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SANTA BARBARA – Cottage Health awarded its inaugural Nurse of the Year honor to Sarah Gray, a registered nurse who has worked for 13 years on the night shift of the surgical intensive care unit at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
“I was in utter disbelief when I heard my name announced for the award,” said Ms. Gray. “I am extremely grateful and honored that my colleagues would nominate me. They made me feel so very special and loved.”
Ms. Gray decided to pursue her calling as a caregiver and nurse when she was 18 years old. After high school graduation, she attended Mississippi University for Women to study nursing. She came to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in 2009 first as a travel nurse, and soon became an employee, to work in the surgical intensive care unit.
“In the nomination from Sarah’s co-workers, they describe her as amazing, not only for her superior nursing skills, but also for her calm demeanor and sincerity,” said Laura Canfield, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, at the awards celebration during Nurses Week. “She’s always supportive and empathetic. They called her the epitome of a great leader and a caring and compassionate nurse. She is known as ‘the rock’ of the night shift and she inspires everyone who works with her.”
Cottage introduced the Nurse of the Year award to enhance professionalism and acknowledge nursing excellence. The award honors an outstanding Cottage Health nurse who goes above and beyond to provide excellent care, improve patient outcomes and support colleagues.
All Cottage employees from all departments throughout the organization were invited to nominate a nurse for the award. To qualify, the nominated Cottage nurse had to be an RN, LVN or nurse practitioner (NP) who provides direct patient care during at least 50 percent of their work time.
A panel of direct-care nurses on the Nurses’ Recognition Committee reviewed the nominations and selected the award winner from more than 40 blinded nominations.
About Cottage Health cottagehealth.org
The not-for-profit Cottage Health is the leader in providing advanced medical care to the Central Coast region. Specialties include the Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Level 1 Trauma Center, Neuroscience Institute, Heart & Vascular Center, Center for Orthopedics, and Rehabilitation Hospital. The Cottage Health medical staff is comprised of more than 700 physicians, many with subspecialties typically found only at university medical centers. Last year, the Cottage Health hospitals in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley provided inpatient care for 21,000 people, treated 80,000 patients through their 24-hour emergency departments and helped deliver 2,100 newborns. Cottage Health also offers Cottage Urgent Care Centers throughout the tri-counties, as well as 24-hour access to providers via Cottage Virtual Care, an online service for common conditions.