During National Nurses Week (May 6 – 12), Independence Blue Cross (Independence) is proud to announce the winners and finalists of its fourth annual Celebrate Caring campaign that honors extraordinary nurses in the Philadelphia region. Independence annually celebrates nurses who demonstrate superior care and compassion to their patients and communities.
The nurses that are recognized this year come from a wide variety of specialties and locations throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Honorees were chosen from hundreds of nominations submitted by co-workers, patients, family, friends, and more.
The winners’ inspiring stories will be shared by Independence’s media partners 6abc and iHeartRadio. Independence will also make donations on behalf of each winner to nonprofit organizations of their choice. And as a thank you, winners will receive a gift card and enjoy dinner for two and a night’s stay in Atlantic City.
Ann Coyle, RNC-NIC, CPLC, BS-P – Virtua Health
For more than 20 years, Ann Coyle worked as a neonatal nurse helping children and their families through the most difficult situations. Coyle spearheaded the creation of Virtua’s Angel Garden for parents who have lost an infant or pregnancy. Today, she works as a Manager of Perinatal Bereavement at Virtua Health where she continues to provide compassionate support for grieving families. Coyle is using her donation to support The Virtua Foundation to help its NICU.
Bonnie Sandy, LPN – Horsham Clinic
Throughout Bonnie Sandy’s nursing career, she has worked in a wide range of settings from caring for disabled children to hospice care. But it was a family tragedy that inspired her to pursue her passion of mental health nursing. She now works as a psychiatric nurse at Horsham Clinic and continues to advocate for those struggling with their mental health. Sandy is using her donation to support the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Lenore Sears, MSN, RN – Healthcare STAT Home Care
Affectionately referred to as a “Super Nurse” and a “Health Care Shero,” Lenore Sears has worked as a home care nurse for more than 25 years where she is known for her commitment to caring for patients, their families, and her community. Sears is also passionate about nursing education and mentoring the next generation of nurses. She is using her donation to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Nurse’s Health Ministry Scholarship Fund at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church.
The COVID-19 honorees
This year, Independence is also honoring two additional nurses in a special COVID-19 designation for their roles in vaccinating people in Delaware County and Philadelphia.
These honorees will have their inspirational stories shared by Independence’s media partners 6abc and iHeartRadio. Independence will also make donations on behalf of each honoree to nonprofit organizations of their choice. As a thank you, each will also receive a gift card and will be highlighted on Independence’s Celebrate Caring website and social media channels.
Markeya Johnson, MSN – Public Health Management Corporation, Springfield Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center
Markeya Johnson is an experienced, master’s-trained nurse who oversees care for people experiencing homelessness while serving as a nursing supervisor on the weekends. During the pandemic, she has used her public health nursing background to identify areas in Delaware County and Philadelphia that had the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates and has worked to create clinics where people could be vaccinated.
DaVeda Graham, MSN, APRN, CRNP, AG/PCNP, CME, PHN – My Doc Urgent Care, Vitable Health
DaVeda Graham is a versatile and experienced nurse practitioner and educator who has cared for patients in a variety of settings. Dedicated to public health, she has worked throughout the pandemic to help thousands of people in Delaware County receive the COVID-19 vaccination. She is also focused on health literacy and health equity, working to ensure that high-risk and vulnerable communities are treated with respect and cared for appropriately.
Independence also recognizes seven finalists who demonstrated exemplary care and compassion in their nursing roles. The finalists will receive a gift card and will be featured on ibx.com/nurses and Independence’s social media channels.
Chanel Hart, MSN, RN, Jefferson Family & Community Medicine
Allen Staltmayer, BS, RN, CMSRN, Capital Health
Paul Robinson, RN, ANS Infusion, Inc.
Louis Bellace, RN, BSN, MS, PHRN, CFRN, CEN, CMTE, Nemours Children’s Hospital
Gretchen Ennis, RN, St. Christopher’s Pediatric Associates
Nishelle Harris-Hines, DNP, MSN, RN Wilmington VA Medical Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital
Shantia McCoy-Jones, MSN, RN, CRNP, CWCN, Corporal Michael Crescenz VA Medical Center
Visit ibx.com/nurses for more about the winners and finalists. For more information about the company’s response to COVID-19, visit ibx.com/covid19. For more on Celebrate Caring, visit ibx.com/nurses or follow #CelebrateCaring on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.