Awards and Appreciation, Beyond the Badge, COVID-19, Prison Health Care

Critical care staff saluted during National Nurses Week

Photo of a man and two women wearing masks behind a sign that states: Heroes Work Here
California State Prison, Sacramento, provided a special message of thanks to nurses during National Nurses Week. From left as Anna Omelchuk (Infection Control Nurse), Chris Buckman (RN MSF) and Tina Minkel (RN, BSN, PHN II, Public Health/Infection Control).

Dedicated staff providing essential care inside CDCR facilities are celebrated daily, but especially during National Nurses Week.

It’s why institution leadership across the state offers their earnest thanks and respect to the over 7,100 nurses of California Correctional Health Care Services.

Like California Correctional Center Warden Suzanne M. Peery said, “We see you, and all that you do!”

Many other members of CDCR’s institution administration expressed their appreciation with special messages to CCHCS nurses below:

Words of appreciation

Patrick Covello, Warden (A), Mule Creek State Prison

“Here at Mule Creek State Prison, we recognize the health care heroes who go above and beyond daily to provide uncompromised care. Nurses providing necessary medical services in an institutional environment is beyond challenging. Nurses, we thank you and we celebrate you this week and always! Because of you, we live in a happier and healthier world.”

Rick M. Hill, Warden, Folsom State Prison

“This week we express our appreciation for the effort of all nurses across the nation. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the men and women who work in our health care services department. Their hard work and professionalism is evident as they work collaboratively with our custody staff, especially during these unprecedented times in dealing with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Their skill and commitment to ensure that we as a facility are providing the highest-level care to our staff and population makes a difference every day. From our Folsom State Prison Family, we appreciate your commitment to public safety.”

Scott Frauenheim, Warden, Pleasant Valley State Prison

“I am grateful for our Nurses in their desire and passion to help another person in need. In a time like now, where the world is uncertain because of the Coronavirus, I commend our Nursing staff and those around the world for working the front lines in overwhelming environments. I say thank you and I appreciate you.”

Richard Montes, Warden (A), and James Elliot, Chief Executive Officer, California Institution for Women

“The California Institution for Women would like to say thank you to the nursing staff of our facility.  Nurses are called to their work and have a sense of purpose in helping others and making the world a better place. Nurses in all disciplines, direct care nurses or nurses in leadership roles, are called to minister to the sick and cannot take a step back as they are the front line. For your service, we honor you during ‘National Nurses Week.’ Thank you for your hard work, thank you for working long hours and especially, thank you for your dedication and perseverance.”

George Jaime, Warden, California City Correctional Facility

“’I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and with loyalty I will endeavor to devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.’ Excerpts taken from the Florence Nightingale pledge that, although somewhat outdated, exemplifies the California City Correctional Facility nurses and LVNs. 

Thank you for working tirelessly to identify and protect the needs of the inmate/patients throughout the year. Your continued effort and dedication during this traumatic time has ensured the COVID-19 virus has not harmed staff, our family or friends and the inmate/patients at CAC.”

Laura Eldridge, Acting Warden, California Health Care Facility

“Our California Health Care Facility team is grateful for the heart and soul our nursing professionals put into each and every day. This amazing group of individuals makes up nearly half of our CHCF team. To all the nursing professionals, we thank you for all you do!”

William Sullivan, Warden, California Correctional Institution

“Access to and the provision of quality health care services for our inmate population is critical to the overall operation of our institution. Our health care program could not function without the efforts of our nurses who are in the trenches facilitating the provision of medical services to our inmate population 24/7, every day. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, through the efforts of our nurses, we have managed to ensure inmates potentially exposed or displaying symptoms are treated appropriately while limiting the exposure to the rest of the population.  We are proud to work alongside them each and every day and National Nurses Week is a great time to recognize them and thank them for their efforts.”

R. Mitchell, Chief Medical Executive, Central California Women’s Facility

“Kudos to Central California Woman’s Facility (CCWF) nursing for getting all of our Medical Assistants validated in a short time, namely our champion of this effort, RN Contreras.”

