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Pensacola Woman Recognized as FHCA Nurse Administrator of the Year

June 14, 2016
Contact: Kristen Knapp, APR

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Pensacola nursing supervisor with more than a decade of experience in rehabilitation and patient-centered care is seeing her years of hard work pay off, with recognition as Florida’s Nurse Administrator of the Year. Kristin Rutherford, Director of Nursing at the Bayside Health and Rehabilitation Center, was honored at its 2016 Long Term Care Excellence in Nursing Awards presentation, held in St. Pete Beach.

“Florida is home to our nation’s finest long term care centers, and they wouldn’t be able to maintain this exceptional level of excellence without the selflessness and dedication of our outstanding health care professionals,” said FHCA President Joe Mitchell. “These honorees represent the best our long term care profession has to offer – they’re not only leaders but also role models to be admired by everyone.”

The staff and administration of Bayside Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is located at 4343 Langley Avenue in Pensacola, owe much of their recent success to Rutherford’s leadership. Since she joined the Bayside team as Director of Nursing in late 2014, Rutherford has spearheaded a number of improvements in the care center’s outcomes, including a five-star rating and zero-deficiency result in its annual survey.

“One of Kristin’s strengths is her ability to hold staff accountable,” said MaryAnn Loiselle, an administrator at Bayside, in her nomination of Rutherford for the prestigious award. “I have seen nurses, CNAs, and managers become more independent and confident in their decision-making skills because of Kristin.”

Rutherford, who has been in long term care throughout her 13-year nursing career, is known for her ability to quickly assess situations and immediately implement improvements. Using the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) approach to train staff in the midst of Bayside’s sweeping administrative changes, Rutherford was able to place special focus on improvements in wound care and use of antipsychotic medication. By February 2015, just four months after Rutherford’s arrival, Bayside received the “zero deficiency” score on a key survey, evidence of a well-run nursing facility.

Excellence in Nursing Award honorees are health care professionals, nominated by FHCA member centers, who reflect the unique characteristics, professionalism, and expanded skill sets of the long term care nursing profession. The annual awards recognize individuals for their important roles in helping centers achieve one or more of FHCA’s four national Quality Initiatives: reducing hospital readmissions, decreasing the use of antipsychotic medications, reducing staff turnover, and increasing customer satisfaction.  

Other recipients of this year’s awards are:

  • RN of the Year: Carman Dockham, RN, Assistant Director of Nursing Services at Lady Lake Specialty Care Center in Lady Lake
  • LPN of the Year: Amy Welty, LPN, PruittHealth-Santa Rosa in Milton
  • CNA of the Year: Mary Stevenson, CNA, Rehabilitation Center of Winter Park in Maitland
  • Rising Star in Nursing: Amina Dubuisson, Executive Director of North Beach Rehabilitation Center in Miami

The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation that serves almost 1,000 members and represents over 500 long term care centers that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and sub-acute care, short-term rehab, assisted living, and other services to the frail elderly and individuals with disabilities in Florida. The mission of FHCA is to advance the quality of services, image, professional development, and financial stability of its members. As Florida's first and largest advocacy organization for long term care providers and the elderly they serve, the Association has worked diligently since 1954 to assist its members with continuously improving quality of care and quality of life for the state’s growing elder care population. For more information about Florida Health Care Association, visit http://www.fhca.org.

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