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Celebrating our extraordinary nurses

Join us in honoring Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s award-winning nurses — those professionals who tirelessly heal others, set the bar high in the pursuit of nursing excellence, inspire and encourage their fellow nurses, and day in and day out shine throughout the organization with their leadership, compassion, and perseverance.

Click on a photo to read about the nurse honoree.

Cristine Lacerna, DNP, RN
Daniel J. Scroggins, MHA/INF, RN
Wendy Evangelista, MHA, RN
Juana Gonzalez, MSN, RN
Denise Aquilante Johnson, MBA, RN
Susan B. Sanfacon, MBA, RN
Shanna Lalchandani, MSN, RN
Honesto Lucero, BSN, RN
Colleen Burckin, MS, RN
DeAndre Turner, MSN, RN
Lisa T. Bennett, BSN, CRN
David Saqueton, BSN, RN
Kelsey Kosmadakis, CNM
Hisako Watanabe, MSN, CRNA
Sabrina Schultz, RN
Meghann Turner, MSN, RN, CCM
Marlena Cabanlit, RN
Maria Patricia Ponce, MSN, RN
Hannah Brannam, BSN, RN
Jo Lopez, BSN, RN
Kris Lunau, RN
Eugenia Ventura, MSN, RN
Sonia Lourence, RN, PMH-C
Sara Lyons, RN
Kevan Linford, RN, CNOR
Shyuu (Sheila) Shiouh, RN
Trina Ngo, RN
Azalea Peralta Padilla, RN
Tenzin Lhundup
Gayzelle Manalansan, PCT
Peggy Bartram, MHA, RRT-NPS
Brande Gentry, MBA

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Nurse Leader of the Year

Cristine Lacerna, DNP, RN

Regional Leader, Infection Prevention and Control, Oakland
Cristine has led Northern California medical centers through ever-changing infection prevention guidelines during the darkest days of COVID-19. She helps lead numerous programs including the Hospital and Emergency Department Reliability in Operational Excellence and Safety Group. In 2020 under her co-leadership, the safety group helped reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 19%, hospital-associated C. difficile infections by 18%, and hospital-associated pressure injuries by 9%. Similar improvements occurred in 2021. Cristine recently hosted the annual infection prevention academy focused on bringing the latest science to the forefront for colleagues.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Nurse Leader of the Year

Daniel J. Scroggins, MHA/INF, RN

Clinical Nursing Director, Patient Care Services, Fresno Medical Center
Daniel is an exceptional leader who became interim chief nurse executive in August 2021 during a surge in COVID-19 patients. During that difficult time, Daniel rallied the team to be sure nurse-to-patient ratios would remain intact, that team members felt supported, and that members received the best care. Daniel is innovative and shows a willingness to think outside the box, always with a smile and an encouraging word. He leads with compassion and kindness, building relationships, and is a leader who cares for his community.

The Permanente Medical Group Nurse Leader of the Year

Wendy Evangelista, MHA, RN

Assistant Medical Group Administrator, SSF TPMG Administration, South San Francisco Medical Offices
Wendy brought nursing excellence to her leadership of COVID-19 operations. With strength and professionalism, she led efforts in vaccination, testing, and monoclonal antibody therapies. Never missing a beat, Wendy made herself available day and night to arrange and deliver patient care and adapt to the many changes those service underwent during the pandemic. Additionally, Wendy has continued to make significant strides among her other areas of focus, including with adult family medicine, subspecialties, oncology, infusion, GI, mental health services, and outpatient quality. She is approachable, hands-on, and leads by example.

The Permanente Medical Group Nurse Leader of the Year

Juana Gonzalez, MSN, RN

Assistant Medical Group Administrator and Director of Nursing and Clinical Practice, Outpatient Quality and Clinical Practice, Greater Southern Alameda Area
Due to the outstanding leadership of Juana, the Greater Southern Alameda Area administered the third highest number of COVID-19 vaccinations and tests to community members among all Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, administering more than 300,000 COVID-19 tests and vaccinating nearly 400,000 people. Juana also seamlessly led outreach to underserved communities that resulted in successful drive-thru health festivals. Her passion for building future leaders led her to create initiatives that develop managers and support additional programs and services. She serves as a youth mentor and nurse speaker at local high schools.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Continuum Nurse Leader of the Year

