Honoree: Stacy Danahy, Director of Medical Operations, Arizona, Laser Spine Institute
During her 12 years in the health care industry, Stacy Danahy has displayed time and again that she is a true leader by going above and beyond to care for her patients. For the past two years, she has worked as director of medical operations at the Laser Spine Institute (LSI), a position that requires her to oversee patients, as well as other medical staff.
Her duties include answering questions from both patients and staff, determining the efficiency of the clinic as a whole, handling patients of concern, overseeing patient safety and infection control, educating and training staff, and managing inventory of supplies and medications.
What distinguishes Danahy is her dedication to providing quality care and comfort to all of her patients, no matter what the circumstances. She has been known to drive to the hotels of LSI patients as early as 5 a.m. to provide special care, such as the removal of stubborn catheters. She has also rubbed a patient’s feet and talked him through a claustrophobic experience, and has lain on the floor to ease the nerves of another anxious patient. She will do whatever the situation calls for in order to meet the emotional needs of her patients.
Finalist: Diane Drexler, Vice President of Patient Care Services, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Having worked nearly 20 years in health care, Diane Drexler is considered a leader in the industry. After working with many Banner hospitals and serving as Banner Estrella Medical Center’s first chief nursing officer, Drexler joined the senior management team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, where she oversees a staff of 75 nurses.
Under Drexler’s leadership, Cancer Treatment Centers of America became the first acute care facility in the state to be licensed with an Acuity Adaptable Nursing Unit. This new unit allows a patient to remain in the same room for all levels of acuity, including intensive care, and virtually eliminates bed transfers.
Finalist: Virginia Prendergast, Nurse Practitioner, Barrow Neurological Institute
Virginia Prendergast has a very good reason for being so dedicated to the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. She was born at St. Joseph’s and at age five convinced her father to take her on a tour of the hospital.
Prendergast had always wanted to be a nurse, and in 1979 she joined the neuroscience staff at St. Joseph’s. She rose through the ranks to become the youngest head nurse in intensive care. In 1993, she became the first neurosurgery nurse practitioner at Barrow.
In addition, Prendergast has developed and teaches a 20-week certification course to help nurses prepare for a national neuroscience nursing certification examination.