Mary Hayes, RN
2005 National Prize Winner (RN Category)
Tulsa, OK
Registered nurse and community advocate honored

Alcoholism and substance abuse affect people of all ages, socioeconomic levels and ethnicities in northeastern Oklahoma. Mary Hayes, RN, has been a trusted advocate for wellness and sobriety in her community of Pryor, Okla., where she strives to help people in her community break the addiction cycle and live healthier, happier lives – a state she defines as “wellbriety”.

For being such a compassionate role model and an agent for change in the community, Hayes has received the prestigious Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award, one of only 14 people honored nationwide in 2005. The award is granted annually by Cherokee Uniforms – a leading designer and manufacturer of healthcare apparel – to recognize nurses and other non-physician healthcare professionals who demonstrate exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation and have a positive impact on others’ lives.

Hayes is a registered nurse at Girling Home Health Care in Tulsa, Okla. She was nominated for the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award by her sister, Georgia Jarvis, who said Hayes’s compassionate, caring and empathetic actions do not stop with her patients – that she truly is a “loving individual to all.”

A respected advocate in her community, Hayes created the Pryor Powwow to promote wellness and sobriety among Native Americans and other ethnic groups in a culturally sensitive manner. The very first event was so successful, that Hayes is garnering further business and community support to make the powwow an annual event

While raising two sons with her husband, Hayes attended nursing school at the Northeast Oklahoma Vo-Tech. After working 12 years as an LPN at a local nursing home Hayes returned to school to earn her associate’s degree. While working as an RN for home health and hospice centers, she was faced with the tragedy of her mother’s death. Desiring to help others in her position, Hayes founded the Mayes County Grief Support Group, which still meets monthly. And a year later, with the help of a friend, she started the Mayes Community Alzheimer’s Support Group.

As a National Winner in the award’s Registered Nurse category, Hayes receives an all-expense-paid trip to a 2006 U.S. medical conference of her choice, an annual membership to a clinical organization, a wardrobe featuring the best of Cherokee Uniforms and Rockers Footwear worth more than $1,000, a 2005 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award trophy and placement in Cherokee’s 2006 Inspired Comfort Award calendar.

Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, more than 3,400 healthcare professionals have been nominated in the Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse, Student Nurse and Non-Physician Healthcare Professional categories. A panel of nursing professionals and Cherokee representatives evaluates nominations and grants the awards.

For every nomination in 2005, Cherokee Uniforms donated $1 to Nurses House, a national fund that provides short-term financial assistance to registered nurses facing serious hardship. Cherokee donated $1,300 in 2005.

Nominated by: Georgia Jarvis  
This is my way of saying ”thank you” to Mary for her years of dedication to her communities’ health. I know nurses rarely get the recognition they deserve yet they work long hours, giving their utmost to the patient in their care. And I’d be willing to bet that the compassion, care and empathy nurses show don’t stop with patients!
My sister Mary Hayes has been a role model for my daughters. Right now my youngest daughter is rearranging her home life so she can go to nursing school like Mary.
While raising two sons with her husband, Mary went to nursing school at the Northeast Oklahoma Vo-Tech. After working for 12 years as an LPN at a nursing home and doing private care, she returned to school, taking classes to fit her schedule as a nurse, mother and wife. She earned an associate’s degree in nursing and while working as an RN for home health and hospice centers, the death of our mother and other family members spurred her on to other endeavors. She founded the Mayes County Grief Support Group. This group is still meeting monthly in Pryor.
A year later she and a friend started Mayes Community Alzheimer’s support group, which continues to meet.
Mary works to educate and support those who are clean and sober. Last year, she worked hard to get Pryor Powwow started. This powwow honors family, life and wellbriety. She’s working harder this year, so she can include more of the community in this event. The first powwow was such a success, she is gathering business and community support to make this an annual event.
To know Mary Hayes is to know a strong, compassionate, loving individual. A woman of our times – a Native American pokni (grandmother) who loves her God, her family her friends and her patients. She is never too tired to help when needed, never too judgmental to offer her shoulders to cry on, her ears to listen and her encouraging words.
I love my sister Mary and just want others to know there aren’t many nurses like her. She is a credit to the medical community as well as her hometown of Pryor.
KOTV Recognizies Mary Hayes for Inspired Comfort Award