Denise Aquilante Johnson, MBA, RN

Regional Director, Continuum Care Coordination, Regional Continuum, Oakland
Denise oversees the region’s Transitions program and the Extended Length of Stay program. Because of Denise’s improvement work on both programs, the region reached its hospital readmission target, and the percentage of the total census with a length of stay over 30 days decreased in 2021. Denise collaborated with the Division of Research, regional teams, and medical centers to achieve these results. She also partnered with Resource Stewardship to standardize the model of care and complete site assessments to monitor the validity to the standard model.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Continuum Nurse Leader of the Year

Susan B. Sanfacon, MBA, RN

Service Director, Santa Clara Home Health and Hospice, Santa Clara Medical Center
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Susan led her home health and hospice care team to deliver care in new ways in the Santa Clara area. Her team was the first to be trained to see COVID-19 patients in their homes as well as the first to administer furosemide intravenously at home, which helped decrease hospitalizations. Susan’s redesign of intake processes has improved her team’s efficiency and increased the number of processed homecare referrals. Her redesign is now viewed as a best practice that has been shared with others across the region.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Emerging Nurse Leader of the Year

Shanna Lalchandani, MSN, RN

Critical Care Nurse Manager, Clinical Adult Patient Care Services, San Francisco Medical Center
Shanna is an exceptional Intensive Care Unit manager, according to a colleague who nominated her for the award. She promotes nursing excellence and recognizes the individualism in each of her staff. She is always available to support her colleagues and encourage her nurses. Shanna promotes team member responsibility in running the unit and recognizes that staff involvement not only provides a sense of ownership, but also a sense of accomplishment. Her colleagues consistently say that Shanna is a fair, knowledgeable, non-judgmental, and exemplary manager.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Emerging Nurse Leader of the Year

Honesto Lucero, BSN, RN

Assistant Nurse Manager, Medical/Surgical/Telemetry, Antioch Medical Center
Honesto’s passion for excellent patient-centered care is reflected in his interactions with patients, family members, and staff. He prides himself on supporting and engaging with the staff through direct report rounding and by ensuring that he is accessible and visible at all times. He is responsible for the oversight of the Recuperative Skills Department, and he is the stroke lead for the medical center. He led training on donning and doffing of personal protective equipment early in the pandemic and instituted ongoing checks to ensure compliance with infection prevention protocols.

The Permanente Medical Group Emerging Leader of the Year

Colleen Burckin, MS, RN

Director of Nursing and Clinical Practice, Ambulatory Services, East Bay
Colleen is a true champion for innovation and change, say colleagues. Her leadership in leveraging technology during the pandemic helped managers oversee clinics with confidence, ensuring they are safe and legally compliant. She did an outstanding job designing the flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinic training program and collaborating with Information Technology to redesign regulation workflows. Colleen has a passion for education, creating and delivering trainings that meet the diverse needs of staff and managers from a wide variety of departments and backgrounds, and recently earned her nurse executive certification.

The Permanente Medical Group Emerging Leader of the Year

DeAndre Turner, MSN, RN

Clinical Practice Consultant, TPMG, Risk and Patient Safety, Oakland
DeAndre (Dre) has a knack for balancing relationships and processes and for creating innovative solutions that result in better outcomes for our members. His work has improved the clinical systems’ infrastructure and capacity. On one project, he developed a plan to help reduce Emergency Department falls, while on another he helped standardize processes in data transparency, accuracy, and validation for nursing-sensitive indicators. He continues to partner with Patient Care Services, Quality, and the medical group to support the organization’s goal of Magnet Recognition — the gold standard of hospital achievement.

The Permanente Medical Group Extraordinary Nurse – AACC

Lisa T. Bennett, BSN, CRN

Advice Charge Nurse III, Appointment and Advice Call Center, Sacramento
Lisa is known as caring, patient, empathetic, and respectful, with an unwavering dedication to her patients. She connects with members in a warm, caring manner that makes them know they are valued, and they are appreciative of her advice. She is a highly respected member of the team, and is committed to learning, training, and education. Her feedback is valued by the Information Technology and Training departments and is used for workflow improvements. She performs above and beyond expectations, and is a valued, collaborative member of the health care team.

