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Nominated for her care for others

Local nurse Melissa Levesque was one of four nurse statewide considered for Nurse of the Year in the small hospital category


by: ADAM DUNN - Pioneer Memorial Hospital employee Melissa Levesque was recently nominated for the March of Dimes Nurse of the year award for her outstanding performance as a nurse.

Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God's spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts. — Florence Nightingale

Nursing has certainly evolved since the days of Clara Barton or Florence Nightingale, but one thing has been constant. The men and women who choose that profession do so mainly for the satisfaction of helping people in their times of need.

Recently, one of these people was recognized for their outstanding performance as a nurse. Pioneer Memorial Hospital's own, Melissa Levesque was nominated for the March of Dimes Nurse of the year award.

Started in Las Vegas, Nev., in 1983, the nurse of the year award is a way to recognize the most outstanding nurses. Organizations that value the contributions of nurses sponsor the annual state-to-state event. In Oregon the sponsors include Providence Health and Services, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Cambia Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Legacy Health, Peace Health, Tuality Healthcare, Adventist Health and Life Flight Network, PSAV Presentation Services, and Grant Mott Photography.

“This was our third annual Oregon Nurse of the Year event” said Caitlin Thompson, Community Director for March of Dimes Oregon. “As a non-governmental health organization, nurses are important to us. They care day in and day out for the same people we try to help through research, education, and advocacy. Organizations that also value the contributions of nurses to our society sponsor the event.”

There were 350 nurses nominated in several categories this year, and out of the 143 finalists, Levesque was in the top four in her category, small hospital.

“I truly love being a nurse” said Levesque. “I became a nurse because I wanted to make a difference for people in their time of need. Often people are vulnerable when they are in the midst of a health crisis. I enjoy helping them through that time. I truly want to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”

Most people who live and work in Prineville do so because of the benefits of small town life, and the close knit community that occupies the neighborhoods. It is common for neighbors to help neighbors, and for citizens to work together in times of crisis, or charitable endeavors.

Although she was not named Nurse of the Year, she was pleased to join such elite company.

“I feel very honored to have been nominated” said Levesque. “I was nominated by one of our nurse managers Glynis Morehouse. Not one of us nurses could do our jobs well without each other, and without working together as a team. I am very blessed to work with an amazing group of caregivers who are focused on giving our patients the best care. We are always willing to help each other out.

“I am also extremely blessed to be a nurse in the community that I was born and raised. I love my job at PMH and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. On any given day, I help care for someone I know, or someone who knows my parents or grandparents.

“It is a wonderful feeling to be able to care for, and give back to people who you grew up with and who helped shape the person you have become.”



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