2006 Inspired Comfort Award National Winner — Registered Nurse Category

Kerry Jeanice

Kerry Jeanice, RN, EMT-P

2006 National Winner
— RN Category

Louisiana Nurse Helped Coordinate 40,000
Vaccines After Hurricane Katrina

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, thousands of people across the state of Louisiana struggled to fend off flood-related diseases. Over a 15-day period, Kerry Jeanice, of Marrero, La., was one of the key point nurses who coordinated West Jefferson Medical Center's vaccination efforts with the Federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team unit that was housed outside the hospital facility. He organized and ran vaccination clinics on the street in tents and worked closely with the 82nd Airborne and commanders of DMAT from around the nation. Jeanice played a role in administering 40,000 vaccines in New Orleans following Katrina.

Jeanice is one of only 11 honorees nationwide to receive the prestigious Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award 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.

"Kerry is the type of nurse who not only impacts our community from inside the hospital, but also every time he steps outside of it," says Rosalind Albarado, the clinical manager who nominated Jeanice. "He is a consummate professional and a team player who truly makes a difference."

My instructors gave me one motto that has shaped everything I have done in nursing: ‘Do the right thing for the patient every time, and you will always come out on top.’

- Kerry Jeanice

In addition to delivering vaccinations to those in need, Jeanice was asked by the Jefferson parish president to assist 60 retirement home residents who were abandoned in the aftermath. Jeanice provided much needed care, food, water and medication to the residents until other resources arrived.

Additionally, in 2005, the governor appointed Jeanice to the Emergency Medical Services for Children Council for Louisiana. He worked closely with various institutions, EMS services and programs to serve children in the community.

As a National Prize Winner in the award's RN category, Jeanice receives an all-expense-paid trip to a 2007 U.S. medical conference of his 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 2006 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award trophy and placement in Cherokee's 2007 Inspired Comfort Award 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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