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UHS nurses recognized at annual breakfast

May 10, 2024

Three outstanding UHS nurses were honored May 9 at an annual event that celebrates nursing practice and the Honored Nurses of 2024.

The Professional Nurses Association of South Central New York held its 39th annual Nurses Day Breakfast in Binghamton. At the event, UHS registered nurses Matthew Killian, Amber Hoetzel and Erin Raskin received special recognition by the association.

Each year the PNA honors the nursing profession and local RNs by presenting awards to exceptional professionals in the field.  The following awards were given to RNs who work at UHS Hospitals:

Amber Hoetzel, RN, BSN, RN-BC, is the recipient of the Nursing Practice Award. This award recognizes a member who demonstrates outstanding performance in the practice of nursing, acknowledging the essential contributions that nurses across the continuum make to the healthcare of our community. 

Amber's nomination letter spoke about how she is not only a strong leader on her unit but a valued mentor to the UHS Nursing staff and Nursing Assistants. Amber has spent 10 years on South Tower 3 and started in a new nurse educator position this past year, covering three very busy nursing units. She continually betters herself through education, and uses what she learns to help the nurses around her in her role as an educator, and push through new initiatives for enhanced care at UHS. The letter goes on to talk about how Amber is a leader on her unit not only for her integrity and selfless care she provides to our patients, but as a role model to the nurses and nursing assistants she works with. Her compassion, integrity, and autonomy in her role have allowed the unit to grow immensely over the last year. 

Matthew Killian, ASN, RN, is the recipient of the Aspiring Professional Nurse Award, which recognizes a member who is in their first two years of practice and is mastering the knowledge and know-how of the field.  This individual has integrated learning and has applied it to their practice over the past two years, gaining experience is the prerequisite to becoming an eventual expert. This professional RN is a change agent and seeks to improve the profession of nursing with innovative and progressive ideas.  They are the future of nursing. 

Matthew's nominations letter talked about Matt's willingness to grow and take on new challenges. He was willing to learn the charge nurse role not long after coming off orientation and is regularly willing to lend a hand, even going to another unit to be an extra hand during a patient emergency without being asked. Matt is described as innovative, compassionate and hardworking, and continually strives to grow in this role. Matt has also been a great role model as a preceptor of new staff and student nurses. Being a new nurse himself, Matt relates well to what the students and new staff are going through. He is patient in listening to their needs and offering the opportunities for experience to grow their skill set.

Erin Raskin, MSN, RN, is the recipient of the Nurse Advocacy Award. The award is given to any nurse who advocates for the healthcare field. Nurses instinctively advocate for their patients, in their workplaces and in their communities. The American Nurses Association maintains that advocacy is the pillar of nursing.  

Erin's nomination letter spoke about how she has been instrumental in improving care quality for pregnant people with substance use disorders, and their infants, throughout UHS' care continuum. Erin's leadership has lead to meaningful changes for this initiative, including universal screening for substance use disorders in pregnancies with evidence-based tools, improved linkage to care for people with substance use disorder and a new approach to treating neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome that decreased infant length of stay and enhanced maternal-child bonding.

In addition to the individual recognitions, the annual breakfast is an opportunity for nurses from the region to network and celebrate their profession.

39th annual Nurses Day Breakfast