Grand Prize Winner, Licensed Practical Nurse/Licenced Vocational Nurse Category
While some people live to work and others work to live, Melannie Miller, LPN, CLTC, an LPN at North Kansas City Internal Medicine, in Kansas City, MO., works to be able to volunteer her time and expertise to provide vital healthcare services and life-improving education to at-risk populations within her community.
For the boundless compassion and service that she extends to others and the willingness to sacrifice her time to improve the lives of the needy in her community Miller has won the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award. She is one of 10 honorees nationwide in 2008. The award is granted annually by Cherokee Uniforms to recognize nurses and other 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.
"Nursing has been the greatest gift I could ever receive. I am more alive, more aware, more at peace when I am touching someone's life."
"Melannie Miller has elevated patient care and advocacy in her community by leaving the comfort and safety of her office to help disadvantaged patients obtain compassionate healthcare and primary care education," says Wendell Mobley, who directs the company's charitable and scholarship programs. "She goes beyond the call of duty as an LPN and touches lives in so many ways."
Miller is drawn to those beyond her office walls who otherwise would fall between the cracks of the local healthcare delivery system. She has developed patient education systems, indigent drug enrollment programs and elder and veteran healthcare workshops. She also works with a marine unit teaching first aid, nutrition and CPR. When she's not working, she's creating lesson plans or searching for equipment to help disadvantaged patients.
Recently, Miller started providing routine check-ups in an area by the railroad tracks near her office where the homeless gather. In doing so, she made it possible for one man to begin taking his blood pressure and diabetes medication daily. Another man no longer is experiencing seizures because she taught him how to eat more nutritiously. Four months after instructing children on how to perform CPR, Miller learned that one of her students was able to save his little brother from choking on a button as a result of her efforts.
"Nursing has been the greatest gift I could ever receive. I am more alive, more aware, more at peace when I am touching someone's life," explains Miller. "My patients, the people I work with on the streets, the kids I teach and the veterans that I visit and monitor give my life purpose and make every day a reason to look for the beauty, grace and substance that most people never take the time to find in this world."
Miller was nominated by her colleague, Vonda Phillips. As a Grand Prize Winner in the award's Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse category, Miller receives an all-expense-paid Caribbean cruise for two, a wardrobe featuring the best of Cherokee Uniforms and Cherokee Footwear worth more than $1,000 and a trophy. She will also be featured in Cherokee's nationally distributed 2009 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.