Lifetime Achievement Award - May 2017

Premier Nursing News     May 2017

One nurse, who has made significant contributions to the practice of nursing, is selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The honoree is:

Ann Lensch, MS, RN, CBCN
Breast Care Coordinator- Retired

Ann became employed at Good Sam North (Miami Valley Hospital North as of July 23, 2018) in 2001, when she helped develop the breast cancer program. This special nurse touched the lives of many patients and families, providing support along their journeys. She served as an advocate, care coordinator, educator, mentor, effective communicator, and problem solver. This nurse worked closely with her interdisciplinary partners to meet the needs of all patients. Daily after the physician explained the surgical options for treatment, she would spend a long time with the patient and family to discuss what they may expect after surgery. She would explain what they, their spouses and children might also experience from an emotional standpoint.  This support continued after the surgery when Ann would continue to console and counsel them as they proceeded through their cancer journey.  Patients have repeatedly told me that her knowledge and support made a significant difference in their recovery.  Ann always stayed in touch with patients. In 2003, she started a support group at Good Sam North known as S.O.S – Sharing Our Strength. Because of Ann, the patients would develop a more positive attitude about their disease and treatment. This group continues to thrive today, providing support and resources for countless patients and families. Ann’s contributions extended beyond our local level. In 2006, this nurse was the recipient of the Janet Voinovich Service Award from the State of Ohio for her work related to prevention, education, screening, early detection, treatment, and preserving quality of life for patients with breast cancer. During 2006, she played an integral role in GSH receiving disease-specific certification for breast care by The Joint Commission. This was the first program in the nation to become certified for breast care. In 2009, our breast center was the second program in Ohio to achieve the prestigious NAPBC (National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers) accreditation award. This award is granted only to those centers that are voluntarily committed to providing the best possible care to patients with diseases of the breast. Ann performed the bulk of the work required to pass the rigorous evaluation and to assure compliance with the stringent NAPBC standards. This award is truly considered the gold standard achievement. Her love of her patients was also shown by making small pillows for the patients that they use to ease the discomfort after their surgery. She would also search out all possible sources of money to help a patient who might need assistance in covering their medical and non-medical bills. Ann has truly made a significant contribution to the practice of nursing and has had such a positive impact on so many patients. She actively worked with community partners and participated in breast cancer awareness events, such as the STRIDES walk and Brake for Breakfast. She was also a member of the Breast Cancer Task Force of Greater Miami Valley. This nurse spoke to community members at churches, wellness fairs, local colleges and career technology centers, and senior centers, providing education and a point of connection to our Breast Center Program. Her outreach efforts affected those around her, as she encouraged others to join in the many supportive endeavors for breast cancer awareness and treatment. This special nurse's gentle and caring nature served her well as she met with newly diagnosed patients. She calmed their fears, held their hands, and assured them that she would be with them every step of the way. She also served as a great support to the family members of our patients. Her door was always open to help anyone who needed her. Patients and families often remarked that they could relax the minute she was in their presence. She retired at the end of 2016. She was an excellent representative for nursing and Premier Health. The true heart of her work is known best by those whose lives she touched, each day, as she lived a mission of kindness and compassion.

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