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MHP Medical Center honors six nurses

People tend to gravitate toward Lacy Harness, this year’s MHP Medical Center Monna Linne Award recipient, which was given Wednesday during a ceremony that honored six nurses.

Looking at what she brings to the hospital, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Linda Wessic said it’s easy to understand why that’s the case.

“She’s somebody you want on your team,” Wessic told a group of family, friends and co-workers who were there to honor Harness and the other five Nurses of the Year recipients. “She’s sought out a lot. I think one of her special skills is she’s able to meet people right where they’re at, and it might be that patient who just gets the diagnosis that they’re diabetic, and they know nothing about what they’ve got to do, or how their life has to change, or what directions they need to go in.”

The other five recipients, Kailyn Kleinsteiber, Aletta Thurston, Megan Linville, Taylor Martindale and Amber Fee, were also recognized during the ceremony, which took place at the Healing Gardens behind MHP Oncology in Shelbyville.

For the second year, MHP also announced the Excellence in Nursing Leadership award, which went to Melinda Linville, a longtime employee who currently serves as the director of maternity care.

Melinda Linville is the mother-in-law of Megan Linville, who also works in maternity care.

President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Horner congratulated the six nurses, saying that being recognized by their peers was the greatest honor they could receive.

“You are the real leaders,” he said. “It’s the informal leaders of institutions that set the culture. They set the culture of quality, and continuous improvement and commitment to excellence. That’s what you represent as much as anything.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paula Gustafson said nursing is an unusual profession that requires unusual people.

“Nurses have to have an intellectual curiosity, they have to have the ability to do procedural skills, they have to have compassionate care for patients,” she said. “You don’t find those kinds of qualities in very many people. Not only that, but we place incredible demands on nurses. We want them to be able to take care of patients of all ages, we want them to be able to take care of all diseases, and we want them to be able to navigate through our health care system in a high-quality, cost-effective manner. Those are incredible demands.”

The Monna Linne Award, now in its 22nd year of being handed out, recognizes a nurse who “demonstrates excellence in the areas of customer service, clinical practice, collaboration, professional development and community involvement,” according to a press release.

Linne worked her entire career — 43 years — at Major Hospital as a registered nurse.

When Horner arrived at MHP 34 years ago, he thought he knew it all.

Linne took him under her wing and helped show what the medical profession was really about.

“It takes you about two weeks to figure out, no you don’t know everything,” he said. “You don’t know what’s really important. It’s not chemistry. It’s not pharmacology. It’s that interaction between humans. It’s that relationship that builds that trust. You learn that from others.”

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