Make no mistake, physicians are great and I have the utmost respect for them, but nurses are very special. And if you’ve ever spent some time as a patient in the hospital, you know what I’m talking about.

Baton Rouge General honored its Florence Nightingales at the Nurse Excellence Awards Ceremony & Banquet on May 6 at the Renaissance Hotel. The annual event recognizes nurses and individuals whose contributions and leadership advance the practice of nursing and support the health and wellness of our communities. Thanking the nurses and others for their dedication and hard work were Anna Cazes, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer; Mark F. Slyter, Baton Rouge General CEO; Dr. Ernest Mencer, medical director of Baton Rouge General’s Regional Burn Center; and Dr. Dhuval Adhvaryu.

Special recognition was given to this year’s “Hall of Fame” recipients: Lucinda Clark, Catherine Jackson, Earl Dean Joseph, Gwendolyn Miller, Ethel Rucker and the late Ida Henderson for their dedication in providing “exceptional care” and for their pioneering roles as the local hospital community’s first African-American nurses during the 1950s.

Also honored were Traci Parrish and Hassel Derouen-Miller, Nurse of the Year awards; Denise Bradford, the Edith LoBue Nursing Leadership award; Todd Abington, Non-Traditional Nurse of the Year award; Hannah Daigle, Nurse Rookie of the Year award; Drs. James Crowell and Alicia Taylor, Physician Friend of Nursing awards; and Jenny Chiasson, Ancillary Friend of Nursing award.

Dr. Andy Olinde, chief of medical staff, presented nursing scholarships to Tiffany Simon and James Murphy Haydel, who are both continuing their studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, to help them advance their nursing educations.

Follow this link to the photos.

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