Cathy Willis, RN Case Manager at Compass Regional Hospice, was chosen as the recipient of the 2019 Cynthia L. Nugent Clinical Excellence Award in Hospice and Palliative Care. The award is named in honor of hospice nurse Cynthia Nugent, who dedicated eight years of her life to caring for those with life-limiting illnesses. Willis was nominated by her peers for this honor, which recognizes a Compass Regional Hospice clinical care provider who has shown outstanding dedication and excellence in caring for terminally ill patients and assisting their families.
Following Nugent’s passing in 2009, her husband, Bob, wanted to honor her work as a hospice nurse and recognize the excellent care she received as a patient at the Hospice Center in Centreville. Bob Nugent proposed creating an annual award that would honor Cynthia’s memory by recognizing a staff member who has gone above and beyond for their patients and their families.
Sharon Loving, Supervisor of Support Services for Compass Regional Hospice, and Bob Nugent presented the award to Willis during the staff holiday party on December 20. Bob Nugent said, “Cynthia thought the world of all of her colleagues. Although she had a career in the military and in government service, she found her calling when she came to hospice. She believed that caring for terminally ill patients was both a duty and an honor.”
Willis, a Kent County resident, has been a nurse and case manager for Compass Regional Hospice for nearly six years. One of the award nominators wrote, “Cathy has been a dedicated hospice nurse for many years. She goes above and beyond for her patients, and is always the first to help fellow staff in any capacity she can. She once arranged a motorcycle ride for a patient that wanted to ride one more time. She’ll bring birthday gifts, balloons, meals, or equipment so that her patients can truly live the rest of their time the best way possible.”
Another nominator said of Willis, “Cathy is unassuming, collaborative, ruthless, adaptable, and compassionate. Our jobs are to advocate not only for our patients and their families, but for each other. She is a fierce advocate for her fellow nurses, and shows up for her team when she is needed. She exemplifies what it means to serve her community. She is not only an excellent nurse, she is an exemplary community member, and I am proud to have worked beside her.”
Upon receiving the award, Willis said “Receiving this award was a true honor. Although I had never met Mrs. Nugent, I have heard so many great stories that have included her. It is a great honor to be an additional recipient of the award as those in the past, to carry on her memory and her legacy.”
Heather Guerieri, Chief Executive Officer of Compass Regional Hospice added, “I want to thank Bob Nugent for establishing this award, and his commitment to highlighting the selfless work of the staff at Compass Regional Hospice.”
Other Compass Regional Hospice staff who have earned the Cynthia L. Nugent Clinical Excellence Award in Hospice and Palliative Care include social worker Michelle Tuttle; hospice nurse and Hospice Center Manager Sarah Severs; social worker and Support Services Supervisor Sharon Loving; hospice nurse and Compliance and Quality Manager Missy Willis; bereavement counselor and Grief Support Services Supervisor Rhonda Knotts; hospice aide Melanie Glacken; and grief counselor Wayne Larrimore.
Compass Regional Hospice
Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages living with a life-limiting illness, and those learning to cope following the death of a loved one. Today, the organization is a regional provider of palliative care, hospice care, and grief support in Caroline, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties. Whether serving their patients in private residences, skilled nursing facilities, or Compass’ residential centers in Centreville and Chestertown, staff and volunteers are guided by their mission to provide comprehensive and compassionate care. Grief support services are offered to families of all patients, as well as to all children and adults in the community through grief groups, one-on-one counseling, and in-school support. As a Level 4 partner of the We Honor Veterans program, they also offer veteran-centric care that meets the unique needs of men and women who have served our country. Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the state of Maryland, and accredited by the Joint Commission. It is affiliated with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Hospice & Palliative Care Network of Maryland. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, call 443-262-4100 or visit compassregionalhospice.org.
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