Centra Nurse Awarded Nurse of the Year

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Centra Nurse Awarded Nurse of the Year

Monday, December 7, 2020


On Saturday, December 5, 2020, Heather Mayberry was awarded Nurse of the Year by the Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) for her work with the COVID pandemic at Centra. Heather collaborated with the Infection Control Teams and developed policy and procedure for how to care for not only patients but also front-line workers by developing the concept of a Variable Acuity Unit, to care for the ever-changing needs of COVID patients.

In her role as Clinical Nurse Specialist for several units at Lynchburg General Hospital as well as the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinical Coordinator, she developed the hybrid Variable Acuity Unit, that incorporates an Intensive Care Unit, Pulmonary Care Unit and M/S for COVID patients with specially trained nurses who can smoothly facilitate their evolving needs. This is a new concept perfectly suited for this era in medicine. The unit was built with attention to airborne precautions and healthcare workers protection in mind in addition to the patient’s safety.

During 2020 - the Year of the Nurse -, Virginia Nursing Foundation (VNF) has modified their regular award recognition program to focus on recognizing the contributions of 20 registered nurses from throughout Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Year of the Nurse awards are an extension of the annual VNF Leadership Excellence awards, which were created to honor outstanding nurses throughout the commonwealth who have made exceptional contributions to the nursing profession.

Nurses who have made a difference during this unprecedented time have been nominated by their peers or a community for a variety of reasons. The Year of the Nurse Awards are based on the premise that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the nominee enhanced the image of professional nursing and rose to the unprecedented challenges facing the nursing profession with compassion and respect.

“Many of us receive praise for being front-line nurses, but we stand confidently on the shoulders of our Clinical Nursing Specialists and Infection Control teams. I have confidence going into this dangerous war with COVID and even on days when we are combatting our more familiar disease processes, that both the patient and I can take comfort in the fact that we have leaders like Heather who have paved the way for us to take on this fight. She deserves the honor of the VNF Nurse Excellence Award because she has given us the honor of her ingenuity and hard work which gave us confidence and direction in time when there was none,” stated Tiffany Lyttle, in Heather’s nomination letter to the VNA.