A dedication to senior citizens

Andrea Parkhill, RN, BSN
Andrea Parkhill, RN, BSN

Andrea “Andi” Parkhill, RN, BSN, is being honored with the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award for her unrelenting dedication to the health, safety and well being of senior citizens in her community.

Years of nursing practice have enabled Parkhill to quickly assess a situation and mobilize the community resources needed to find solutions. In one case, Parkhill treated an elderly patient who suddenly stopped attending his wellness sessions. Concerned, she visited his apartment and discovered that he had fallen a few days before and was in significant pain. After consulting with a physician, Parkhill ordered a certified home health aide and a physical therapist to assist the patient. Her environmental assessment identified several safety concerns that she worked with him to correct, allowing him to enjoy living independently and safely in his home.

Parkhill considers her patients’ physical, mental and social condition when creating a plan of treatment. Sometimes this comes at a significant sacrifice of personal time and expense, often far exceeding the expectations of anyone in her job. She began treating an elderly woman who, against the doctor’s advice, checked herself out of the hospital in order to return home to care for her cats. While visiting the woman, Parkhill discovered unsafe living conditions. She not only took the initiative to thoroughly clean and refurbish the apartment, she took the cats to a veterinarian and personally paid for their care and purchased clothes for the woman as a gift.

While working with the patient, Parkhill noticed that other residents of the housing complex exhibited signs of grief and depression. She collaborated with a social worker to address underlying issues of concern, including the loss of friends and access to transportation and other necessary everyday services.  The collaboration was so successful that the program is being expanded.

“Andi Parkhill’s remarkable patience, compassion, and generosity of spirit makes the lives of seniors in her community safer and happier,” says Wendell Mobley, director of Cherokee’s scholarship and awards programs. “Her ability to adapt treatment to the total needs of a patient and her willingness to give so much of her time when others might have given up show the life-changing difference a nurse can make.”

The award is granted by Cherokee Uniforms to recognize nurses and other non-physician healthcare professionals who demonstrate exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation and have a positive impact on others’ lives. This is the seventh year the leading designer and manufacturer of healthcare apparel has honored inspirational caregivers.

Parkhill was nominated by Susan Fowler, a coworker at the Visiting Nurses Association of Central Jersey, who explains, “Andi demonstrates the essence of exceptional service by providing a comprehensive, timely and proactive approach to meeting the client’s needs. She sees the entire picture clearly and frames the processes and outcomes of her service with care, compassion and communication.”

Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, more than 7,000 healthcare professionals have been nominated in the Registered Nurse, Advanced Practice Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse, Student Nurse and Non-Physician Healthcare Professional categories. A panel of Cherokee representatives and past Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award recipients evaluates nominations and grants the awards.

For every nomination, Cherokee Uniforms donated $1 to Nurse’s House, a national fund that provides short-term financial assistance to registered nurses facing serious hardship. Proceeds from Cherokee Uniforms products support healthcare professionals through initiatives such as the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award, scholarships for students enrolled in nursing school, and an inspirational film for nurses. Cherokee Uniforms will be accepting nominations for the 2010 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award beginning March 1 through May 31, 2010. For further information on the award, please visit http://inspiredcomfort.com. You can also congratulate Andrea on her win in the comment section here.

Sponsored by Cherokee Uniforms

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