The Permanente Medical Group Extraordinary Nurse – AACC

David Saqueton, BSN, RN

Advice Nurse, Appointment and Advice Call Center, Vallejo
David possesses excellent triage and critical thinking skills, along with a wealth of nursing knowledge and heart, according to nominating colleagues. His customer service skills are unparalleled. He allays member fears and anxiety while eliciting a coherent and complete summary of symptoms. David capably presents members with easy-to-understand information and instructions, and seeks their commitment to following home care advice. He exerts the utmost effort to ensure members have their needs met during the call, doing an excellent job of following up afterward, which increases patient satisfaction.

The Permanente Medical Group Extraordinary Nurse – Advanced Practice

Kelsey Kosmadakis, CNM

Certified Nurse Midwife, Women’s Health, Modesto Medical Center
The Maternal-Child Health Care team has greatly benefited from the passion, gentleness, and exceptional care that Kelsey gives to her patients. Her knowledge working as a nurse practitioner and her ability to improve workflows and patient experience makes her a well-rounded health care provider. She’s also a strong member of the Women’s Health care team acting as a liaison between outpatient and inpatient settings ensuring the systems work seamlessly together, and she is always looking to innovate. Team members say Kelsey is “an exceptional nurse midwife with a gigantic heart.”

The Permanente Medical Group Extraordinary Nurse – Advanced Practice

Hisako Watanabe, MSN, CRNA

Assistant Chief CRNA, Department of Anesthesia, Vacaville Medical Center
Hisako has been described as the “backbone of the department” and “a beacon of stability for all of us,” by her co-workers. Because of Hisako’s dedication and talent, her department has been successful in meeting patient needs while adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She skillfully serves as the assistant chief CRNA managing 30 staff members, provides accurately personalized anesthesia for all surgical services, and creates strategies for staff during surges. Hisako could not be more dedicated to her patients, department, and colleagues.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Care Coordination

Sabrina Schultz, RN

RN Case Manager, North Valley Transitions of Care Program, Sacramento Medical Center
Sabrina personifies compassion and commitment to patient-centric care. As a case manager with the North Valley Transitions of Care Program, Sabrina routinely goes above and beyond to meet the needs of Kaiser Permanente patients. Her assessment and problem-solving skills are next level. She successfully synthesizes information from multiple sources and distills even the most complex cases into actionable, pertinent next steps. Sabrina also empowers patients to act on their own behalf by routinely providing health teaching and instruction on how to navigate the Kaiser Permanente system.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Care Coordination

Meghann Turner, MSN, RN, CCM

Patient Care Coordinator Case Manager, Continuity of Care Department, Vacaville Medical Center
What makes Meghann extraordinary is her leadership skills in addition to her expertise in case management. As the chairperson of the Patient Care Coordinator Case Manager Practice Council, Meghann helps to ensure the success of the Continuity of Care Department. She has been instrumental in preparing the Vacaville Medical Center for the Magnet designation by partnering with representatives from different department councils and improving collaboration among teams. She is also working to help standardize documentation, refine complex workflows, and improve efficiency, which will impact length of stay and create capacity.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Continuum

Marlena Cabanlit, RN

Home Health Nurse II, Home Health and Hospice, San Jose Medical Center
Marlena volunteered to care for the first COVID-19 cases and was one of the early adopters of the regional COVID-19 response playbook. She was instrumental in collaborative work with the San Jose Medical Center’s local skilled nursing facility, helping provide hospice care despite the pandemic’s challenges and restrictions. As one colleague said, “Marlena is truly extraordinary. Not only is she able to do what is right for our members, but she also works to ensure that we in Kaiser Permanente have strong processes to support exceptional care experience.”

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Continuum

Maria Patricia Ponce, MSN, RN

Home Health Nurse II, Home Health, San Jose Medical Center
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, the San Jose Medical Center’s Home Health Care Department did not have specific protocols in place to deal with highly contagious disease. Patty helped develop protocols for home visits that would later be the template for regional Home Health and COVID-19 response playbooks. Patty was also instrumental in shaping the Home Soon Program, a pilot created to allow patients with certain conditions to transition home earlier than expected with Home Health and Hospital-Based Specialist physicians conducting joint virtual visits.

