National Nurse and Teacher Appreciation

Indiana Members Credit Union is celebrating National Nurse and Teacher Appreciation week May 6-10, 2024!

We recognize and appreciate the impact these essential workers have on our community. Thank you to those who nominated. We received an incredible amount of nominations for many deserving nurses and teachers. Thank you for your service, dedication and commitment. 

Below are the 2024 winners of IMCU's National Nurse and Teacher Appreciation, each receiving a $500 Mastercard® gift card!

Nurse Spotlight: Acacia A.

Monroe County Community School Corporation - Director of Health Services

Teacher Spotlight: Abigayle V.

McCordsville Elementary School - 1st Grade

Acacia is an amazing nurse! She exhibits great strengths in all aspects of her job as a BSN, RN. She's caring, provides excellent knowledge about nursing and takes great pride in all of our students care. This past year she provided the opportunity for all MCCSC schools to become Project Adam Designated. With this accomplishment, all schools now have a sudden cardiac arrest team and is adequately prepared to deal with a cardiac event should it occur. Acacia always looks for ways to improve the school corporation health offices and she is doing a wonderful job. She provides support to all of her employees and the students of MCCSC. – Nominated by Kari H. Abby is constantly transforming her classroom for her students to do lessons to make it a more inviting and memorable learning experience. It is nothing for her to dress up as a character or take on the role of the thing that she’s teaching in order to make the lesson more engaging for her students. She truly is a great teacher and her students love her. She makes learning fun and enjoyable. Every year she turns her room into a glow day, a construction zone, an arctic tundra, a bat cave, a pizza parlor,  a space camp, an dinosaur era, and those are just to name a few. You never know when she’ll be an astronaut, a dinosaur, a pizza maker, a construction worker, a zookeeper, or who knows? All I know is the children love her and every day is an exciting learning experience because she has a passion to teach them and let them know that learning can be fun and they can be anything they want to be. She makes adults want to go back to first grade because she makes learning a fun experience. – Nominated by Julie P.

Nurse Spotlight: Crystal M.

Integrative Healthcare Coordination Services of Indiana and Bridges Coordination Services - LPN, CCM, CEO/Owner

Teacher Spotlight: Jill S.

New Washington Middle/High School - Academy Coach

In the bustling corridors of healthcare, where compassion meets expertise, there exists a beacon of selflessness, a nurse whose dedication transcends the bounds of duty. With every step she takes, she carries not just the weight of responsibility but also an unwavering commitment to healing hearts and soothing souls. Her touch is not just clinical; it's imbued with empathy, her words not just instructions; they're infused with solace. Day after day, she stands as a pillar of strength, offering comfort in moments of despair and hope in times of uncertainty. Her kindness knows no bounds, reaching beyond the confines of hospital walls to touch lives in ways unseen. She is a silent hero, weaving moments of grace amidst chaos, and her impact resonates far beyond the sterile confines of medical charts. To recognize her is not just a gesture; it's a testament to the profound difference one individual can make. Let us elevate her, honor her, and celebrate her, for in her selflessness lies the true essence of nursing—the embodiment of care, compassion, and unwavering humanity. – Nominated by Baylea H. She is the consummate professional who always puts students first–regardless of whether her efforts fall under the scope of her assigned job duties or not. Jill is always seeking improvement–of self, of experiences for students, and of the colleagues she supports. Jill maintains a positive, can-do attitude that is uplifting and inspiring to everyone. She is reflective and recognizes opportunities of growth within herself and is never hesitant to ask for feedback. Jill is an advocate of the academies and dedicates countless hours outside of school to create, procure, and facilitate opportunities for students. Jill does not allow excuses to prevent her from accomplishing goals. If it requires writing a grant, facilitating job interviews, driving a bus, or dipping into her own paycheck, Jill will make it happen. Perhaps one of Jill’s most underappreciated strengths is her constant desire to continually improve. Whether her focus is on improving student learning experiences, school culture, or her own leadership skills, Jill is never complacent and always striving for the best. She acknowledges areas of growth and steps out of her comfort zone in order to maximize gains. Jill actively seeks out feedback from all stakeholders, and she never lets pride distort her perspective. Jill is a true champion for children because she cares about ALL students. If a unique circumstance prevented a student from participating in an activity, Jill will find a way to provide an alternative experience for that individual. When an idea is generated in a group setting, Jill operates with a mindset of inclusivity and advocates for those who are not present in the room. No matter the situation, Jill always puts students first. Jill is also a champion for children, indirectly. She invests in her colleagues and provides them with opportunities to grow as teachers and leaders. She promotes her school in the community and actively seeks philanthropic opportunities. She celebrates others and cheers for their success as if it were her own. At a time when many are leaving the education system–especially those with decades of experience underneath their belt–Jill is doubling-down and making up for lost time during the pandemic. This is the true mark of a hero: one who runs to the fire, not away from it. New Washington Middle/High School and the Greater Clark County School District are fortunate to have Jill in every capacity that she serves because she is much more than a teacher to us. – Nominated by Bryan R.

