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Karen Lakota, RN, ICU, Nurse Mentor

Karen Lakota, RN, is the 2012 Nursing Mentor of the Year at Alvarado Hospital for her dedication to training the next generation of nurses and providing compassionate bedside care for more than 30 years. Teaching new nurses is called precepting and Karen embraces her dual role of teaching and providing exceptional patient care.

"Karen is one of those people who views nursing as a calling, not a job,” said Peggy Bailey, chief nursing officer, Alvarado Hospital. "She is not only a role model for nursing at Alvarado Hospital, but a role model for the profession itself! Karen as a preceptor, mentor, bedside nurse and human being truly makes our ICU a better place for patients, their loved ones, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff!”

Patricia Berry, RN, Cath Lab, Clinical Nursing Excellence

While Patricia Berry, RN, received the 2012 Nursing Excellence Award for the extraordinary level of clinical care she provides at Alvarado Hospital, she really should receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

For the past 30 years, Berry has provided extraordinary patient care with a kind of "sixth sense and presence only a lifetime commitment can bring,” said Peggy Bailey, chief nursing officer. "Patty has devoted her career to the patients of Alvarado Hospital and provided nothing but uncompromising, top-notch healthcare. Our hospital and the community we care for are lucky to have Patty around.”