The selections were announced during Nurses’ Week in May.

“All of our nurses at Augusta Health provide compassionate and high quality healthcare to every patient every day,” said Crystal Farmer, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Augusta Health. “Those we recognize today have particularly excelled in their patient-centered care, professionalism, teamwork and excellence. They are role models to us all. I am in awe of the work our nurses and colleagues do, and I am proud to work with them.”

In addition to a beautiful crystal award, the Excellence in Nursing award recipients received a $500 Scholarship for continued education or professional development from the Augusta Health Foundation’s WC Smith Nursing Excellence Fund. The WC Smith fund was established in 1999 with an estate gift in memory of William C. Smith, MD, Waynesboro’s first pediatrician. The gift, provided by his wife Audrey Gowing Smith, created a fund to provide for the professional development of Augusta Health nurses—nurses like those who supported her husband during his career.

Nurses recognized were:

  • Nurse Support Staff Member of the Year: Sara Groot, PCT, Joint Center

Sara is dependable and patient-focused, and works well with the team while advocating for her patients. She is invested in Augusta Health’s core values. She is also involved in improving patient satisfaction and employee morale.

  • Nurse Leader of the Year: Bethany Mohler, RN, Clinical Coordinator, Medical Unit

Bethany is a role model for caring behavior, displays professionalism at all times and has a passion for nursing excellence. She exhibits strong leadership that focuses on providing patient-centered care. Bethany creates a dynamic environment that is healing for patients and supports empowered professional nursing practice, which improve the quality of patient care.

  • Nurse of the Year: Cathy Deane, RN, Intensive Care Unit

Cathy demonstrates the qualities of compassion, teamwork, knowledge and excellence. She exhibits a high level of professionalism, clinical expertise and excellence in patient care. Cathy also fosters patient-centered care while leading by example and acting as a mentor and role model to other staff.

Other award selections were:

  • Friend of Nursing: Donna Marshall, EVS Team Leader, Environmental Services

This award highlights relationships within Augusta Health. Donna exceeds expectations in shared work with the nursing profession and consistently supports nursing in achieving excellent outcomes for our patients. She recognizes the importance of the practice of nursing in the delivery of healthcare at Augusta Health by actively supporting the nursing division.

  • Excellence in Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Meredith Carver, OT and Colton Berrington PT

Both Meredith and Colton partner with nursing to improve patient outcomes, collaborate with the interdisciplinary team, and demonstrate an engaged attitude. They are consistently involved in the coordination of patient care while effectively working with nursing to deliver compassionate, patient-centered care.

  • Excellence in Provider Collaboration: Naheed Velji, MD, Hematology and Oncology

Dr. Velji is recognized as a significant role model within the nursing community by consistently engaging with staff in coordinating patient care. He exemplifies Augusta Health’s core values of patient and community centeredness, professionalism, excellence and teamwork. Dr. Velji collaborates with nursing through his effective communication to serve our patients better and deliver higher quality care to our community.

Augusta Health is an independent, community-owned, not-for-profit hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of its community through access to excellent care. Over the years, Augusta Health has been recognized by many external rating organizations: 100 Top Hospitals in America, HealthGrades’ America’s 50 Best Hospitals, US News and World Report Best Regional Hospital, and most recently Leapfrog Top Hospital 2020. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please visit the website,