Nurse Spotlight: Angela T.

Hendricks Regional Health - Endocrine Nurse Practitioner

Teacher Spotlight: Kyle T.

Cold Spring School - Kindergarten

Angela T., DNP, FNP-C, CDE, BC-ADM, FAANP is an Indiana nurse practitioner who has worked hard to go above and beyond in her career. When reviewing the efforts of a healthcare professional to serve her community, she sets the standard for excellence. She defines community by not only her patients and campers she cares for within the specialty of endocrinology, but also the nursing profession, research community, political, and multiple organizations. In 1994, her healthcare career began working her way from LPN to receiving her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in 2017. Over the last 30 years, she has cared for thousands of patients in Indiana. Her passion in endocrinology has also led to her greatest volunteer work with the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana for the last 10 years. Through her community service efforts, she has volunteered her time and summer vacations to serve as medical staff for children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. She is a true camper at heart, helping create an environment for hundreds of youth every year to be educated, encouraged, and empowered while enjoying through camps and programs. Somehow after working full time, volunteering with children, she has found time to serve as a medical volunteer at the Hendricks County Medical Reserves Corporation and Gennesaret Free Clinics.  Nurses community is usually limited to the patients they serve at work, but for Angela her community goes beyond her clinic and hospital. She does not hesitate to serve where she can –providing support to those in need of all ages. In addition to her patient care within healthcare, she is active in her support of the nursing profession through research, education, and organizational presence. She is a member of eight organizations at the state, national, and international level. Her resume is impressive for her efforts for the nursing and healthcare profession through research publications, authoring chapters in medical textbooks, providing continuing education, and presenting from the local to international podiums. She is a topic expert, and uses her education on endocrinology, health policy, and the nursing education to continue to support the nursing community. In 2015, she began health policy activities and continues to serve as a representative and advocate for access to healthcare and nurses at the state level. In conclusion, the definition of going above and beyond for a community can be varied by individual. Although I am unaware of how Angela defines her community, her professional and volunteer work provide evidence of how I feel that she defines community. Community for Angela I would say is any individual that she has the access to impact their lives. She professionally serves to advocate for her state community- all Indiana individuals requiring healthcare, as well as per patients that she cares for within her practice. She volunteers to serve the Type 1 Diabetes Community, as well as the medically underserved. She serves the nursing and education community through her work to help others to continue to grow and learn in the profession. Community by definition for Angela would be anyone, anywhere, and at any time that her life, education, and efforts can serve to improve their overall wellbeing and health. I know that the world would be a better place if we all saw community as Angela—a proud mother, grandmother, advocate, educator, healthcare professional, and volunteer.  – Nominated by Natasha T., Ariana J. Kyle is a kindergarten teacher at Cold Spring School. He is like no other teacher I’ve ever met. He consistently shows up for his students, even long after they’ve moved beyond kindergarten. He is legendary among the students at Cold Spring, attending birthday parties and non-school affiliated sporting and extracurricular events like dance recitals throughout their childhoods, on evenings and weekends on his personal time. For many kids he is one of their most consistent supporters and their biggest champion. He has high standards for behavior, setting the early tone for academic success, while also meeting every student where they are. I have observed him in the classroom and on field trips and he is simply extraordinary with the children. He celebrates the diversity of his students and is very knowledgeable about various cultures and traditions. In addition to teaching, he coordinates many activities at the school such as soccer for kindergartners and first graders, a rare offering at elementary schools. When Kyle enters a room, he’s like a celebrity! He just has such an amazing connection with the kids and he uses it so well. He goes above and beyond for his students, and once you are his kindergartner, your his student for life. He is most deserving of this recognition from IMCU and I hope you will consider him for this award! - Nominated by Michelle O.

