The Nebraska Chapter of the March of Dimes and Methodist Hospital System presented 140 nurses from Nebraska and southwest Iowa with Excellence in Nursing awards. The nurses, nominated by individuals, were given the awards for their quality care and dedication to the nursing profession. A few nurses received special recognition for their work: Rising Star Award: Alan Engebretson, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center; and Julie Thompson, Methodist Hospital; Academic Excellence Award: Connie Miller, faculty member of UNMC College of Nursing Omaha; the Distinguished Nurse Award: Jackie Thielan, Methodist Hospital.
The Rev. Don Doll, professor of photojournalism at Creighton University and a photographer, received the Word Sender award at the 14th Laureate Feast. Doll is internationally known for photographing the lives of ordinary people of many cultures, some in war-torn or natural disaster areas for National Geographic and other publications. He has also published several books of his work that have won awards.
The Nebraska Center for the Book presented the 2013 Jane Geske Award to the Nebraska Library Commission. The commission was recognized for its contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries or literature in Nebraska. The Nebraska Library Commission has been dedicated to statewide promotion, development and coordination of library services since 1901.
The COPIC Medical Foundation announced Dr. Jerry Fischer as the 2013 Nebraska Harold E. Williamson Award recipient. The award is given annually to a volunteer physician who goes outside his or her everyday practice duties to better the community. It also provides a $10,000 grant to be given to a nonprofit of the recipient’s choice. Fischer chose to give his grant to the Healing Gift Free Clinic, an all-volunteer free health clinic he established, for the purchase of medications and supplies.
Lt. Col. Michael DeBolt was given the Governor’s Points of Light adult award. DeBolt was nominated by his daughter, Ashley. When his sister was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, DeBolt worked to start the Omaha Chapter with the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. This led to UNMC getting a Center of Huntington’s Disease Excellence designation and receiving federal grant dollars.
Bev White, a teacher with Lincoln Public Schools, was named the 2013 Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year.
Barry Thomas of Omaha Public Schools has been elected to the Great Plains Black History Museum board of directors.
Compiled by Katherine Leszczynski