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MHA Keystone Center Honors Two Lakeland Nurses for Speaking Up
Aug 24, 2018 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – Two nurses from Lakeland Health were honored Wednesday, August 22 with the Michigan Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center Speak-up! Award. The award recognizes healthcare professionals and hospital staff who choose to speak up to prevent patient or staff harm in Michigan hospitals.

Crystal Watson, RN, and Lori Engler, RN, are the first recipients of the award at Lakeland Hospital Niles and the first dual recipients of the award. Watson and Engler received the award for speaking up about a medication that was ordered incorrectly and voicing concern to their colleagues. Their actions changed the course of care and protected the patient from harm.

“Every day, errors occur in health care in every organization,” said Loren B. Hamel, MD, President & CEO, Lakeland Health. “The only way we can help lower that risk is to be alert when something is not going well and say something about it.”

Lakeland Health and its team of more than 4,000 healthcare professionals serve southwest Michigan with primary and specialty care. Overall, the hospital encourages a culture of teamwork, respect, accountability, inspiration, trust, and safety.

“Our work environment is nonthreatening, and we all feel comfortable approaching the providers because they welcome our suggestions and comments,” said Watson.

Fostering a culture of speaking up is critical because it ensures safe care.

“It is the assurance of staff that they’re supported when they raise an issue and it’s going to be heard and addressed,” said Sam Watson, MSA, CPPS, senior vice president of patient safety and quality, MHA Keystone Center. “An individual, whether it be a nurse or physician, could be the last step of intervention between the patient and harm and their ability to stop, ask and raise a concern is vital in keeping patients safe.” 

Both nurses noted that they felt compelled to speak up to help and be advocates for their patients.

“Sometimes we must be the voice of the patient,” said Engler. “If there is a question of safety, it’s our job to speak up and question the situation to keep them safe.”

More information about the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award, including award criteria and a nomination form, are available at www.mha.org  

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Photo caption (left to right): Crystal Watson, RN; Lori Engler, RN; Tammy Jerz, RN, Manager Patient Care Services, Obstetrics, Lakeland Health

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