GALVESTON, Texas – The Good Samaritan Foundation each year honors Excellence in Nursing in six categories, awarding gold and silver medals to the profession’s “best and brightest.” This year, nursing professionals at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston were recognized with two gold medals and one silver.

Linda Rounds, the Betty Lee Evans Professor of Nursing at the UTMB School of Nursing, received the gold medal for faculty. In the nursing administration category, Jamie Heffernan, nurse manager of the Blocker Burn Unit, received the gold medal, while Charles Machner, nurse manager of the Medical Intensive Care Unit brought home the silver medal.

“The UTMB School of Nursing is beyond proud to have Linda Rounds on faculty,” said Pamela G. Watson, dean of UTMB’s School of Nursing. “She is a truly exceptional leader in nursing education. Rounds is the third School of Nursing faculty member to become a Good Samaritan Foundation Gold medal award winner. How wonderful for her and for UTMB students.”

This is the latest recognition for Rounds, who was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing last fall. She has devoted her life to advanced practice nursing, serving as president of the Texas Board of Nursing for 10 years and recently guiding the first class to receive doctorates in nursing practice.

“The nurse manager role is one of the most complex roles in health care, and effective leadership skills are crucial in today’s complex health care environment,” said David Marshall, vice president and chief nursing and patient care services officer. “We are thrilled that the Good Samaritan Foundation has chosen to recognize not one but two of our nurse managers with their gold and silver nursing administration and leadership awards this year. We are proud of Jamie and Chuck. They demonstrate compassion and skill every day, and it is fitting that they have been recognized through these awards.”

Nursing is part of the DNA at UTMB: the School of Nursing was established in 1895 and was the first nursing school west of the Mississippi River. Moreover, UTMB was awarded Magnet Recognition for nursing, a certification held by fewer than 10 percent of hospitals in the United States.

The Good Samaritan Excellence in Nursing award winners are nominated by their peers and selected by a distinguished committee of nursing leaders. Those nominated must demonstrate passion for the nursing profession and exemplify excellence in teaching, mentoring, leadership and service.

For more than 60 years, the Good Samaritan Foundation has been dedicated to a single cause — increasing the number of highly-trained and dedicated nurses “at the bedside” of Texas patients. Its mission is to support excellence in nursing education and practice, providing grants to nursing schools for faculty development, doctoral research and community outreach. As the leading private provider of nursing scholarships in the state of Texas, the Good Samaritan Foundation has awarded more than $15 million to more than 15,000 nursing students in Texas.
This year’s Excellence in Nursing winners will be honored Sept. 3 at a luncheon at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston. For more information, go to www.gsftx.org.