Shelby resident receives Nightingale Award for excellence as nurse

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published May 20, 2019

 Sara Chung

Sara Chung


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A Shelby Township resident was recognized recently for her work dedicated to helping stroke survivors as a nurse at Beaumont Hospital, Troy.

On May 9, Sara Chung, of Shelby Township, a stroke program coordinator at Beaumont Hospital in Troy, was named one of the 2019 Nightingale Award winners during a ceremony at the Oakland University School of Nursing and Board of Visitors’ 31st annual Nightingale Awards for Nursing at the San Marino Banquet Center in Troy.

Chung has been a registered nurse with the Beaumont Health system since 2013, and the stroke program coordinator at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, since November 2015.  

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Oakland University and a Master of Science degree in nursing from Michigan State University.

“I feel very humbled to have been nominated for the Nightingale Award, and to actually be selected as a winner is a dream come true. I cannot think of a higher honor than to be recognized for my work as a nurse with stroke survivors during both Nurses Week and Stroke Awareness Month,” Chung said via email.

Nightingale Awards celebrate the contributions of registered nurses who go beyond the normal call of the job in southeast Michigan.

There were three nurses given awards, and two Beaumont nurses were recognized as runners-up.

Winners of the awards are selected through nominations by peers, supervisors, friends and patients for excellence in one of nine specialty areas.

Chung won the award in the category of Post-Acute Care & Specialty Nursing.

Each of the award winners received a $1,000 cash award, a solid bronze Nightingale statue and a Nightingale pin.

According to a press release from Beaumont, the Oakland University Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence are the only statewide awards for nursing in Michigan. They have run consecutively since 1989.

For the past three decades, Nightingale celebrations have provided the Oakland University School of Nursing with student scholarships, research support for faculty, technology and resources for access to advanced nursing education.

Chung’s supervisor, Kelley McMillan, said Chung has changed the way that stroke prevention care is done at their hospital.

“Sara’s leadership and initiatives have transformed the efficiency and effectiveness of stroke care at Beaumont, Troy. She has been instrumental in the evaluation of outcomes that have resulted in major changes in processes and has championed the education of our nursing staff by providing comprehensive stroke education,” McMillan said in an email.

“Sara was instrumental in the formation of a Patient Family Advisory Council composed of stroke patients and their families — providing opportunities for patients and families to provide suggestions and feedback on every aspect of care — from the emergency center through rehabilitation. She has championed the development of educational tools for patients and families, and led efforts to improve stroke risk factor education,” said McMillan.

Chung developed a tool that is now used at all Beaumont locations.

“One of Sara’s greatest accomplishments is the development of a screening tool called ‘mofaster’ that is helping us to identify more patients with posterior strokes. This tool has been so successful that it is now being used all across the Beaumont Hospital system,” said McMillan.

Susan Grant, the executive vice president and chief nursing officer for Beaumont Health, welcomed and addressed attendees at the event.

“The Nightingale celebration is a time each year we have an opportunity to thank and celebrate nurses,” Grant said in a press release. “Not just the amazing men and women recognized at the event, but all of those who dedicate themselves to this wonderful profession.”“It is through our nurses, and their unlimited compassion, that we are able to collaborate with and meet the unique needs of individual patients and their families,” Grant said.

“Nurses are extraordinary advocates for patients. They touch thousands of lives in their daily interactions with patients, families and their communities. When nurses are recognized for what they have done to make a profound difference in their patients’ lives, they often say ‘I was just doing my job’ or ‘I didn’t do anything special.’ Nightingale and Nurses Week provide us with an opportunity to pause and recognize these extraordinary individuals and reflect on the enormous impact their care has on changing and improving people’s lives.”

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