The Simms/Mann Family Foundation has gifted 10 Keck Medicine of USC nurses $10,000 each as part of the foundation’s Off the Chart: Rewarding Nursing Greatness campaign. The gift celebrates the bold leadership of Los Angeles nurses and their continued innovation and resilience in the midst of ongoing challenges in health care settings.

“The intention of Off the Chart: Rewarding Nursing Greatness is to broaden the public’s understanding of the essential and expansive role nurses have across all health care settings, and to serve as a call to action to make the massive investments in nurses necessary to provide them with the support, resources and recognition they deserve and need,” said Victoria Mann Simms, PhD, president of the Simms/Mann Family Foundation.

In its second year, the Off the Chart: Rewarding Nursing Greatness campaign recognized 40 nurses from four leading Los Angeles-area health systems: Cedars-Sinai, City of Hope, UCLA Health, and Keck Medicine of USC. Recipients were chosen from a wide range of specialties and career stages.

“More than ever, our nursing staff are committed to enhancing the art and science of nursing throughout our enterprise,” said Annette Sy, DNP, RN, NE-BC, chief nursing executive for Keck Medical Center of USC. “This incredible honor confirms that our nurses are the gold-standard in nursing excellence.”

Additionally, the foundation acknowledged that the honorees embodied a bias toward action, possessed a capacity for self-direction, showcased originality and creative instincts in their work, were bold and courageous, and possessed the potential to achieve even more.

“Nurses are essential in our limitless approach to care,” said Colleen Wilcoxen, MSN, RN, chief nursing officer for USC Arcadia Hospital. “Through all the ups and downs a health care environment can bring, our nurses remain beacons of hope in even the most uncertain times.”

The Keck Medicine recipients were also celebrated at an event on May 28 at the Luxe Sunset Hotel. This year’s recipients from across the health system included:

Julie Anderson, RN
Orthopedic Service Line Coordinator
USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

Jennifer Cannon, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nursing Professional, Development Practitioner
USC Norris Cancer Hospital

Jai I Chung, FNP-BC
Supervisor Nurse Practitioner in Cardiology
USC Care Medical Group

Jana Evenhouse, RN, MSN, AMB-BC
Clinic Nurse Educator
Keck Medicine of USC

Jenny Huang, RN, BSN, OCN, BMTCN
Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse
USC Norris Cancer Hospital

Mei Hui Huang, RN
Medical-Surgical Nurse
USC Arcadia Hospital

Antonia Huerta, RN, MICN
Emergency Room Nurse
USC Arcadia Hospital

Leah Korkis, MSN, RN, AGCNS, NPD-BC
Director of Clinical Education and Nursing Excellence
USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

Melinda Mayorga, RN, MSN, AGCNS-BC, OCN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
USC Norris Cancer Hospital

Malia Vargas, RN
Clinical Administrative Supervisor
Keck Hospital of USC

The Simms/Mann Family Foundation is a private organization dedicated to strategically funding innovative educational programs and social services that promote well-being and economic self-sufficiency for all. The Foundation was established in 1984 and is based in Beverly Hills.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that our nurses face matters of life and death every day,” said Theresa Murphy, RN, MS, CENP, chief nursing officer for USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. “Our enterprise wouldn’t be able to succeed without their courage, generosity, and innovation. We are forever grateful for their efforts.”

To learn more about this year’s recipients, click here.

— Matthew Vasiliauskas