Our nurses deliver care in hospitals, emergency departments, doctors’ offices, on the phone, at members’ homes. And they do it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with grace, compassion, and grit. Join us as we honor our nurses. Without a doubt, they are exceptional.
Continuum Nurse Leader of the Year
Phyllis Stark, RN
Continuum Administrative Operations Regional Director, Northern California
Phyllis holds master’s and doctorate of nursing practice degrees and has been progressing in continuum leadership for 8 years. She served as interim vice president, Continuum of Care for 6 months in 2020. Colleagues describe her as a stress-reducing leader who creates an environment of innovation. She is always willing to hear new ideas and is open to feedback. “Phyllis encouraged me to continue in leadership when I felt like giving up,” said Regional Clinical Practice Consultant Darla Biswas, RN. “I feel inspired to be a better version of myself under her direction.”
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Nurse Leader of the Year
Michelle Camicia, RN
Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center Director, Vallejo
Michelle’s leadership at Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center is grounded in the theory of human caring and evidence-informed practice. Michelle, who holds a PhD, is a role model, a champion of innovation, a compassionate mentor, and a courageous leader. Her Preparedness Assessment for the Transition Home is being used at the rehabilitation center and internationally. Michelle’s leadership with the American Heart Association and Association of Rehabilitation Nurses has bolstered nursing and equitable care delivery regionally, nationally, and internationally. Michelle served as President of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and will be inducted into the American Academy of Nursing this fall.
The Permanente Medical Group Nurse Leader of the Year
Valerie Rogers, RN
Interventional Services Manager, San Jose Medical Center
Valerie began her Kaiser Permanente career in the intensive care unit in 1990. She transferred to the Cardiac Cath Lab and quickly became charge nurse and then manager. Under her leadership, San Jose Medical Center became the first nonsurgical Northern California site to be a receiving center for patients with serious heart attacks. In 2018, she was instrumental in San Jose Medical Center’s state approval as an elective site for inserting stents in patients with blocked coronary arteries. Valerie’s humble, quiet, stellar, and exemplary work behind the scenes has contributed to the Cardiology Department’s success over the last 20 years.
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Emerging Nurse Leader of the Year
Vanessa Martinez, RN
Regional Clinical Quality Programs and Data Analytics Virtual Nursing Care Director, Oakland
According to one colleauge, “Vanessa has a pure and genuine heart that you can see and feel by the way she gives her talent, time, and dedication to her staff, peers, and patients.” Vanessa directs Virtual Nursing Care and is a Caritas coach and patient care improvement advisor. She has developed nursing councils that inspire staff to provide exceptional care. When she earns her doctoral nursing degree in the fall, she will be able to observe patient populations beyond the acute care setting to forecast and prepare for changes coming to health care systems.
The Permanente Medical Group Emerging Nurse Leader of the Year
Zareen Hussain, RN
Emergency Care and Urgent Care Services Emergency Department Director, San Leandro Medical Center
Over the last year, Zareen has shown exemplary leadership within a high-tempo department, according to her manager, Deepak Devasthali. As interim director of the Fremont Emergency Department, Zareen supported 100 physicians and 250 staff. In that role she implemented a number of measures that improved the member experience, including a 70% increase in admissions within 60 minutes. She instituted a comment card system to improve the patient experience; improved by 20% the time for patients to get from the door to EKG; and she collaborated with hospital leaders to reduce emergency department assigned bed time by 15 minutes.
Extraordinary Nurse – Perioperative Services
Josie Jane Mangarin, RN
Perioperative Services Staff Nurse IV, South San Francisco Medical Center
Jane consistently goes above and beyond her call of duty to provide exemplary patient care. Jane takes exceptionally good care of both patients and physicians, according to many surgeons she works with. “She never misses a beat, and we are now much better off in many ways because of her,” said one colleague. “Jane is extremely helpful, friendly, intelligent, efficient and reliable. Patients and doctors love her.” Jane’s commitment to ensuring the highest quality care and patient satisfaction makes her an extraordinary caregiver and sets her apart from her peers.
Extraordinary Nurse – Care Coordination
Musetta Perezarce, RN
Discharge Planning Patient Care Coordination Case Manager, Santa Rosa Medical Center
Musetta’s passion to empower others through education, opportunity, and relationships led her to create Mi Futuro, an annual symposium for Hispanic high school students who learn about health care careers. Mi Futuro, or My Future in English, gives health care workers an opportunity to challenge youth to choose social connection as a healthy norm. It also provides the opportunity to reimagine meaning in daily patient care. As a Latina born to a mother on welfare who died when she was a teenager, Musetta understands the inequities many underserved youth face every day.
Extraordinary Nurse – Emergency Department
Vicki Goicovich, RN
Emergency Department Staff Nurse IV, San Jose Medical Center
Not only is Vicki an excellent nurse, she is invested in her community, according to her manager, Henry Fahrner. Each year she coordinates donations of 200 turkeys from Kaiser Permanente employees to St. Joseph’s Family Center. At Christmas, Vicki organizes a toy drive for over 1,000 families. She embodies the words extraordinary and kindness. A physician colleague said, “Vicki has never known how much her consistent smile and positive attitude contributed to my joy of working in medicine. Her care for others is genuine, and I am confident all who come in contact with her feel it as I do.”
