Beebe Healthcare Honors Five Nurses at Nurse Excellence Awards Recognition Ceremony

In recognition of nurses and of the impact they make in the hospital and throughout the healthcare field, Beebe in 2012 established three prestigious nursing awards – The Eleanor P. Cordrey Award for Nursing Excellence, The Bonnie Austin Award for Nursing Leadership, and The Connie Bushey Award for Nursing Scholarship. These awards were named after long-time Beebe nurses who exemplify the qualities to which all nurses aspire.


This year, the Nursing Excellence Awards committee established a fourth award – The Advanced Practice Award for Nursing Excellence.  This award recognizes a nurse for several qualities including excellent clinical skills, support of other nurses, collaboration with others while giving patient-centered care and initiating evidenced-based practices.  This award is named after the 2014 recipient Holly Rader, APRN, FNP.


The other 2014 award recipients are: Karen Savidge, RN – The Eleanor P. Cordrey Award for Nursing Excellence; Theresa Houston, RN, BSN, CCRN – The Bonnie Austin Award for Nursing Leadership; and, for The Connie Bushey Award for Nursing Scholarship, there are two winners: Virginia (Ginny) Rickards, MEd, RN, CCRN, and Terri Wyatt, MSN, RNC-LRN, CPLC, GC-C, CNE.


Award Recipients:


Karen Savidge, RN, is a full-time nurse on the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) on the 5th floor at the Medical Center. She has been with Beebe since 2007 and works nights. Clinical educator Dave Brant, RN, BSN, who nominated Karen, noted her strong commitment to her patients and her ability to quickly identify, analyze and solve problems and to alert the appropriate people. She is a strong leader and preceptor on the unit and encourages others to participate in nursing events and education. She always has ideas to make things better for patients and for team members. Dave describes an inner peace she has that allows her to be calm and reassuring with patients, their families and with other caregivers.


“Karen has made a substantial contribution to the continued operation and growth of Beebe Healthcare,” Dave wrote. “She is extremely resourceful and enthusiastic as a valued team player.”


Theresa Houston, RN, BSN, CCRN, is a Critical Care Nurse Educator at Beebe. In that role, she works with many other staff members to improve patient care.  She was instrumental in the effort to develop and initiate the protocol at Beebe to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). The protocol has been so successful in recent years at Beebe that Theresa was among those nurses to present the protocol at the 2013 Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) National Conference.  Based on this work, Theresa and the other team members were invited to lead a mentoring program and have introduced the protocol to other hospitals.


Theresa also is active in nursing leadership councils at Beebe, as well as in the Delaware Nursing Association and in the Diamond State Chapter of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).


 Jacqueline Cooke, MSN, WHNP-BC, WHP, who nominated her for the award, noted Theresa’s commitment to patient safety, quality and nursing practices, and her strong leadership qualities.


“Theresa is recognized in her department as a strong leader and strong resource,” she said. “She has developed and carried out multiple staff education offerings to support Beebe Healthcare in successfully accomplishing goals to improve patient flow and safety.”


Both Terri Wyatt and Ginny Rickards have been long-standing leaders and educators in the School of Nursing at Beebe Healthcare, which, in 2011, became the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing.


Terri, who has been at the School of Nursing since 1986, is an outstanding teacher and community contributor.  Because of her devotion to the growth and education of her students, the students at the School of Nursing have chosen her as the graduation speaker three times in the past 15 years. She has created new learning opportunities for the students through researching and initiating innovations in nursing education.


In 2007, she was nominated as the Faculty Member of the Year by the Delaware Student Nurses Association.  In 2013, she was a finalist for Delaware Excellence in Nursing Practice Award as Academic Nursing Educator.


Her work in supporting organizations throughout Sussex County led to her earning a Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2011. She is known in the community for her dedication to Beebe’s Perinatal Loss Support Services, for which she coordinates and volunteers. This program gives important support to parents who have lost a child, an infant, or who have experienced a miscarriage.


“She is always looking for learning activities to benefit the students,” said instructor Laura A. Smith, RN. “She not only is an excellent nurse educator, she is an excellent friend, co-worker, mother, wife, daughter, grandmother, community member, and so many more titles that I don’t have room to list.”


Ginny, who joined Beebe in 1984, serves as Director of Admissions and as an instructor at the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing. She is an active leader in the school, involved in several department committees and committed to quality improvement. She also makes sure that the school and the nursing students are involved in community outreach efforts and regularly participate in the free health screenings offered by Beebe Healthcare. She encourages students to continue with their advanced educations and maintains her own advanced certifications.


She is actively involved as a leader in the Beebe Alumni Association, first as an executive board member and also as someone heading up several committees. She also is a member of the National League of Nursing and for 10 years served on the panel for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Continuing Education Review.


“She has dedicated her entire career to Beebe Healthcare and is committed to doing what is best for patients and team members,” wrote Terri Wyatt, who nominated her. “I believe the most significant quality of this candidate is the respect her peers have of her.”


Holly Rader is an Advanced Practice Nurse in Beebe’s Population Health CAREs program. CARE stands for Care Coordination; Access; Referral to community-based programs; and Empowerment of patients.  It is a transitional care program that assists people with chronic illnesses to learn how to better manage their medical conditions and thus improve their health and quality of life. This program is now in its second year and has been very effective in reducing hospital admissions. 

Holly is a board certified Nurse Practitioner with a wealth of diverse experiences and a deep understanding of the difficulties people face when confronted with chronic disease.  Holly is passionate about the CAREs Program and its many benefits to the client, their families, and the community at large. Holly is a Preceptor to nurse practitioner students and has been active in various committees. She also recently participated in the Delmarva Health Network Diabetes Care Transition work team that developed an evidence-based clinical pathway to increase quality of care across the health care continuum.


Holly is widely lauded by her peers for creating an atmosphere of trust and encouragement for both patients and team members. “Holly is a pioneer and leader in this innovative program at Beebe Healthcare,” said Dianne Bane, RN who nominated Holly and works with her in the CAREs program. “She is a true patient advocate and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to providing and encouraging the most comprehensive and holistic approach to our patients. She is an exceptional nurse with a genuine compassion, strong determination to work hard even in the face of adversity and has a passion for providing the highest level of care to each and every patient daily.”


The award recipients were chosen following a lengthy process that included two committees. The awards committee, made up of nurses representing the entire organization, selected the nominees. The second committee was made up of directors and last year’s award recipients. There were 25 nurses who were nominated for the awards.


The awards were presented by committee member Stephan A. Betins-Kinnamon, MSed, RN, CNOR, Perioperative Clinical Educator, at the Nursing Excellence Awards Recognition dinner and celebration on May 3, at the Sussex Pines Country Club in Georgetown


“This year we had 25 nurses that we nominated,” Betins-Kinnamon said. “This is especially significant when you realize how busy our team members are and how lengthy and time-consuming the nomination form is. The nurses that were nominated truly have impressed all of us.”


“These awards represent nurses recognizing nurses,” says Steven Rhone, RN, BSN, MS, NE-BC, Vice President of Patient Care Services. “They have allowed us to take time to recognize what our nurses do and that they make a difference in the lives of our patients and their families and caregivers. This is a profession that does not talk about itself, yet has a tremendous impact on the lives of others.”

 Caption: Pictured here, left to right, are:   Karen Savidge, RN; Holly Rader, APRN, FNP; Theresa Houston, RN, BSN, CCRN; Terri Wyatt, MSN, RNC-LRN, CPLC, GC-C, CNE; and Virginia (Ginny) Rickards, MEd, RN, CCRN.

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services.  For more information, please visit us online at