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Sparrow News: Sparrow Hospitals Select Nurses of the Year

Michigan Business Network
May 22, 2020 4:00 PM


LANSING, MI – A Nurse in Sparrow Hospital’s Neuro Trauma Intensive Care Unit who was instrumental in setting up a COVID-19 unit has been named the hospital’s Nurse of the Year.

Laura Timm, BSN, RN, CCRN, volunteered to take care of COVID-19 patients from the start of the pandemic and is known as a team player and strong advocate for patient safety. Timm, who has worked in the Neuro Trauma ICU for nine years, “is a fantastic nurse with a big heart,” said one colleague, and is viewed as knowledgeable, approachable and a wonderful teacher for her fellow caregivers.

Timm was honored during last week’s Nurses Week ceremonies. Artesia Vannote, BSN, RN-BC, of Sparrow Specialty Hospital, was named Preceptor of the Year.

Sparrow’s Community Hospitals also presented Nurse of the Year honors. Sparrow Carson Hospital recognized Jessica Heleski, RN, as its Nurse of the Year.

Heleski received multiple nominations and was recognized for educating her colleagues on Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) intervention and data collection. Her nomination noted that Heleski exemplifies what it is to deliver kind, compassionate care. With each interaction she has, people feel cared for, valued and welcome by her.

“We are extremely honored to have the caliber of nursing excellence we have here at Sparrow Carson. The task of choosing just one nurse each year to be recognized is always difficult,” said Monte Malek, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, interim Chief Nursing Officer.

During this unprecedented time, Sparrow Clinton Hospital chose not to give accolades to a single nurse, but to honor all 70 nurse caregivers as the 2020 Nurses of the Year. Their compassionate care for patients, their families, and the community as a whole reflects the true spirit of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

“The Coronavirus has changed our lives,” said Sparrow Clinton Hospital President Beth Daugherty, BSN, MPH, RN, CRRN. “The comfort and reassurance Sparrow Clinton nurses provide daily has a whole

new meaning. Our healing touch has been redefined. Nurses have learned to smile with their eyes, hug without touching, and celebrate life from a distance.”

At Sparrow Ionia Hospital, Emergency Department nurse Samantha Fletcher, BSN, RN, was selected as the 2020 Nurse of the Year.

Fletcher – a caregiver at Sparrow Ionia since 2013 – was nominated by her peers and hailed as having “an exceptional understanding of the community around her” and a “beacon of knowledge.”

“Sam has a unique way of finding the smallest light in a dark situation,” said one nomination form. “When the sickest of patients arrive, Sam is always the first one in the room.”

Sparrow is extremely proud of its more than 1,600 nurses.

As a designated Nurse Magnet Hospital, Sparrow Hospital is a recognized leader in Nursing excellence, innovative professional Nursing practices, and quality Patient care. The Nurse Magnet designation is the nation’s most prestigious honor for Nursing achievement and excellence.

Considered the gold standard for nursing care in hospitals, Magnet status is held by only about 6 percent of American hospitals. Sparrow received redesignation in 2014 as a Nurse Magnet hospital, which is held by just 2 percent of hospitals.


Sparrow, a member of the prestigious Mayo Clinic Care Network, is mid-Michigan’s premier health care organization that includes hospitals in Lansing, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ionia and Carson City as well as Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group and the Michigan Athletic Club. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 Caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and Patient experience. For more information, visit Sparrow.org.

Sparrow Hospital photo caption: Sparrow Hospital Nurse of the Year Laura Timm (left) receives her recognition from Chief Nursing Officer Amy Brown.

Sparrow Carson Hospital photo caption: Sparrow Carson Hospital Nurse of the Year Jessica Heleski (front right) is honored by Jill Bartolo, Surgical Services Manager (front left) and (back row, from left) Monte Malek, interim Chief Nursing Officer and Mark Brisboe, President, Sparrow Carson Hospital.

Sparrow Clinton Hospital photo caption: Following Sparrow Clinton Hospital tradition, the least tenured nurse, Julie Schafer, RN, (from right) joined SCH President Beth Daugherty, BSN, MPH, RN, CRRN, and the most tenured nurse, Gretchen Priess, RN, in cutting the cake to celebrate National Nurses Week.

Sparrow Ionia photo caption: Sparrow Ionia Hospital Nurse of the Year Samantha Fletcher (second from left) is shown with (from left) Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Harris, MSN, RN; Tara Lanz, BSN, RN, Emergency Department manager; and Sparrow Ionia President Linda Reetz, MBA, BSN, RN.

  • Sparrow Hospital Nurse of the Year
  • Sparrow Carson Nurse of the Year
  • Sparrow Clinton Nurse of the Year
  • Sparrow Ionia Nurse of the Year
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