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Cayuga Health Announces “Outstanding Nurse of the Year”


Amy Blanden of Cayuga Medical Associates is the recipient of Cayuga Health’s inaugural Outstanding Nurse of the Year Award. The award was announced at the first “Florence NightinGathering” held at the Stratton Creek Inn in Newfield. This event and award, named in honor of Florence Nightingale, was created to celebrate the hard work and excellence of Cayuga Health nurses.

In announcing the award, Cayuga Health said, “Amy Blanden stood out among the top nominees by her peers for the Outstanding Nurse of the Year Nightingale Award, due to her focus on patients and teammates, and her willingness to always go the distance to assist others.”

Her nomination read, in part:

“Amy is without a doubt one of the kindest souls and is an excellent nurse. She demonstrates person-centered care in our office every day with colleagues and patients. She recently stepped into the Clinical Coordinator role for Cayuga Orthopedics, and I couldn’t think of a better nurse for this [leadership] role. Before becoming manager, she was always jumping in to help other staff members and patients to provide the best care possible. This has not changed since stepping into her new position… She will always round on clinics and help wherever it is needed.”

The other nominees for Outstanding Nurse of the Year were Rachel Lambert and Jennifer Hatch.

Lambert was recognized for her attentiveness to her patients; her nomination said in part: “Her patients are always well cared for, and this is universally known…Working with Rachel creates a sense of calm on the unit because she is such an exemplary nurse.”

Hatch’s nomination read: “I cannot think of a better example than Jennifer as a dedicated, determined nurse who embodies the spirit of Florence Nightingale in her everyday nursing practice. She advocates for all patients to receive high-quality, equitable treatment regardless of social determinants of health factors, and goes above and beyond to improve the equity of care delivery.”

In addition to the Outstanding Nurse of the Year, several other awards were presented at the inaugural event earlier to recognize the exceptional contributions of the Cayuga health nursing staff:

  • The Structural Empowerment Award was presented to Marisa Foehr of Cayuga Medical Center (CMC).
  • The Exemplary Professional Practice Award was given to Casey Gallagher of Cayuga Health System (Schuyler Hospital and CMC).
  • The New Knowledge and Innovation Award was bestowed upon Jill Buratto of CMC.
  • The Quality Improvement and Clinical Outcomes Award was awarded to Kylie Spooner of Cayuga Health System.
  • The Transformational Leadership Award was received by Clara LaBarr of Schuyler Hospital.


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