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Published on October 20, 2015

Two MU Health Care Nurses Named ‘Nurses of the Year’ by March of Dimes

Miracles for Kids Radiothon

Heather Dennis, RN, left, a triage nurse and certified breastfeeding educator at the pediatric clinic at South Providence Medical Park, won the 2015 Pediatric Nurse of the Year award. Helen Jankowski, RN, a clinical informatics nurse, won the 2015 Clinical Informatics Nurse of the Year award.

Two nurses at University of Missouri Health Care recently were named March of Dimes 2015 Nurses of the Year.

Heather Dennis, RN, a triage nurse and certified breastfeeding educator at the pediatric clinic at South Providence Medical Park, won the 2015 Pediatric Nurse of the Year award. Helen Jankowski, RN, a clinical informatics nurse, won the 2015 Clinical Informatics Nurse of the Year award. Dennis and Jankowski were two of 29 nurses from MU Health Care to be nominated. They received their awards at a ceremony Oct. 10 in St. Louis.

“It is great to be recognized for a job that I love that is both challenging and enjoyable,” Dennis said. “Helping others is one of my greatest joys. I am passionate about our patients, their parents and my co-workers.”

Dennis has worked for MU Health Care for 10 years and has been a nurse for more than 20 years. She enjoys the sense of satisfaction she gets from using her expertise to help others. It was this type of help that she recalls receiving from a nurse when she was a young girl.

“As a child, I watched as my mother battled cancer,” Dennis said. “The first time I visited her in the hospital, I was overwhelmed. A nurse saw me and explained what the I.V. was, what the machines did and that they were there to help my mother feel better. I will never forget the impact that nurse had on me. Now I am able to do the same for other children and parents.”

Jankowski has been a nurse for 37 years and has worked at MU Health Care for 35 years. She said she was honored to be nominated and chosen as the 2015 Clinical Informatics Nurse of the Year.

“This award acknowledges the involvement of nurses in all aspects of technical advances we implement at MU Health Care,” Jankowski said. “It also provides awareness for the importance of informatics nurses.”

Jankowski’s favorite part of her job is working with clinicians and the Tiger Institute to design, test and implement technical advances that improve care for patients.

“MU Health Care and the Tiger Institute have a progressive stance concerning technology in health care,” she said. “I am very fortunate to work for them.”

The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of all babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The Nurse of the Year initiative supports this mission while recognizing exceptional nurses throughout the state and celebrating the profession.

Click here for a high-resolution photo of Dennis and Jankowski (top).

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