Healthcare Foundation Honors Area Nurses

The Palm Healthcare Foundation hosted its third annual Heart of Gold Nursing Reception on Thursday, May 12 to honor the extraordinary work of local nurses and recognize the county’s Nurses of the Year.

The winners included three Wellington nurses: Gayle Barbakoff is interim open heart coordinator at JFK Medical Center, Kepler Altidor is a team nurse for Vitas Healthcare and Eileen Pantoliano is a senior family nurse consultant at Alzheimer’s Community Care.

The event concluded the foundation’s six-week Thank A Nurse campaign that asked residents to show appreciation by sharing stories of outstanding nurses in the community.

Close to 200 guests attended the Heart of Gold Nursing Reception at the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center. Mistress of ceremonies, CBS 12 news anchor Michele Wright, helped introduce speakers Andrea Bradley, president & CEO of Palm Healthcare Foundation; David O’Brien, chief nursing officer at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center; Raquel Searchwell, RN, from Vitas Healthcare; and Kathy Kino, RN, a recent graduate of Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and a Palm Healthcare Foundation scholarship recipient.

Other nurses of the year are:

• Korey Bricker, a nursing student at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

• Paula Dorhout, regional nursing director at Children’s Medical Services.

• Pamela Ellison, a surgical nurse at Lakeside Medical Center’s Outpatient Surgery Center.

• Marilyn Hadley, an antepartum nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center.

• Dr. Debra Hain, associate professor at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.

• Barbara Highland-Lee, a perinatal nurse at West Boca Medical Center.

• Julie Stevens, a nurse at Trustbridge Health.

• Mayda Loveland Tress, a registered nurse at Good Samaritan Medical Center.

• Tom Walczak, a nurse at the C.L. Brumback Primary Care Clinic at the Senator Philip D. Lewis Homeless Center.

• Patricia “Trish” Weaver, a parish nurse at Holy Spirit Church.

• Jaclyn Youngkin, Marell Gongola and Melissa Kearns, members of a nursing team at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.

ABOVE: 2016 Nurses of the Year with Michele Wright.