Shining Bright in Palmetto Gold

Four Lexington Medical Center nurses have been honored with this year’s prestigious Palmetto Gold awards.

Katie Bedenbaugh, Elaine Cain, Theresa Prince and Rachael Ross received the award, which recognizes 100 nurses from across South Carolina each year for excellence and commitment to the nursing profession. The South Carolina Nurses Foundation presented the Palmetto Gold awards at a gala banquet in May.

Employers throughout the state nominate nurses for Palmetto Gold. Nominees must meet four criteria:
• Promote and advance the profession of nursing in a positive way in the practice setting or in the community;
• Display exceptional caring and commitment to patients, families, student nurses and colleagues;
• Demonstrate leadership and assist others in growth and development;
• Promote the profession of nursing and contribute to the advancement of nursing through civic, community and/or professional association activities.

Katie Bedenbaugh, RN, BSN, OCN

Katie Bedenbaugh

Katie exemplifies departmental leadership and commitment to identifying opportunities for improvement in Inpatient Oncology at Lexington Medical Center. In addition to her role as treasurer for the Riverbanks Chapter for the Oncology Nursing Society, she has served as a super user for Alaris, Beacon and Epic, and as a member of the hospital’s Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections Subcommittee and the Hospital-Wide and Unit-Based Practice Councils. Katie’s efforts have led to the identification of and changes to chemotherapy policies and procedures, as well as changes that have positively affected the department’s fall and CLABSI rates. She is a role model who works diligently to ensure education remains at the forefront for staff, enabling them to provide the best care to patients.

Elaine Cain, RN, MSN, RN-BC

Elaine Cain

Elaine is a leader on the Progressive Cardiac Unit and in her community. She educates herself on national research and evidence-based medicine for specific patient populations, including congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia and stroke. Her work with the Hospital-Wide and Unit-Based Practice Councils also emphasizes education. She assisted with the implementation of stent card education, dietary menu updates and a congestive heart failure patient booklet and calendar as past chair of these committees. A member of the Lexington Technology Center Health Science Advisory Board, Elaine promotes the importance of life sciences and health-related careers to young adults. She is also actively involved in a variety of community charitable events and assists with ministry opportunities.

Theresa Prince, APRN, MS, FNP-BC

Theresa Prince

Theresa is committed to excellence at Lexington Medical Center Irmo Urgent Care. She has served on numerous hospital committees to improve patient safety, throughput and patient experience. With her support, departmental patient satisfaction scores have exceeded expectations with consecutive months reported in the 99th percentile, and she consistently ranks within the top 1 percent in her specialty. In addition to her clinical practice, Theresa has served in the United States Air Force and South Carolina Army National Guard since 1978, receiving her commission in the Air Force Reserves as a registered nurse in 1987. She currently holds the rank of Brigadier General, the first woman to receive this prestigious senior ranking, and serves as Air National Guard Assistant to the Chief of the Nurse Corp. She is also a recipient of the Legion of Merit for exceptional conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

Rachael Ross, RN, MSN, RN-BC

Rachael Ross

Rachael is a leader in the practice setting who recently earned a master’s degree in nursing leadership and management. Specializing in cardiac, thoracic and vascular nursing, she is a member of the South Carolina Nurses Association, and she serves as the chair of the Unit-Based Practice Council for 4th North Tower and as an active member of the Hospital-Wide Practice Council. In these roles, Rachael facilitates process improvement activities focused on patient outcomes, and staff satisfaction and recognition. She led an initiative to decrease hospital-acquired infections and helped implement best practice initiatives to decrease central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and surgical site infections, which improved outcomes for Lexington Medical Center patients. Rachael also implemented processes to recognize her peers for their work and has been instrumental in improving unit morale.

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