The Permanente Medical Group Extraordinary Nurse – Emergency Department

Hannah Brannam, BSN, RN

Staff Nurse II, Emergency Department, South Sacramento Medical Center
Every day Hannah comes to work with a smile, an extraordinary work ethic, and an openness to learn. The past 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic have been incredibly challenging in the Emergency Department, but Hannah continues to give her all to her patients and shares in their success and heartbreak. With grace and professionalism, Hannah juggles challenging patient cases, responds to medical emergencies, and supports the families of patients during their toughest moments. One colleague says, “Hannah is among the reliable, long-term nurses who I trust with my patients’ lives.”

The Permanente Medical Group Extraordinary Nurse – Emergency Department

Jo Lopez, BSN, RN

Staff Nurse IV, Emergency Department, Walnut Creek Medical Center
Jo is an exceptional Emergency Department leader in patient care and staff education. When it comes to her patients, Jo understands they are often experiencing one of the toughest days of their lives. She cares for them in a genuine, compassionate way and educates them on ways to support their wellness. As a member of the education committee, Jo routinely trains the nursing staff on new equipment and procedures. With the goal of making the department better, Jo collaborates with staff, physicians, and management. She is an important voice and valued colleague.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Clinical Adult Services

Kris Lunau, RN

Staff RN, Medical/Surgical, Santa Rosa Medical Center
During her 30 years with the Santa Rosa Medical Center, Kris worked in numerous departments, mentoring hundreds of newly graduated nurses and new hires. She provided exceptional care to thousands of Kaiser Permanente members. To this day, Kris continues to challenge herself to learn and utilize new technologies and updated best practices, advancing her own practice as well as the professional development of her peers. “Kris is a pillar on our team. She is measured, thoughtful, team-oriented, patient-centric, thorough, good-humored,” says one colleague.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Clinical Adult Services

Eugenia Ventura, MSN, RN

Staff Nurse IV, Medical/Surgical, Vallejo Medical Center
Gene leads the Vallejo Medical Center’s Voice of Nursing Committee, which has grown from 8 to 50 nurse participants in 2 years. In 2021, Gene and the committee’s co-chairs created a mentorship program for registered nurses and a peer feedback program. Gene’s contributions have led the Vallejo Medical Center to professional governance readiness, project completions, and Magnet document write-ups by front-line nurses. Whenever provided with an idea or project, Gene rises to the occasion to bring it to fruition through evidence-based practices and performance improvement activities that elevate nursing care.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Maternal Child Health

Sonia Lourence, RN, PMH-C

Staff Nurse II, Labor and Delivery, Fresno Medical Center
Sonia was the first staff nurse in Kaiser Permanente Northern California to become a Certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional. Immediately after certification, she created a tool called Mine, Body and Spirit for the maternal patient to access resources in the outpatient setting and in the surrounding community after hospital discharge. Sonia helped develop a patient discharge resource magnet that includes maternal mental health contact information. Sonia communicates in sign language, is state certified to help Spanish-speaking patients, and volunteers for a hotline supporting Spanish-speaking moms with postpartum depression.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Maternal Child Health

Sara Lyons, RN

Staff Nurse II, Labor and Delivery, Santa Rosa Medical Center
Sara embodies the true spirit of nursing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she served as a role model for personal safety and dedication to Kaiser Permanente’s mission. Sara kept abreast of the frequent protocol changes and gave patients a sense of protection in explaining practices to keep them safe while in the department’s care. She routinely follows safety measures, such as hand hygiene and the correct recommendations on personal protective equipment. Sara has maintained positivity and resiliency throughout challenging times, and always meets new challenges with a smile and tremendous grace.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Perioperative Services

Kevan Linford, RN, CNOR

Operating Room Nurse, Operating Room, Roseville Medical Center
Kevan is described as the embodiment of an operating room nurse to its core, who advocates for his patients the entire time they are under his care. He expertly leads 2 specialty service lines: the Pediatric Surgery Service and Pediatric Neurosurgery Service. Kevan is an active participant in committees including the Voice of Nursing, the Evidence-Based Practice, Informatics, Care Experience, the unit-based Safety Committee, as well as process improvement projects. He brings information back to the nursing team through monthly meetings and huddles with enthusiasm and optimism.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Extraordinary Nurse – Perioperative Services

Shiouh (Sheila) Shyuu, RN

Staff Nurse II, Perioperative Department, Operating Room, Oakland Medical Center
Sheila is a charge nurse for Oakland’s busy operating room who is described as juggling complex challenges with grace and calm, while empowering others to be their best. Additionally, she has been praised as an amazing resource for the Perioperative Department, where she is remarkable for her proficiency, hard work, organization, and people skills that make the OR function at optimum efficiency. “During COVID-19, Sheila was the lighthouse in the stormy seas who we all looked to,” said one colleague. “I don’t know what we’d do without her. She’s the best. Period.”

