2006 Inspired Comfort Award Grand Prize Winner — Registered Nurse Category

Bonnie Marchetti

Bonnie Marchetti, RN

2006 Grand Prize Winner — RN Category

Nurse Touched By Images, Leaves Home
To Serve Storm Victims

While America watched the devastation of Hurricane Katrina unfold on television, Bonnie Marchetti, an emergency RN at Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, jumped into action. Not knowing where she was going, whom she would serve, or exactly how long she would be gone, Marchetti left for Louisiana, leaving behind family and friends, and the safety and comfort of her home. For her courageous response in the aftermath of Katrina and for her amassing support for the elementary school in which she set up a MASH unit when she returned home, she has received the prestigious Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award. Marchetti is one of only 11 honorees nationwide in 2006.

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.

Taking leave to volunteer with the American Red Cross, Marchetti was assigned to an abandoned hospital northwest of New Orleans. Within 24 hours of her arrival, six clinics were set up. Marchetti worked from a MASH unit set up in an elementary school nearby.

Every ER patient is different, presenting a new set of challenges. Two patients with the same diagnosis can have two totally different reactions and needs. This variety is what challenges me and keeps me looking forward to each and every new patient.

- Bonnie Marchetti

"Bonnie, being a disaster certified emergency nurse through the Red Cross, couldn't stay in Baltimore knowing she was able to help in New Orleans. It takes a unique person to have the courage to face such a heartbreaking situation," says Tina Clary, Marchetti's personal friend who nominated her.

During Marchetti's two weeks in Louisiana, her clinic treated more than 1,000 patients. Upon returning to Baltimore, Marchetti couldn't shake the sight of the impoverished elementary school that housed the MASH unit. She then led an effort to sponsor the school once it was re-established so that the children would have books and supplies necessary for a quality education.

As a Grand Prize Winner in the award's Registered Nurse category, Marchetti receives an all-expense-paid Caribbean cruise for two, a crystal award, a wardrobe of Cherokee healthcare apparel and appears in the nationally distributed Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award 2007 calendar.

Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, more than 4,200 healthcare professionals have been nominated in the Registered Nurse, Advanced Practice 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, Cherokee Uniforms donated $1 to Nurses House, a national fund that provides short-term financial assistance to registered nurses facing serious hardship. Since 2005, Cherokee has donated $2,200. Proceeds from Cherokee Uniforms products support healthcare professionals through initiatives such as the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award, an annual calendar and the A Nurse I Am Film and Scholarship Program. Cherokee Uniforms will be accepting nominations for the 2007 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award beginning March 1, 2007 through May 31, 2007.

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