National Prize Winner, Registered Nurse Category
When Mary Ellen Mitchell-Rosen, BSN, RN, MSN isn't teaching nursing students at Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., she devotes her personal time to helping the poor and people in desperate need of healthcare. She has made a huge impact not only in her own community but also abroad.
For the compassion Mitchell-Rosen bestows upon others every day, she is one of only 10 honorees nationwide to receive the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award. The award is granted annually by Cherokee Uniforms to recognize nurses and non-physician healthcare professionals who demonstrate exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation and have a positive impact on others' lives. This is the 6th year Cherokee Uniforms has honored inspirational caregivers, with hopes that the winners' stories will encourage the nation's brightest students to enter the healthcare professions.
"No matter where I go in the world or at home, it is wonderful to be a nurse."
"Mary Ellen seizes opportunities to dramatically improve the lives of her neighbors. She sacrificially gives of herself, her knowledge and resources. She teaches and feeds the hungry and helps arm them with information so that they can help themselves. That is a gift that can change generations of families and their communities," says Wendell Mobley, who directs the company's charitable and scholarship programs.
Mitchell-Rosen spends much of her spare time teaching nutrition classes as a volunteer for the Cooperative Feeding Program of Fort Lauderdale. She was so dedicated to helping the hungry receive a well-balanced diet that she taught them how to build box gardens, plant and harvest – to provide a constant supply of nutritious food to those in need. It didn't take much time for there to be such a high demand for the gardens that Mitchell-Rosen had to ask for a grant to help with expenses. Today, about 100 gardens are located in schools, children centers and where there is a need for nutritious food throughout Fort Lauderdale.
This past year, Mitchell-Rosen used her much-deserved vacation time to go on two missions in Haiti. In that brief time, she helped build a school and a clinic and worked to educate people on how to treat various ailments on their own.
"I enjoy going to Haiti and working in the health center where I had a hand in laying the foundation of the building," says Mitchell-Rosen. "No matter where I go in the world or at home, it is wonderful to be a nurse."
Barbara Mac Dougall, Mitchell-Rosen's nominator and colleague, says, "I admire this nurse who gives and cares for people without any expectation of reward or recognition."
As a National Winner in the award's RN category, Mitchell-Rosen receives an all-expense-paid trip to a 2009 medical conference, an annual membership to her preferred clinical association, a wardrobe featuring the best of Cherokee Uniforms and Cherokee Footwear worth more than $1,000 and a glass trophy. She will also be featured in the nationally-distributed 2009 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award calendar.
Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, nearly 7,000 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 Cherokee representatives and past Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award recipients evaluates nominations and grants the awards.
For every nomination, Cherokee Uniforms donated $1 to Nurse's House, a national fund that provides short-term financial assistance to registered nurses facing serious hardship. 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 2009 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award beginning March 1st through May 31st, 2009.