Nurse Spotlight: Kendra P.

Save Your Breath - BSN, RN/Owner

Teacher Spotlight: Stephanie J.

Sugar Grove Elementary - 5th Grade

In February of this year Kendra donated a week of her time to volunteer at Shelbyville High School teaching First Aid, Stop the Bleed, AED, and CPR to all of the JAG students. When Kendra found out that most of the students would not be able to afford to pay the fees to obtain their certifications for these classes, Kendra searched for a grant to help pay for the certifications. After receiving a request from Kendra for support, Blue River Career Foundation (BRCF) and Major Health Partners (MHP) agreed to partner to award a grant to the SHS JAG program that funded these certifications. As a result of Kendra's willingness to give back to her community, over 70 SHS students received their certifications, building their resumes for future endeavors. Kendra has also volunteered her time to Hancock County Special Olympics and Shelby County Special Olympics. Kendra has previously served as the Medical Director on the Board of both programs. Although she no longer has the time to serve as a Board member, Kendra still continues to volunteer her time as part of the coaching staff of the Shelby County Special Olympics softball and basketball teams. Kendra was Shelby County's 2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. She graduated in December 2020 from IUPUI, where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).  – Nominated by Mark B. Stephanie goes so far above and beyond for the students of our district, it’s crazy! All of the 5th graders in our district read the autobiography of Ruby Bridges. Last year, after her parents purchased the opportunity of a Zoom call with Mrs. Bridges for her class, she knew she wanted to expand it if at all possible. She submitted a grant to the education foundation, asking for funding for all 5th graders to be able to experience it. After receiving the funding (first step down!), she worked tirelessly to get things set up with Mrs. Bridges’ staff. They had had turnover, and weren’t responding. She emailed, called, sent letters, whatever she could until she finally got a response (second step down!). Then came attempting to schedule 6 Zoom calls among 6 different schools, each of whom had their own requests and scheduling needs (third step down!). Stephanie worked on all of this on evenings, weekends, whenever she could. She was a passionate, persistent, dedicated advocate for these students through every step of the process. Today, her school was the first to Zoom with Mrs. Bridges and experience living history up close and personal. The students were enthralled and engaged. They asked fantastic questions. And they learned!! She is an outstanding teacher in a million different ways every day, but watching her as she navigated this process to bring an exceptional learning experience to the entire district was truly something else. – Nominated by Jana H.

Nurse Spotlight: Lauren R.

Deaconess Hospital - ICU Nurse, BSN, RN, CCRN

Teacher Spotlight: Leah M.

