Awards and Appreciation, Prison Health Care

Across California, CDCR/CCHCS honor nurses

Compiled by Peter Quinones
California Correctional Health Care Services

Nurses across the state were thanked for their hard work during Nurses Week in mid-May. The following is a compilation of celebrations from Mule Creek State Prison, California Health Care Facility, California Correctional Center, CSP-Solano, Central California Women’s Facility, Ironwood State Prison, Kern Valley State Prison, California City Correctional Facility, California Men’s Colony, Sierra Conservation Center, Centinela State Prison, RJ Donovan Correctional Facility and California Correctional Institution, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and CSP-Los Angeles County.

Men and women stand on opposite sides of a table covered with food.
Nurses were recognized at Mule Creek State Prison.

Mule Creek State Prison celebrated Nurses Week 2020 by using the necessary COVID-19 precautions concerning gathering.

“We marked tape on the floor every 6 feet and wore masks and gloves to serve staff. There were COVID-19 prizes (such as toilet paper, disinfectant and paper towels) as well as gift cards. The CEO (A) served (food) the entire day, and the warden and PIO celebrated with us,” said Kimberly Masad, CNE.

Medical staff stand outside a prison.
Nursing staff at CHCF demonstrate social distancing during Nurses Week.

“We ensured all of the California Health Care Facility Nurses Week activities and celebrations adhered to wearing masks and social distancing for COVID-19 preparedness during this unprecedented time… We changed our yearly food distribution from a gathering together, to pre-made to-go lunches and dinner bags for the nurses,” said Chanden Dhatt, CNE. Each day, six nurses were recognized. “We had lots of fun and CHCF as a facility had a great time recognizing all of the nurses and the front line heroes taking care of our patients every day.”

Donuts in a box with the words Happy Nurses Week from Bob Duncan.
From prizes to treats, nurses at California Correctional Center were recognized during Nurses Week.
A mug with the words Year of the Nurse 2020.
A commemorative mug was provided to nursing staff at CCC.

California Correctional Center celebrated Nurses Week with activities that followed social distancing practices. On our first day our Chief Executive Officer provided various treats to all of the shifts. The next day the Nursing Administration and managers distributed goody bags with various useful items.

“A personal note was written by each supervisor acknowledging  appreciation to each of our correctional nursing staff…Nominated by staff, H. Horsley, RN, was recognized as Nurse of the Year while J. Miller, SRN II, was recognized as Supervising Registered Nurse of the Year.

“Finally with recognition that the year 2020 was the year of the nurse, each nursing staff received a commemorative mug,” said Jane Low, CNE.

At California State Prison, Solano, a catered lunch was part of the festivities for Nurses Week 2020.

“They work so hard at what they do and are very excited to share with the state our CSP-SOL celebration,” said Julia Wall, RNE.

Men and women stand behind a table to serve food. At right is a photo of nursing staff in a prison.
Central California Women’s Facility nursing staff.

Central California Women’s Facility had a robust celebration for Nurses Week. Nursing and Executive leadership hosted a luncheon where nursing staff was served various entrees. Subsequent days included prizes and leadership rounds where doughnuts and beverages were provided to rank and file nurses.

During Nurses Week at California City Correctional Facility, various events were held. Handmade masks, candy, a pizza lunch, breakfast, sandwiches and desserts were provided to nursing staff.

Men and women stand under a banner celebrating Nurses Week. At right, nursing staff wear masks.
Ironwood State Prison nursing staff were honored during Nurses Week.

Ironwood State Prison (ISP) staff saluted nurses with some special events.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Florence Nightingale’s legacy has never been so relevant.  She was a pioneer for nursing, disinfection and had a monumental impact on infection control today. Today we celebrate you, ISP nurses! You are the front line care providers to our under-served population. You perform your tasks with professionalism, safety and resilience. Thank you for all that you do,” said Mara Winsick,CNE.

Five correctional nurses pose for a photo.
KVSP nursing staff were thanked during Nurses Week.

Kern Valley State Prison celebrated the dedication of their nursing staff. They practiced safe distancing and wore masks amid their daily tasks and during the Nurses Week festivities.

Nurses in scrubs stand in a prison.
California Men’s Colony clinic nurses.

California Men’s Colony celebrated nurses by having a spirit week where everyone dressed up in a different theme daily.  Every day there was also a gift or food.  They were given a Year of the Nurse ID badge reel, catered lunch from Subway, a coffee bar with pastries, cookies and a staff nomination day.  During the week, Healthcare staff nominated nurses for different categories and the winners were announced on Tuesday. The stand-out during the week was definitely all of the posters lining the driveway into work, it really put smiles on everyone’s faces,” said Tonya Christian, Nursing Analyst.

Two photos of nursing staff. One nurse stands behind a table while another is in an exam room.
Nursing staff at Sierra Conservation Center.

The Nurses Week event was a photo opportunity for the Sierra Conservation Center nursing staff as a show of appreciation. The staff said they look forward to celebrating with other events later this year.

Centinela State Prison celebrated all week with a number of giveaways with prizes such as gift cards, gift baskets and parking spots.

“In celebration of National Nurses Week, it is our honor to pay tribute to the healthcare staff at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD). We thank you for your commitment, dedication, compassion and outstanding professionalism.

“Reflecting back over the past years, RJD could not be where it is today without the contributions each of you make collectively. You are vitally important to RJD’s mission. Know that we would not be whole without the talent and special gifts you bring to our organization. The mission you’re a part of matters. We are honored to serve with you and are grateful for each and every one of you,” said Kimberly Tenorio, CNE.

A t-shirt says Nurses Week 2020 We Are Essential CCI Tehachapi.
Special shirts for nurses at CCI.

California Correctional Institution (CCI) showed their overwhelming love and appreciation to all their nurses — in style. The week-long celebration included a daily give away of over 50 gift cards for every area of nursing and every watch. During the week nurses also received breakfast, lunch, or dinner, gift bags, pens, candy bars and shirts. As special recognition for the work they do, the CCI Fire Department threw a thank you barbecue for the nursing staff including SRN IIs, nursing office OTs, SRN III, CNE, and CEO. We can never say to all the nurses how much we care about them and appreciate how hard they work every day. Thank you CCI nurses, you are amazing,” said Laura Stanley, RN.

Prison staff hold thank-you signs outside a health office.
Chuckawalla Valley State Prison nurses were recognized for the hard work.

Chuckawalla Valley State Prison is full of amazing staff who work hard and do an outstanding job,” said Capt. Tina Brooks, Health Care Access.

“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.”

National Nurses Day was marked by California State Prison, Los Angeles County, as they honored the nursing staff at by hosting a banquet to raise awareness for their contributions, commitments, and the vital role they play in society.