2022 AWARD WINNERS
Nurse Practitioner – Occupational Health
Manager, Duke Employee COVID Hotline
Employee Occupational Health and Wellness Clinic
DNP, NP-C, AACC, FAANP
Libby has been a nurse for 23 years, and her entire career has been at Duke. Since 2019, she has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in Employee Occupational Health & Wellness and, as she says, it has been very challenging during the pandemic. Libby interviewed, hired, trained and supervised a team of more than 20 nurses to develop policies and create a COVID hotline. The call center serves more than 44,000 employees, and handles reporting of exposures, monitoring of symptoms, arranging for testing, follow-up regarding resolution and returning staff safely to work. During a stressful time in our organization’s history, Libby emerged as an innovative leader, upholding high standards of excellence, to keep our workplace safe.
This Nurse Practitioner exemplifies integrity by consistently upholding the values of our organization. Her job drastically changed when there was a need for leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. She quickly stepped up and transitioned from her role as provider in the clinic into leadership for the Employee Pandemic Response Team. She interviewed, hired and is currently supervising more than 20 term-limited nurses in response to the needs of the organization during the pandemic. Even when staff was stretched as far as we could stretch, she remained calm and professional. When we were overwhelmed, she rolled up her sleeves and worked alongside us without hesitation. With no formal training in management, she held her team to the high standards of excellence at Duke. If a team member was not meeting expectations, she had honest conversations and mentored them to improve performance. Team members appreciated her wisdom and guidance. This also gave the team a boost in morale knowing that she is always listening and willing to have difficult conversations in order to uphold the high standards of Duke. She has a strong sense of self and does the right thing, consistently, every time.
She is a strong nursing role model. She takes every opportunity to encourage nurses to continue with their education, join national professional organizations, and become an active participant in the North Carolina Nurses Association. She is nationally certified as a nurse educator and Nurse Practitioner. She is a natural leader and advocate for nursing. She finished her DNP in Nursing Education and then immediately went back to school at Duke for her post-master’s Family Nurse Practitioner certificate. When I asked her why she went back to school after a doctoral degree, she said that she realized in her doctoral program that the level of impact she wanted to make was at a different practice level. She said she was willing to stay the course and she was, in fact, called to do so. She is recognized nationally as an excellent speaker at conferences on topics related to vector-borne disease prevention. Even during the pandemic, she has had podium presentations for multiple state nursing organizations on Zoom. She has been published multiple times and is currently co-authoring an article for publication, “Patient and Community Surveillance Quality Improvement Initiative for SARS-CoV-2 Variant Strain Testing.”
This nominee has gone above and beyond to help establish safe policies and protocols to minimize risk for COVID in the workplace. At the start of the pandemic, Duke needed a way to make sure symptomatic employees had access to testing, were properly removed from work, had a case manager if COVID-positive, and were properly returned to work after being medically cleared. There were no national models, so Duke became the benchmark. This Nurse Practitioner stepped up to the plate and helped craft procedures that kept the entire workforce safe and limited the time out of work needed for testing. She helped establish a mission-critical testing protocol to make sure that employees with mild symptoms could receive access to rapid COVID testing, so those needed at the bedside could return quickly and safely. She organized a team of redeployed nurses from all over the health system to help in the employee COVID hotline to take calls from thousands of frightened employees needing triage and support. She did all of this while embracing change and keeping the ultimate goal: to meet the needs of our patients.
This candidate has worked with non-medically trained case tracers with a variety of backgrounds to help coach them to investigate COVID exposures in the workplace. She has trained case managers to provide support and guidance for employees who test positive for COVID. She has been a preceptor for multiple Nurse Practitioner students from George Washington University during COVID, when preceptor sites were scarce. She has led our COVID response team, from the very beginning of the pandemic, with enthusiasm, warmth and a sense of inclusiveness.
This nominee cares for her team. She motivates nurses on her team to take classes toward their next degree and to stay lifelong learners. She has a heart of gratitude and expresses appreciation to the team members regularly. She recently hosted a bonfire event at her house for our team and had a COVID-safe meal catered to celebrate our hard work. She exemplifies the qualities of a caring nurse. She not only recognizes when our team is stretched thin, she steps up and helps carry the team when we need it. She does this instinctually and without having to be asked.
This nominee is a strong candidate for a Friends of Nursing award because she exemplifies the pillars of Swanson’s Theory of Caring, as evidenced by her ability to emerge an innovative leader upholding the high standard of excellence to keep our workplace safe during a stressful time in our organization’s history.