Stephanie Neumann, PsyD, Chief of Mental Health, Central California Women’s Facility

“Thank you to Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) Treatment and Triage (TTA) nursing team in dealing with all the Mental Health Crisis Bed (MHCB) referrals, internal admissions and California Institution for Women (CIW) MHCB transfers. When you are working against a clock and trying to meet timelines it can get overwhelming; they consistently support us in meeting these goals!”

Toni Clarke, Chief Executive Officer (A), Central California Women’s Facility

“The nursing staff at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) continue to exhibit professionalism and dedication. The threat of COVID did not deter them in the least. We can’t thank them enough for their continued dedication to the patients we serve. Wanting to ensure they know they are appreciated every day, and especially during a week dedicated to them and their chosen profession.”

Suzanne M. Peery, Warden, and Administrative Staff, California Correctional Center

“Nurses are selfless and compassionate people with a desire for helping others, which is displayed daily through their interactions with staff and inmate patients at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). You are all valued members of our CDCR family, and your hard work and dedication is recognized, respected and appreciated. This year, nurses have faced many challenging situations with the recent COVID-19 epidemic. You have worked long hours monitoring the health and safety of others, in addition to your assigned duties. Nurses have been taking temperatures and screening staff as they enter the institution to reduce the risk of infection, and provide ongoing care for inmate patients. Thank you for your commitment to the department, and providing excellent care for all.

We see you, and all that you do! Happy Nurses Week!”

Jim Robertson, Warden, Pelican Bay State Prison

“We would like to express our gratitude to all of the amazing Correctional Nurses at PBSP. We are honored to have each and every one of you on our team. Thank you for your loyalty and dedication, your work ethic and endurance. We are “better together” and your contribution to our team does not go unnoticed.

Cynthia Tampkins, Warden, California Rehabilitation Center

“California Rehabilitation Center Nurses are heroes and they are working the toughest beat in the state.”

Marcus Pollard, Warden (A), Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility

“We appreciate your passion to serve, to help, and to care for others no matter the circumstances. You continue to exemplify this even during these very difficult times we have dubbed the COVID-19 era.  Best wishes on Nurses Week to the inspiring nurses.”

Kelly Santoro, Warden, North Kern State Prison

“On behalf of Custody Staff and the Warden’s Office, I would like to send a big THANK YOU to all of the nurses at North Kern State Prison and nurses throughout the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the wonderful job you do. Nurses are truly the heartbeat of the medical field.” 

Lt. Michael Tuntakit, Correctional Lieutenant, AA PIO, Avenal State Prison

“Ms. Juliet Everly, Registered Nurse II at ASP, has been in her field of expertise since 1999. She has dedicated her career to many facilities and institutions and we are so very grateful to have her here at ASP. Among the regular daily duties Juliet performs, she stands out by making every day a special assignment by finding ways to incorporate new initiatives, policies and processes daily. Even during these uncertain times, Ms. Everly represents a caring attitude reflective of the nursing philosophy toward patients and staff members. She is invaluable to the nursing team and the institutions. Juliet has also been awarded the Supervisor of the Quarter in 2020. Three words that best describe Ms. Everly are: ‘Hardworking, Loyal and Team player,’ according to her supervisor, Kimberly Adkins.”

Muhammad Nasir, MD, MPH, MBA, Chief Executive Officer- Health Care, Calipatria State Prison

“I would like to take a moment to recognize the hard work and dedication of our front-line battling force. Today we celebrate you, your service, and the diligent manner in which you make our patients a priority.

Thank you all for your service in this difficult time of pandemic on the front lines! You all go above and beyond the call of duty. Happy Nurses Week!”

Jeff Lynch, Warden (A) and Brittany Brizendine, PsyD, MBA, CCHP-MH, Chief Executive Officer – Health Care, CSP, Sacramento

“Each day we recognize the tireless work and dedication of the Nursing staff at California State Prison, Sacramento. National Nurses Week could not have come at a better time to help celebrate the efforts of the nurses and all medical staff who have kept our staff and inmate population as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Nurses Week, we honor all nurses for their professionalism and express a debt of sincere gratitude for keeping us safe and informed. Happy Nurses Week!”

Heather Bowlds, PsyD, Director (A), Division of Juvenile Justice

“Day in and day out, nurses care for our youth at the Division of Juvenile Justice and help keep everyone safe and thriving. Now, more than ever, due to the Coronavirus, we recognize nurses and health care professionals as heroes. In our eyes, they’ve always been heroes. We’re proud to celebrate National Nurses Week, this week and every day.”