The Permanente Medical Group Extraordinary Nurse – Ambulatory/Medical Offices

Trina Ngo, RN

Staff Charge Nurse II, Adult Medicine, Campbell Medical Offices
“Trina makes a difference in the lives of every person she touches and interacts with,” according to one colleague. Trina’s commitment to the highest standards of care is demonstrated in her exceptional clinical skills, keen attention to detail, and dedication to always putting the patient first. In her role as charge nurse, Trina functions as the operational expert for all facility efforts while spearheading departmental initiatives with honor, courage, and commitment. Colleagues say she tirelessly serves staff, managers, doctors, and patients with respect and professionalism while exuding kindheartedness and compassion.

The Permanente Medical Group Extraordinary Nurse – Ambulatory/Medical Offices

Azalea Peralta Padilla, RN

Staff Charge Nurse II, Ambulatory Infusion Center, Redwood City Medical Center
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when the infusion center was particularly hard hit, Azalea showed unwavering commitment to her job, which some colleagues called, “absolutely heroic.” With a patient-first mindset, she managed to schedule patients for urgent chemotherapies and blood products despite a packed infusion center schedule. An example of this was when Azalea helped care for a young woman who was ill with COVID-19. The patient required urgent lab draws and blood products weekly. Azalea made it happen while being compassionate and kind, as she is with all patients.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Friend of Nursing – Direct Care Partner

Tenzin Lhundup

Housekeeping Aide, Environmental Services Department, Redwood City Medical Center
Quick, efficient, reliable, diligent, and always smiling, Tenzin is a very hard worker who keeps up with the seemingly impossible demands of the Emergency Room in the Redwood City Medical Center. When Tenzin is not there, it is deeply felt throughout the department. He is a master at terminal cleaning protocols, or protocols for cleaning spaces like COVID-19 and isolation rooms. He far exceeds expectations in this high-volume department and does not shy away from any task. According to his colleagues, “Tenzin is tireless!”

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Friend of Nursing – Direct Care Partner

Gayzelle Manalansan, PCT

Patient Care Technician, Float Pool, San Leandro Medical Center
Patients often compliment Gayzelle for being attentive to their needs. She treats them as if they are part of her own family, making sure they are clean, bathed, shaved, fed, and helped with exercise early in the morning. Gayzelle has served Kaiser Permanente for 22 years. She goes above and beyond, taking care of her patients thoroughly as well as helping others. At the end of a long day it’s typical for her to say that she’s happy — as long as her patients are happy.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Friend of Nursing – Interprofessional Colleague

Peggy Bartram, MHA, RRT-NPS

Clinical Manager, Respiratory Care Services, Clinical Adult Patient Care Services, Oakland Medical Center
Peggy and her team support a wide range of specialties where respiratory therapy assistance is needed. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Peggy worked with leaders to obtain equipment that was needed to care for patients and to keep teams safe. This was in addition to her providing education and training on how to use different respirators correctly and effectively. Peggy tirelessly leads her team by providing emotional support, helping with assignments, hiring staff, and onboarding respiratory therapy travelers when necessary.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Friend of Nursing – Interprofessional Colleague

Brande Gentry, MBA

Area Portfolio Leader, Administration, Napa Solano Service Area
Brande helped the Vallejo Medical Center as it readied itself to become the first hospital in Northern California to submit its Magnet application. “She has become a nurse advocate extraordinaire,” wrote one colleague. “I have so much respect for her talents. We are all learning from her organization and dedication. She treats nurses with the utmost respect and includes them in every effort.” Brande led many efforts in the area’s COVID-19 response and joined nurses as they delivered mass vaccinations in their county.

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