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Peters named Nurse of the Year

Island resident Irene Peters, geriatric clinical nurse specialist at Overlake Hospital Medical Center, was named the 2008 Nurse of the Year by the March of Dimes at an event held at the Bellevue Hilton in December. Peters was honored for her work at Overlake in the category of Advocacy for Patients. She has been a practicing nurse for 34 years.

Peters joined Overlake in 2005, where she is a committed clinician for the geriatric patient population and an inspiring educator for all staff.

Peters was instrumental in adapting Overlake’s preprinted order sets to ensure the safest medication-prescribing practices for elderly patients. She is the champion for falls prevention work at Overlake, and the improved outcomes are an indicator of her success. In addition to her work with patients in the hospital, Peters is also an advocate for the ‘Matter of Balance’ community outreach classes that help seniors increase activity levels and reduce fall risks in everyday life.

Barb Berkau, Director of Nursing, said, “Irene’s leadership skills, her ability to engage staff at all levels and her tremendously huge heart set her apart. Her ability to pull teams together, communicate, educate and change practice in a collaborative environment is phenomenal. Her passion is infectious, and she never misses an opportunity to advocate for elderly patients to ensure they remain safe in all settings.”

“In receiving this award, I’m standing on the shoulders of many others,” Peters said. “All my colleagues in the Senior Care program, along with physicians and nursing administrators have supported me and the initiatives I’ve been involved with in the hospital. A clinical nurse specialist is only as good as the staff who learn and implement the care to the patient population; in my case, geriatric patients.

The staff throughout Overlake are to be commended for improving care for the very special older patients we serve.”

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