Each year at the Annual Awards Banquet in June, District 1, Professional Nurses Association of Western New York confers the following awards:

  Nurse of Distinction - this award is cosponsored by the Buffalo News - the recipient recieves a plaque and $500.  This award recognizes a registered professional nurse who has demonstrated significant achievement in nursing practice, leadership and participation in activities that foster a positive public image of nursing as a profession.

  Outstanding Staff Nurse - this recipient of a plague and a one year complimentary membership to the District - the award recognizes a registered professional nurse with a minium of 3 years experience as a staff nurse, who provides exceptional direct patient care, excels in patient and family teaching, acts as a role model for peers and demonstrates a continuing interest in professional growth and development.

  Ruth T. McGrorey Award - The Ruth T. McGrorey Award is the Professional Nurses Association of WNY’s most prestigious award and honors an active, contributing member of  our Association who is innovative in his/her area of nursing practice, has published or presented professional programs, has made a general impact on nursing practice, research or education and as a representative of nursing is active in relating to a variety of professional and community groups.

The award this year was presented to Cheryl Nosek, RN, DNS, CNE.  She is described has having the “heart, spirit, and excellence” that make her the perfect candidate for the award presented.

  Nursing Scholarship - assists students with monetary awards and provides a one year complementary associate membership to recipients who are currently matriculated in an accredited school of nursing within the geographic boundaries of the District.  Applicants must demonstrate financial need as well as scholastic and clinical ability as verified by a copy of transcripts and letters of recommendation from two members of the nursing facility.

 Board of Directors Award - presented to a non nurse who demonstrates support of the nursing profession in their professional life.

 Applications for all of these awards are available through the District 1 Office.

This is the 20th year that The Buffalo News has co-sponsored our Nurse of Distinction Award.  The award honors a RN who has made outstanding contributions to the nursing profession, has demonstrated leadership that provides a role model to inspire other nurses to improve, and participates in activities that foster a positive public image of nursing as a profession.


This year’s award was presented to Eileen Nahigian, DNS, RN. Dr. Nahigian was honored for her role modeling, leadership and innovations in nursing during her 50 year career as a registered nurse.  Dr. Nahigian is currently in an administrative role at D’Youville College School of Nursing. 


Nominees for 2013 Nurse of Distinction:


Kristine Anderson, RN - The McGuire Group

Nanette Bartkowiak, RN - The Primary Connection, Independent Health

Mary Brown, RN - Kaleida Health - Degraff  Memorial Hospital

Nancy Bujnicki, RN - Kaleida Health - Women & Children’s Hospital

Deborah Coplin-Hall, RN - Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Donna Fabry, RN - University at Buffalo School of Nursing

Mary Beth Farruggio, RN - Kaleida Health, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital

Diane Gambacorta, RN - Kaleida Health, Visiting Nurses Association of WNY

Celeste Jakubowski, RN - Catholic Health, Sisters of Charity, St. Joseph Campus

Patricia Matlock, RN - Trocaire College

Sonja Melvin, RN - Erie County Medical Center

Sarah Moore, RN - Health Force

Colleen Murphy, RN - VA Western NY Healthcare System

Kristen Parisi, RN - Catholic Health, Kenmore Mercy Hospital

Sandra Pidanick, RN - Catholic Health, Continuing Care

Jennifer Ruggles, RN -  Olean General Hospital

Tammy Smith, RN - Catholic Health, McAuley Seton Home Care

Sarah Swenson, RN - Willcare

Joan Vetter, RN - Catholic Health, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo

Theresa Winner, RN - Catholic Health, Sisters of Charity, Main Street Campus

Cynthia Wittwer, RN - Independent Health



The Outstanding Staff Nurse Award is given to a current member of the Professional Nurses Association of WNY who has a minimum of 3 years experience as a staff nurse and provides exceptional direct patient care within nursing standards. 


The 2013 recipient is Jacqueline Ball, RN.  She is employed by Sisters of Charity Hospital in the NICU department.  She is a great role model and practices family centered care while creating an atmosphere supportive of parents as well as infants.  She works with clinical excellence, reverence and respect to the most vulnerable patients. She is also dedicated to training new staff as a preceptor and mentor.  Ms. Ball has organized and created a program called Cuddlers to ensure infants receive love and comfort even when parents may be unavailable. 



Nominees for 2013 Outstanding Staff Nurse:


Kathleen Anibaldi, RN - Kaleida Health Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital

Joan Canzoneri, RN - VA Western New York Healthcare System at Buffalo

Denise Czyrny, R N - Kaleida Health DeGraff  Memorial Hospital

Rita DeLotto, RN - Kaleida Health Womens & Childrens Hospital of Buffalo

Carol Heverin, RN - Kaleida Health DeGraff Memorial Skilled Nursing Facility

Amy Klopp, RN - Kaleida Health Buffalo General Medical Center/ Gates Vascular Institute

Aaron Lange, RN - Catholic Health, Kenmore Mercy Hospital

Janice Maggio, RN - Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Daniel McCartan, RN - Erie County Medical Center

Sue Metzen, RN - Catholic Health, Sisters of Charity Hospital Main Street Campus

Kimberly Morlock, RN - Willcare

Nicole Piasecki, RN - Catholic Health, Sisters of Charity Hospital St. Joseph Campus

Lisa Stevens, RN- Kaleida Health HighPointe on Michigan