Newburgh Elementary School - Kindergarten

Compassionate Care and Holistic Nursing Approach: Lauren is known for her compassionate touch, which is evident in the way she interacts with her patients. For instance, she takes the time to sit with patients, actively listening to their concerns and providing emotional support beyond just addressing their physical needs. She demonstrates the holistic art of nursing by considering the entirety of her patients' well-being. This might involve advocating for their comfort, coordinating with other healthcare professionals to address various aspects of their care, and ensuring their dignity and autonomy are respected throughout their treatment. Clinical Excellence and Commitment: In clinical practice, she showcases her commitment and competence by consistently delivering high-quality care to her patients. She meticulously follows evidence-based protocols and guidelines to ensure the best possible outcomes. She goes above and beyond in patient care by being proactive in anticipating their needs, whether it's pain management, emotional support, or education about their condition and treatment options. Recognition for Outstanding Accomplishments: she has received written commendations from patients, family members, and colleagues for her exceptional performance. One notable example might be a heartfelt letter from a patient's family expressing gratitude for Lauren's compassionate care during a difficult time, highlighting her ability to go beyond expectations and make a meaningful difference in their lives. Incorporating Evidence-Based Practice: she actively incorporates evidence-based practice into her nursing care. For instance, she stays updated with the latest policies and guidelines relevant to critical care nursing, ensuring that her practice is informed by the best available evidence. She might participate in research projects or quality improvement initiatives aimed at enhancing patient care outcomes within the ICU setting. Continuous Learning and Professional Development: she is dedicated to increasing her clinical knowledge and skills to meet the evolving challenges of the nursing profession. She actively seeks out opportunities for continuing education, attending workshops, seminars, and conferences to stay abreast of the latest advancements in critical care nursing. Additionally, Lauren takes on the role of a mentor for new nurses, sharing her expertise and experiences to help them grow and excel in their careers. Professional Involvements and Leadership Roles: she holds certifications such as CCRN, demonstrating her commitment to excellence in critical care nursing. She is actively involved in professional organizations related to critical care nursing, possibly serving on committees at the hospital or regional level. With her extensive experience in various healthcare settings, including emergency room, team leader, and ICU roles, Lauren plays a pivotal role in mentoring and guiding her colleagues. Her calm demeanor and strong critical thinking skills make her a trusted resource in high-pressure situations, earning her enthusiastic respect from her peers. Specific Examples of Compassionate Care, Commitment, and Clinical Excellence: Lauren's compassionate touch is exemplified by her calm demeanor and reassuring presence in high-stress situations. For instance, when two nurses were panicking over a patient in AFIb with RVR, she entered the room and calmly reassured them, saying, "It's AFib, we've all seen it before." Her composed response changed the tone of the situation, demonstrating her ability to provide stability and confidence amidst chaos. This anecdote highlights Lauren's constant calm energy, which is invaluable in the dynamic environment of the ICU. Her ability to maintain composure and provide reassurance not only benefits patients but also positively influences her colleagues, fostering a collaborative and supportive atmosphere. Lauren's colleagues seek guidance from her and hold enthusiastic respect for her nursing practice due to her exceptional clinical skills, compassionate approach, and unwavering commitment to patient care. Her leadership qualities and clinical expertise make her an ideal mentor for new graduates. Her dedication to nurturing the next generation of nurses is evident in her willingness to share knowledge and provide guidance to aspiring nurses, fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development. By incorporating this story, it further illustrates her exceptional qualities as a nurse and her impact on both patients and colleagues. – Nominated by Cahtlyn H. Leah does not just teach Kindergarten at Newburgh Elementary School, she is passionate about learning, instilling the love of learning in her students and truly loves her students like they are her own children. Even before my daughter Charlotte entered her classroom, Leah was communicating with us and made it clear that she was an exceptional educator and truly would go above and beyond for her students. Charlotte, came to kindergarten from the developmental preschool in Warrick County. She is completely deaf in her left ear, has speech delays, communication issues and additional social emotional learning issues which require an IEP. Before Charlotte entered the School, Leah met with my husband and I, listened to our concerns and made extra accommodations to allow Charlotte to be successful. And to say she has been successful this year in Leah's class is an understatement. She has instilled a love of learning in Charlotte that extends far beyond the classroom and normal school day. Charlotte loves to learn, read and write and prints out worksheets to do at night and weekends because school is her favorite. For Halloween Charlotte dressed up as Leah and has told us when she grows up she wants to be a kindergarten teacher. Our year has had some hickups and some behavior issues here and there but Leah has gone above and beyond to communicate with us and help us address these issues and help Charlotte be successful at home and in the classroom. Charlotte has excelled in her class and has gone from a very shy, quiet student that did not shy too far out of her comfort zone to talking to her peers, playing with her peers and being a lot more independent than ever. She has helped Charlotte tackle some of her IEP goals and set her up for success beyond her classroom. As the year ends, Charlotte expressed that she wanted to go to school this summer, and was sad about being in first grade because she would be leaving Leah. And while we are all saddened she will not be her teacher next year Leah will always be with Charlotte, because she instilled and cultivated a love for learning and a solid foundation of her academic career, one that we are excited to watch as she grows because of all she has done for her this year. Leah does not just do the job that is required of her during her contract hours she is a 100% invested in her students day and night and truly loves them and wants them to succeed in every aspect. Leah is a gem and I am so grateful for all she has done for Charlotte and us. She will always have a place of gratitude in our hearts for all the extra time she has put in to make her students succeed and LOVE learning. – Nominated by Erin M.