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Community Nurse Recognition

Sally Louisa Tompkins Award Program

Sally Louisa Tompkins served as a nurse in Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War Years.  Under her supervision, although little was known about the cause of infections, her insistence on cleanliness is said to have been a major key to the lowest mortality rate of any such military hospital, Union or Confederate, during the Civil War.

She was the only woman to hold a commission in the Confederate States Army serving as a Captain of Cavalry, unassigned. Her devotion and work earned her the label "Angel of the Confederacy."

In 2013, Camp 1708 decided to ask the UDC Chapter #966 to join us in honoring top nurses at the Veterans Hospital in Phoenix in recognition of their

"overall excellence embodying dedication, innovation and commitment to enhance the care of patients"


2015 Winners are Linda Jones, R.N. and Arthur Leon, R.N.

Staff attending Presenters

On the left above are some of the PVAHCS staff who attended the presentation; Shawna Bonner, Nurse Manager; Marva Greene, Deputy Nurse Officer, Linda Jones, RN winner; Michelle Evans-Meheula, Assistant Nurse Manager;  (Not on the picture) Michelle Bagford, Chief QSI.

On the right above: from the left Linda Jones, RN., Pat Crawford, UDC, Lynn Crawford, SCV and Marva Greene, Deputy Nurse Officer. Linda said she loved caring for her “GI Joes.” She is from the Philippines and she told us that in the Philippines all Veterans are lovingly called “GI Joes.” Author Leon, RN was unable to attend due to a family illness; Cheryl Roberts, Chief Nurse Mental Health accepted his plaque in his behalf.

Congratulations to the winners. We know that you will both continue to be leaders in your field going the extra miles for the patient. A sincere “thank you” to the winners and all the staff at the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

We are indebted to Matilde Cangco, NOD/Nurse Manager who set the presentation on behalf of SCV & PVAHCS. Pictures courtesy of Gail Smith, Chief Nurse Inpatient Services, PVAHCS.


2014 Winner is Melanie Martyn, R.N.

Presentation photo
Flanking the 2014 winner, Melanie Martyn, R.N. of the Phoenix Health Care System from left to right are Keith Roberts and Lynn Crawford of Camp 1708.  Next to Lynn is his wife Pat Crawford, Lori Steadman, Patty Williams all of the UDC Chapter 966.  On the right end is our VA contact Nancy Claflin, R.N., Ph.D., the Associate Director of Patient Care Services.  Dr. Claflin read a truly remarkable review of the qualifications of Ms. Martyn for this award.  Her helpfulness to others, patient care, and overall dedication to her profession are quite exemplarily.  Picture courtesy of Bruce A. Bowens, RBP, Medical Photographer.


The 2013 winners are James Brezinski, RN & Cynthia DeCesare, RN

The Phoenix Veterans Health Care system decided to add a monetary award to the plaques presented by the SCV and UDC!  Congratulations to you both!  They will provide a write up with pictures in their employee magazine which is distributed to more than 2,000 nurses in their employment.  They plan to include some of the background on Sally Louise Tompkins.

James Brezinski, RN Cynthia DeCesare RN supervisor
On the extreme right of the picture on the left is James Brezinski, RN, and on the far right of the right hand picture is Cynthia DeCesare's supervisor, Cheryl Roberts, accepting on Cynthia's behalf.

The other people from the left in both pictures are Lori Steadman, UDC; Associate Director of Patient Care Services, Nancy Claflin, RN, PhD; and Lynn Crawford, SCV.  Cynthia DeCesare was sick the day of the presentation.

Award plaque wording

An embossed award plaque was presented to each recipient and another with both names to the hospital for display on their wall.

A special thank you to Dr. Nancy Claflin who set this all up on behalf of the Phoenix VA HealthCare System.  Pictures courtesy of Paul Coupaud, M.Ed., USAF Ret. Chief, Medical Media, Phoenix VA Health Care System.

The story of these awards was published in the VA's Hayden Hotline newsletter sent to all employees of the Phoenix VA Health Care system.  A copy is available here.