Extraordinary Nurse – Appointment and Advice Call Center
Theresa Camacho, RN
Appointment and Advice Call Center Advice Nurse, San Jose
Theresa is a nurse in the San Jose Call Center specializing in pediatrics. According to colleague Maria “Lupe” Fernandez, “Theresa is able to identify the needs of both her pediatric patients and their families using excellent triaging skills.” Honest and dependable, she is someone who lends an empathetic ear to parents of sick children, quickly gaining their trust by listening and reassuring them when they are worried. Before ending her advice call, Theresa always makes sure parents are comfortable with the plan of care and tells them they can call back anytime should something change.
Extraordinary Nurse – Medical Offices and Outpatient Services
Annette Turner, RN
Park Shadelands Medical Offices Staff Nurse IV, Walnut Creek
“Annette is the most knowledgeable, kind, and compassionate nurse I have ever worked with,” said Lisa Woll, MD. Her colleagues say Annette has a can-do attitude, and always provides compassionate and complete care. Annette spearheaded 2 special projects that brought great value and efficiency to the office. One is a door card for drop-in patients identifying the patient and their need. The second is a patient medication care plan for unusual medication. She keeps the care plans up to date so each nurse and staff member can consult on the proper way to handle or prepare the medication.
Extraordinary Nurse – Maternal Child Health
Lillian Leavitt, RN
Maternal Child Health Assistant Department Manager, Modesto Medical Center
“Lillian is an amazing nurse, colleague, leader, and teammate,” said Marcie Coe, RN. “She practices nursing with a selfless passion that positively affects all of her patients.” Lillian recently taught a team how to reduce surgical site infections among cesarean patients, and she continues to be a valuable resource for those working in Maternal Child Health. “I had the opportunity to orient Lillian as a new hire many years ago, and I have learned so very much from her and am grateful to have had the opportunity to work beside such an amazing, caring, nurse.”
Extraordinary Nurse – Clinical Adult Services
Cheryl Hayes, RN
Clinical Adult Services Staff Nurse II, Fresno Medical Center
Cheryl is dedicated to all her patients, but she has found her calling in caring for those with cancer and in providing chemotherapy. Cheryl is an oncology certified nurse and participates in developing education-related cancer care. Outside of work, Cheryl is a member of the Oncology Nurse Society and volunteers her time to the Art of Life Cancer Foundation which is a survivorship organization for patients and families who have been affected by cancer. Cheryl’s experience as an oncology nurse makes her an excellent resource and support to her peers.
Extraordinary Nurse – Continuum
Vance Purcell, RN
Home Health Site Director, Sacramento
Having served in the U.S. Army for 8 years, Vance strongly believes in “leading from the front” and empowering staff to deliver excellent care first and foremost. Vance has worked relentlessly to make Sacramento Home Health a great place to work. Vance believes in his department, inspires colleauges to work as a team, and teaches them to be professional and effect patient satisfaction. “Vance is the most professional, inspirational, positive, consistent, 5-star leader I have ever experienced in my 15 years of work,” said a colleague.
Extraordinary Nurse – Advanced Practice
Erin Cunningham-Crawford, RN
Neurology, Movement Disorder/ALS Nurse Practitioner III, San Leandro Medical Center
“Erin is a fantastic nurse practitioner and so deserving of this award,” said her colleague, Robyn Reince, RN. “We run the Northern California ALS Support Group, and I am always in awe how she makes patients feel heard and cared for as they move through this awful disease.” Erin has an extensive background in palliative care and hospice, and she is adept in the art and science of deep brain stimulator management and medication management. Always the voice of empathy and pragmatism, she kindly supports family members as they cope with their loved one’s disease.
Direct Care Partner (Non-Nurse Award)
Analisa “Ana” Gorgonio
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Assistant, Oakland Medical Center
Throughout Ana’s 14-year Kaiser Permanente career, she has always exhibited the highest degree of courtesy and professionalism as a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit assistant. She is personable, caring and provides invaluable assistance to our patients, families, and staff. Whenever she completes a task she goes above and beyond. For example, she always makes sure the parent shower is ready for use, and she escorts them to the location herself. Ana creates caring moments every day for our members and staff with her cheerfulness and welcoming smile.
Willard Ellis, MD
Resource Management Northern California Chief, Roseville Medical Center
Dr. Ellis is an extraordinary physician partner, according to colleagues. He was instrumental in creating the Care Without Delay program in Roseville which allows placement of patients from emergency department to alternative venues of care, which saves valuable hospital resources for the sickest patients. Dr. Ellis is creative, compassionate and a true leader. He has led multiple projects over the last several years that have improved utilization and throughput in a medical center that runs at 115% capacity daily. Dr. Ellis is sought after across the region for his clinical expertise and technical abilities.