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Huntington Woods woman wins nursing award

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 21, 2020

 Huntington Woods resident Christine Diatto poses with her Nightingale Award, for which  she was a recipient in the staff nurse category.

Huntington Woods resident Christine Diatto poses with her Nightingale Award, for which she was a recipient in the staff nurse category.

Photo provided by Eric Reikowski

HUNTINGTON WOODS — A Huntington Woods resident and nurse at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, was named as a winner of Oakland University’s Nightingale Awards.

Christine Diatto, a certified hospice palliative nurse, was a winner in the Nightingale Awards’ staff nurse category. The award, which celebrated its 32nd year, grants winners a check for $1,000, a bronze statue of Florence Nightingale and a ceremonial pin.

Diatto has worked in Beaumont’s clinical unit for the last 10 years, and before that she worked in the billing department. In her time as a nurse, she said, she’s known “some pretty incredible nurses and clinical instructors,” and for her to win was an honor.

“It means a lot because it’s a big deal to win that award,” she said, “It just means a lot that my manager thought that highly of me to nominate me. I work with some incredible nurses, and to be nominated, this meant so much.”

The manager who nominated her was Kristen Chaulk, an assistant nurse manager at Beaumont, Royal Oak. Chaulk called Diatto a “passionate” nurse and an advocate for hospice patients and families.

“(Diatto’s) just got this way about her,” she said. “She can calm everyone down. She’s a very comforting presence, and families and patients love her.”

Diatto’s decision to enter the hospice palliative care field was driven by the loss of her parents, who both were in hospice. Her goal in becoming a nurse was to give back and help families get through the difficult time that she herself experienced.

“The drive for that is just making sure that everybody has comfort and dignity,” she said.

Chaulk noted that Diatto has a tendency to go above and beyond for her patients, referencing her work organizing an event to make fleece blankets for hospice patients, acting as a preceptor for new nurses and helping at Oakland Community College with their clinicals when she’s not working.

Chaulk called Diatto “the epitome of what a nurse should be.”

“Her work ethic — just every year — is just top notch,” she said. “She does more and more each year.”

If she could have added more information to her nomination, which was turned in last year, Chaulk would have added that Diatto volunteered to work in the hospital’s COVID-19 unit during the pandemic.

Diatto said that when COVID-19 started, there was such a need for help that she asked to work in the unit. It was in her first week of eight working with COVID-19 patients that her hospice palliative unit actually closed.

“There was just that innate feeling to help,” she said. “When I was at home, I felt like I had to be at the hospital. It was a time I’d never, ever seen before.”