Nursing Awards Photo

Date: June 8, 2022
Categories: Press Release

FISHERSVILLE, Virginia—Augusta Health’s 2022 Excellence in Nursing award recipients were recognized during a special celebration on Tuesday, June 7 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, MS, 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 $1000 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:  Jacob Turner, PCT, Medical Unit

Jacob is not one who focuses on the tasks he must complete each day, but instead focuses on the total physical, mental and emotional well-being of his patients.  He takes on each day with incredible compassion and care for both patients and colleagues.  He genuinely connects with others, making sure they are heard and appreciated.  When he gives input or notes on changes in patient condition, everyone truly listens.  He is respected by both nurses and physicians for his character and skill.

  • Nurse Leader of the Year:  Dylan May, RN, Emergency Department

Dylan is everything a phenomenal nurse should be: smart, kind, intuitive, engaged and level-headed.  He began his career at Augusta Health as a clerk in the Emergency Department, completed his nursing degree, and absorbed as much as he could from his surroundings.  Some patients literally owe their lives to his assessment skills and quick actions.  As Dylan has assumed a leadership position, he has worked to be sure all are used to their best abilities, but not overwhelmed.  He is an excellent and patient teacher.  He works at the highest level every day, balancing kindness and caring with the focus and efficiency needed in the ED.

  • Nurse of the Year:  Bethany Hoy May, RN, Outpatient Surgery

Over her 15 year career as a nurse, Bethany has developed a vast knowledge base for both outpatient surgery and hospital operations, which makes her a valuable source of information for both new and seasoned nurses.  In addition to clinical expertise and providing patient-centered care, she has served on her unit council and as a preceptor for students.  She leads by example, and is an excellent mentor and role model to them.  Bethany also has an excellent rapport with team members and demonstrates professionalism and respect to everyone she works with.

Other award selections were:

  • Friend of Nursing:  Shelley Payne, Patient Experience

This award highlights relationships within Augusta Health.  Shelley approaches her role with a servant’s heart and always seeks out opportunities to assist the nurses in every area of the hospital.  She leads by example through patient rounding.  Staff never hesitate to reach out to her when they have a problem, which is a true testament to her ability to build coalitions.  Shelley exemplifies what is means to be a friend of nursing.

  • Excellence in Interdisciplinary Collaboration:  Emmy Paradise, OT, Occupational Therapy

For the past few years, many of Emmy’s patients have been long-haul COVID patients in the ICU.  After sedation and immobility for weeks or even months, some wake up without even being able to lift a finger.  It is a heart-breaking situation as they grieve the loss of independence.  But Emmy encourages, coaches and works in a way that brings light to the patients at their darkest moments.  She cares deeply and well for her patients, and unfailingly produces progress in mobility and mood. 

  • Excellence in Provider Collaboration:  Christopher Heck, MD, Palliative Care

Dr. Heck is recognized for his support of the nursing profession and his genuine caring for the nurses he works with as individuals.  He is constant in his collaboration with nurses regarding their patient and asks and considers their recommendations.  He is always willing to share a teaching moment with nurses so everyone understands the ‘why’ behind his answers.  Dr. Heck is a model of collaboration between physicians and nurses in patient-centered care.

Augusta Health is an independent, community-owned, not-for-profit health system 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 Leapfrog Top Hospital 2020.  For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please visit the website,