Three Tidelands Health nurses honored with prestigious Palmetto Gold awards
Three Tidelands Health nurses have earned statewide recognition for excellence in their profession.
Mindy Foster, Kristi Jones and Sharon Parrott recently received Palmetto Gold awards, which are given by the South Carolina Nurses Foundation for excellence in nursing practice and commitment to the nursing profession. Only about 100 nurses throughout South Carolina receive Palmetto Gold awards each year.
“Mindy, Kristi and Sharon join an elite group of nurses statewide who have earned this prestigious award,” said Ashley Capps, vice president of nursing and operations. “Prior to and throughout the pandemic, these nurses serve as leaders by example and are always looking for opportunities to not only improve care for our patients but also give back to the community we serve. They live our health system’s mission of helping people live better lives through better health every day.”
In addition to their sacrifices and dedication amid the pandemic, all honorees made significant contributions to their profession and Tidelands Health prior to COVID-19.
Parrott has been a fixture administering doses at COVID-19 vaccine clinics and picking up other nursing roles during the pandemic. But she also is a nursing educator dedicated to expanding learning and training opportunities for nurses and providers throughout Tidelands Health, often hosting classes at night or on weekends for providers who can’t attend during business hours.
She also mentors local students pursing medical careers and educates high school students. In 2019, Parrott organized the first-ever CPR training event in the Georgetown County School District, which resulted in more than 400 students trained in the initiation of hands-only CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators. She recently earned national certification from the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing as a stroke-certified registered nurse.
As a nurse in the critical care unit at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, Foster has cared for patients with the most severe cases of COVID-19 over the past 18 months. Prior to the pandemic, she had distinguished herself as a leader on her unit and serves as a go-to resource for peers wanting her input on the care of patients. She also created orientation programs for new graduate nurses and nurses who join the critical care unit.
In addition to taking care of patients and mentoring other nurses, Foster gives back to her community. Prior to the pandemic, she organized food drives for a local children’s home and led a fundraising effort for the March of Dimes. She also organized an effort to get needed hygiene supplies for local students and created a fund for a community member after a house fire.
Jones, who has been a registered nurse for 18 years, is an administrative supervisor at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital. Prior to the pandemic, she served as a night shift charge nurse, coordinated the donation of prayer quilts for end-of-life patients, created an area on her unit with donated toys, puzzles and books to help patients with behavioral health conditions and began stocking the unit with reading glasses for patients who end up in the hospital unplanned and without glasses to help them see hospital paperwork to complete. Each patient keeps the reading glasses.
Jones also volunteers within local schools to perform vision, hearing and teeth screenings and routinely assists school nurses during field days and other athletic events.
The husband of a former patient who passed away was so touched by Jones’ compassionate care that he planted his wife’s ashes under a rose bush that he named in honor of Jones.
“Especially amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these nurses have clearly demonstrated their dedication and commitment to providing high-quality, compassionate care to our patients,” said Jonella Davis, vice president of operations. “We are extremely proud of them and our entire nursing team for rising to the challenges of the past 18 months with professionalism, compassion and dedication.”