News and Information

April 29, 2011

St. Joseph Medical Center Nurse Is Pierce County Nurse Of The Year For 2011

Jennifer GrayJennifer Gray, a registered nurse at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, has been named the 2011 Pierce County Nurse of the Year by the Pierce County Nurses Association.

Employed at St. Joseph since 1996, Gray divides her time as a resource nurse in the Critical Care Department and as a staff nurse in the Cardiac Surgery Unit. As a resource nurse, she mentors other nurses.

"I am honored to have been nominated for, and chosen to receive, this very special recognition," Gray said. "Becoming a nurse was a calling for me. I love my job. I enjoy helping people and being part of a wonderful team of nurses and other caregivers at St. Joseph Medical Center."

This marks the 10th time in 13 years that the Pierce County Nurse of the Year award recipient has been a member of the Franciscan Health System staff. Nurses are nominated for the award by co-workers and colleagues in nursing. The 2011 awards ceremony and dinner is scheduled for May 6 in Tacoma.

Individuals who nominated Gray for the prestigious Nurse of the Year award praised the Arizona native’s compassion, dedication, professionalism, friendliness and commitment to excellence. "Her kindness never ends," one nominator wrote. "She might bring in something for her peers to eat at break or rouse up support for an employee in need. She is always supportive and thoughtful, a joy to work with, and a privilege to know."

Another nominator cited Gray’s "sunny personality," and explained that she is "equally capable to resuscitate a crashing patient or console a grieving family."

"Jennifer is a great nurse and inspiration to all of us," said Laurie Brown, vice president and chief nursing officer for the Franciscan Health System. "We are proud of her accomplishments and pleased that she is a member of our Franciscan family."

The Pierce County Nurses Association is a non-profit professional organization representing approximately 2,500 nurses in Tacoma and Pierce County. Founded more than 100 years ago, it is affiliated with the Washington State Nurses Association.

St. Joseph Medical Center, which has 343 beds, is the flagship hospital of the Franciscan Health System. Franciscan also has hospitals in Federal Way, Lakewood, Gig Harbor and Enumclaw, as well as medical clinics throughout Pierce, South King and South Kitsap counties. Franciscan Health System is part of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the largest non-profit health organizations in the U.S.

About Franciscan Health System (FHS): FHS includes St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor; Franciscan Hospice House in University Place; Franciscan Medical Group clinics and providers in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties; and the Franciscan Foundation. Franciscan is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2010, CHI provided nearly $590 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research.

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