Excellence in Caring and Practice Awards celebration honors nurses
Tracy Hunter accepts the Kitty Reisinger Heart of Nursing Award from Mark Reisinger.
“Human beings rarely allow their face to truly express what is deep in their soul.
“It is something we typically guard against. When you see the emotional pain, confusion, fright, shock and sadness occurring simultaneously on the face of a patient who was raped, it sticks with you.
“Fortunately, we have nurses like Tracy Hunter to care for these patients,” wrote the nurse who nominated Hunter, a member of the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) team in the York Hospital Emergency Department, for the Kitty Reisinger Heart of Nursing Award.
The team consists of nurses with extensive training in forensic interviewing techniques, evidence collection and court testimony.
Hunter was shocked when she heard her name announced as the winner at the Excellence in Caring and Practice Awards celebration on Thursday, May 8.
Nurses and physicians were recognized in nine categories. A complete list of nominees and winners can be found on Around WellSpan Online.
Hunter cried as she accepted the award from Mark Reisinger, who along with his wife, Tamara, established the award to honor his mother.
Some of the winners of the Excellence in Caring and Practice Award are, front row, from left to right, Vernette Rollison, Angela Crum, Linda Farjo and Christal Orban; second row, Jeannie Wirth, Sedney Pabon, Karen Fanus, Sarah Hunt and Natalie Billings; back row, Tracy Hunter, Glynnis Lowe, Dereen Houck, Pam Fake, Susan Rost, Cherlyn Strickhouser, Patty Bentz and Joan Tome.
Kathryn “Kitty” Reisinger practiced nursing in the York area for more than 40 years until her death in 2002. The winner is selected by members of the Reisinger family.
“You don’t realize how much you touch people,” she said after receiving the award. “Some of the rewards of nursing are knowing that you can help others, and that you can make a difference.”
Hunter, a 10-year nursing veteran, works in the cardiovascular lab and in the Emergency Department on an as-needed basis.
She worked in the Emergency Department for seven years before transferring to the cardiovascular lab.
Hunter’s nominator recounted an incident when she served as a SAFE mentor.
“As the young woman waited for us to finish with the evidence, I glanced over at her and saw the mixture of emotions on her face. It is an image I will never forget.
“I believe that Tracy, too, got a glimpse of her damaged soul. Instead of showing her the door and saying, ‘take care,’ Tracy asked, ‘Would you like me to walk you to your car?’ The girl nodded yes, and Tracy put her arm around her and gave her a gentle squeeze as they walked out.
“At that moment, I realized that not only was this young woman fortunate to have such a wonderful nurse, I was too.
“It was through the interactions with this patient that Tracy taught me what it means to truly care.”
The York Hospital SAFE team was established in 1998 and Hunter joined in 2001.
“I have a passion for this line of work based on personal experiences,” said Hunter. “Recognizing the sense of loss that is experienced, I strive to begin the process toward regaining a sense of self worth and helping them realize they are not a victim...they are a survivor.”