Española, N.M. – In recognition of her leadership and community involvement, the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence has named Brenda Romero, Chief Hospital Executive at Presbyterian Espanola Hospital (PEH), distinguished nurse of the year for 2018.
According to the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence, the honor is given to a nurse who "has been an exemplar through innovative leadership, fostering involvement in the nursing profession, or forming and engaging partnerships within the community."
Created for nurses by nurses, the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence has hosted the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards since 2005. This year, nurses were honored on Oct. 13 in 20 professional categories, including the distinguished nurse award. The Nursing Legend Award and the "Touch a Life" award, which celebrates the special bond between patient and nurse, were also awarded.
Nominations read at the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards ceremony described Romero as "well-known and respected for her knowledge of clinical practice, impeccable leadership skills and passion for creating the highest quality nursing and healthcare services" for her community.
"This is a well-deserved honor for Brenda," said Troy Clark, Vice-President of Regional Operations, Presbyterian Healthcare Services. "She brings excellent clinical, financial and leadership skills together with a true passion for improving the health of the people we serve in Northern New Mexico. She is a leader who truly cares about her team. Brenda knows and has a deep concern for the community she serves and for improving their health."
Romero, born and raised in northern New Mexico, has 33 years of nursing and leadership experience. She started her career at North Eastern Hospital in Las Vegas, NM and began working on the Medical/Surgical/Pediatric unit at PEH in 1985. She previously served as Director of Nursing and Patient care at PEH, and has led the hospital since 2009. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Rio Arriba County Health Council and serves on the Nursing Department Advisory Board for Northern New Mexico Community College. She previously served on the Governor's Drug Prevention Task Force.
Two other nurses at Presbyterian Healthcare Services were also honored. Kimberly Gililland, manager of the Family Birthing Center at Lincoln County Medical Center in Ruidoso, was honored for Nursing Leadership and Tina Dages, with the Cardiac Progressive Care unit at Presbyterian Hospital, was honored for Medical-Surgical nursing.
Presbyterian Española Hospital
Presbyterian Española Hospital has been owned and managed by Presbyterian Healthcare Services since 1977. This partnership is dedicated to improving the health of individuals, families and communities in Española and Rio Arriba County. Presbyterian Española Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare Services operate a hospital, a primary care and specialty clinic, sleep disorder center, community-based programs, outpatient rehabilitation services and home healthcare services in Rio Arriba County. Presbyterian Española Hospital is one of nine hospitals run by Presbyterian, which also has a statewide health plan and a growing multi-specialty medical group.