Strever, a 30-year nursing veteran, oversees the Level 1 Trauma Center at Abrazo West Campus (formerly West Valley Hospital), 13677 W. McDowell Road in Goodyear. It is the only Level 1 Trauma Center serving western Maricopa County.
“The Distinguished Nurse of the Year is the most coveted honor and is given to a registered nurse who has demonstrated leadership and expertise throughout their career in the areas of patient care, community services and advocacy,’’ said Michael Simoni, State Director of the March of Dimes Arizona Chapter. “Tiffiny gives back to the profession in diverse ways, setting a positive example for current and future nurses.
This year, there were 343 nurses nominated in 17 categories by their peers and the community. Strever and the other 16 winners were honored at the Arizona chapter’s Nurse of the Year Awards Gala Aug. 29 which raised more than $146,000 for March of Dimes.
“Nurses have been a part of the March of Dimes history since the very beginning. We are honored to recognized these unsung heroes for the care they provide our Arizona families,” Simoni said.
One of the reasons that Strever, a Glendale resident, was honored is because she helped implement “Black Ops’’ while building the Abrazo West Campus Level 1 trauma program from the ground up. For 17 consecutive days, the trauma team participated in 70 high-fidelity drills simulating virtually all aspects of real-life trauma operations before the trauma center opened in July 2014.
“Tiffiny took a community hospital with little experience in treating seriously injured individuals and raised the staff proficiency level to achieve American College of Surgeons Level II trauma certification,’’ said Kerri Jenkins, Abrazo West Campus Chief Nursing Officer who nominated Strever for the award.
“The training succeeded beyond the most ambitious expectations and when the program received the first real patient, the team functioned like an experienced, seasoned trauma program,’’ she added.
Strever said she enjoys training nurses.
“With the transition of Abrazo West Campus from a community hospital to a trauma center, I organized education for more than 100 nurses from the Emergency Department and across the hospital. This was essential to the care that the trauma patients would receive,’’ she said.
Strever also helped develop and direct combined training of the Abrazo West Campus Trauma Team with staff at nearby Luke Air Force Base to help prepare the team to deal with all potential service requirements including mass casualty and disaster response drills for which she served as facility Incident Commander.
She is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Arizona Air National Guard where she oversees the sustainment training for the medics.
She also serves on the Emergency Nurses Association’s national board. She is the liaison to Connecticut, Vermont, Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire and assists those states with various issues. She also is serving on the national committees on military and awards.
Strever has spent the past 20 years in Level I Trauma Centers functioning in several roles, including staff nurse, injury prevention coordinator and trauma program manager.
“I can’t imagine not being a nurse. I love it today as much as I did 30 years ago when I entered the field,’’ she said.
Strever is published in the Journal of Emergency Nursing and authored chapters in the Emergency Nurses Pediatric Course 4th Ed. and Trauma Nursing Core Course 7th Ed. Strever has her certification in emergency nursing and was recently accepted into the Academy of Emergency Nursing as a Fellow. She graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 1985 and went on to obtain her Bachelors in Nursing in 2004.
For more than a decade, the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards Gala has honored nurses throughout Arizona. Since its inception, more than 1,000 nurses have been recognized; nearly $1 million raised to fund the March of Dimes and more than $130,000 has been awarded to Arizona-based institutions for scholarships.