Guilford County might be lacking in some areas, but, at the Thursday night, Oct. 17 meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, it became crystal clear that the county was overflowing with at least one thing: high quality public health nurses.

In a recent effort to honor nurses, state health authorities selected 100 public health nurses across North Carolina for a Distinguished Public Health Nurse Award – and, remarkably, 10 of those winners, a full 10 percent, were from Guilford County.

The happy nurses announced and honored at the Oct. 17 Guilford County commissioners meeting will also be honored again at an upcoming state event at Grandover Resort.

This year, the NC Office of Public Nursing celebrated its hundredth birthday, and, as part of that celebration, it decided to hand out the award to 100 nurses in North Carolina who had distinguished themselves through their work in various ways.

At the Oct. 17 meeting, Guilford County Health Director Merle Green spoke proudly of the group as they stood together at the front of the room.

“These 10 nurses reflect the highest standards of practice exhibited by our entire workforce of dedicated public health workers,” Green told the board. “They were selected by a review committee of eight public health professionals from nursing practice and academia.  The selection committee used a scoring rubric to keep the process fair, transparent and highly competitive.”

According to Green, those in the group showed innovation, an ability to work well with others and they displayed very high standards of professionalism.

Felicia Reid, a winner, and the director of community nursing for the county’s health department, also spoke.

The other winners were:

  • Penny Bell, a community nurse in the Maternal Child Care Pro program
  • San San Cho, a clinic nurse
  • Nicky Finch, a community nurse for the Smart Start program
  • Karen Hicks, a family nurse practitioner
  • Lydia Monk, the supervisor of a pregnant care program
  • Vonda Pabon, a nurse manager at a clinic in Greensboro
  • LaTonya Pender, a nurse manager at a High point clinic
  • Janis Surratt, a school nurse supervisor
  • Lynda Wagoner, a team leader for a newborn program