One of the local rites of spring is the presentation of awards by all manner of organizations. Such was the case recently for Louisiana’s nurses and those on the front lines of civil and human rights issues.

Nightingale Awards

Sandra Chaisson Brown, professor at Southern University’s School of Nursing; P. K. Scheerl e, CEO at Gifted Healthcare; and Terrie Sterling, COO at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, were inducted in the Louisiana Nurses Hall of Fame March 5 at the Louisiana Nurses Foundation’s 15th annual Nightingale Awards Program. The induction recognizes a registered nurse’s “lifelong commitment to the profession of nursing and the subsequent impact on the health or social history of Louisiana and contribution to an enduring achievement that has value beyond the nurse’s own lifetime.”

Serving as emcee for the evening was Kyle Ardoin, first assistant secretary of state. A panel of out-of-state registered nursing and healthcare leaders served as judges for the award selections.

Receiving Nightingale Awards were Andrea Normand, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, Registered Nurse of the Year; Laura Bonanno, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Nursing, Advance Practice Nurse of the Year; Lorrie Powell, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Nursing, Nurse Researcher of the Year; George Kirkman, Ochsner Medical Center, Rookie of the Year; Stephanie Pierce, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Nursing, Registered Nurse Mentor of the Year; Ryan Jacobsen, VA Medical Center, Overton Brooks, Clinical Practice Nurse of the Year; Tammy Barron, Rapides Regional Medical Center, Clinical Nurse Educator of the Year; Selina Guidry, Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital, Nursing Administrator of the Year; Bridget Gardner, University Medical Center New Orleans, Outstanding Community Achievement by a Registered Nurse; Wanda Spurlock, Southern University School of Nursing, Nurse Educator of the Year; Demetrius Porche, LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing, Nursing School Administrator of the Year.

Also recognized were Louisiana Tech University’s Division of Nursing, Nursing School of the Year, Undergraduate Degree Programs; LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Nursing, Nursing School of the Year, Graduate Degree Programs; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Outstanding Employer of the Year; The Spine Hospital of Louisiana at the NeuroMedical Center, Hospital of the Year — 60 beds or less; Lane Regional Medical Center, Hospital of the Year — 61-160 beds; Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Hospital of the Year —161 beds or greater.

Pillar Awards

Fourteen individuals and one group were honored for making “ great strides” in the areas of civil and human rights by the Southern University Law Center Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild at the 2016 Pillar Awards Ceremony Feb. 27 in the SULC Atrium. Welcoming the more than 150 guests were NLG President Ada Goodly.

Honorees included Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson, Trailblazer Award; Sentinel Award, Deacons of Defense; former state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, Statesman Award; documentarian Rachel L. Emanuel, director of communications and development support at SULC, Gatekeeper Award; SULC professor Stanley A. Halpin Jr., Jurist Award; SULC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Russell L. Jones, Pedagogue Award; Malik Rahim, New Orleans community organizer, Altruist Award; and documentary filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, Griot Award.

Receiving Pillar Awards were Judge Janice G. Clark, 19th Judicial District Court; Kip Holden, mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish; Ernest L. Johnson, president of the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP; Johnnie A. Jones, retired veteran civil rights attorney; John K. Pierre, SULC chancellor; Arthur R. Thomas, civil rights attorney; Alvin R. Washington, former president of the Baton Rouge Branch of the NAACP and SULC Clinical professor; and Robert C. Williams, retired civil rights attorney.

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