R. Recarey, Chief Executive Officer, and the executive team, Valley State Prison

“Valley State Prison would like to thank all its nursing staff for their hard work and dedication to ensuring patient care, especially during these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize the difficulty everyone is faced with in these unknown times. Your dedication is invaluable.”

Julie Mislang, CNE, Maria Lourdes Escolta, SRN III, Correctional Training Facility

“Here at CTF, we are proud to see the level of commitment and dedication that our Nursing Staff exemplifies on a daily basis. Indeed, Nursing Heroes work here at CTF from saving lives to demonstrating a steadfast fervor in rendering care to patients without taking any excuses.”

Celia Bell, Chief Executive Officer, Health Care, Corcoran State Prison

“CSP-Corcoran nurses have truly been the backbone in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Dorm Mitigation project.  You all answered the call of duty and are leading from the front.  We value the hard work and long hours you put in every day. Thank you for your commitment to patient care, and your selfless service in this difficult time. We applaud and celebrate you!”

Tina Brooks, Captain, Health Care Access, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison

“Chuckawalla Valley State Prison is full of amazing staff who work hard and do an outstanding job. In these extraordinary times, our nurses are on the front lines. The professionalism, dedication and service our nurses have demonstrated are nothing short of incredible. So we want to take the time and say THANK YOU, for all that you do to make everyone safer. Each of you goes the extra mile to ensure the work is done in the safest manner possible and your efforts do not go unnoticed. Happy Nurses Week, you deserve it!”

Michael Felder, CEO, Kern Valley State Prison

“From Fear: Courage. Courage begets Leaders. Leaders execute in the most difficult of times. During this difficult time, our nurses lead the entire healthcare community with profound courage, ceaseless compassion, quality care, and healing. Your entire KVSP leadership team salutes you.”

Captain J. Miller, Facility C, CSP-Los Angeles County

“Each year we recognize the diligent work by our health care and correctional professionals. Now more than ever the communities surrounding our institutions recognize that each time our professionals report for duty, they truly are front line heroes.”

Public Information Officer, Lt. K. Graves, California State Prison, Los Angeles County

“Although we are socially distancing and virtually apart, we come together as one LAC Team, strong and bonded together and giving our heart.  Nurses are one of the greatest blessings of humanity, THANK YOU for all you do to keep thriving. You are truly the strength and inspiration.”

Captain Z. Neblett, Health Care Access Unit, California State Prison, Los Angeles County

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the POWER to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.  Thank you California State Prison – Los Angeles County (CSP-LAC) Nursing Team for consistently demonstrating that heroism is not measured by the size of your strength but by the strength of your heart.  CSP-LAC is standing on the shoulders of your POWER and HEART.”

Acting Associate Warden D.J. Williams, of Business Services, California State Prison, Los Angeles County

“We greatly appreciate our medical staff. Thank you for your services especially during times like these.” 

CEO, Christina Galstian, DrSc, CSP-Los Angeles County

“California State Prison – Los Angeles County (LAC) NURSES, you are my HEROES. You have been fighting the COVID 19 invisible enemy tirelessly, selflessly, and without a complaint. It has been an honor working beside you, and I would like to express my deepest gratitude for all the sacrifices you make every day, your courage, your unconditional devotion, your compassion and your unwavering commitment to your profession.”

Warden R. C. Johnson and CDW D. Ulstad, CSP-Los Angeles County

“We are an institution of everyday heroes. There is no match for the strength and resilience that medical professionals of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have shown. As First Responders we sign-up to be on the front lines of emergencies including times such as a pandemic but it is not without notice of sacrifice. Nurses, you have given your life to something bigger and greater than yourself. Thank you for your countless hours of commitment in making the world a better place.”

Story by Ike Dodson
Office of Public and Employee Communications

National Nurses Week with man and four women in hospital work clothes standing and facing camera.
Valley State Prison delivered a message of appreciation to nurses during National Nurses Week. From left are RN De Leon, LVN Rogers, RN Balbon, RN Rodriguez and RN Shaili.

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