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March of Dimes recognizes local nurse practitioner

Janet Larson, Family and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Riverwood

Janet Larson, Family and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Riverwood

The March of Dimes selected Janet Larson, family and mental health nurse practitioner at Riverwood Healthcare Center, for a Nurse of the Year award in the Mental Health category.

Kristine Layne, chief nursing officer at Riverwood, nominated Janet Larson for the award with these comments: “Mental health services in our community are very limited. Janet works diligently to fill this need with a very full practice. She is a voice for the mental health patient, working to improve their health care and assure a holistic focus on wellness. She is currently working on a pilot project to better case manage the mental health needs of her patients. This work will be used to develop a medical home model which will allow her to see more patients. Janet is a role model for all of our nursing staff, striving for perfection in all that she does.”

In addition Layne’s nomination described Larson’s work with Aitkin County’s jail administrator to identify and meet the mental health needs of the jail population and her work with College of St Scholastica to provide mentoring for nursing students as well as teaching at the college and preparing nursing students in the area of mental health.

Janet Larson comments: “I was very surprised to be nominated for the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year award.  Changing how we view mental health has been my life’s passion.  I have been fortunate to work for a health care organization that supports my efforts along with amazing providers, nurses and staff members who understand the importance of mental health. The awards program was amazing; it was exciting to be surrounded by nurses who are changing the delivery of health care while improving outcomes.  I accepted the award on behalf of my patients, who allow me to be part of their health care team.”

March of Dimes celebrated Nurse of the Year winners in 16 categories at a dinner and awards program on Oct. 25 at the Marriott Hotel in Brooklyn Park.  Nurse of the Year winners all display great leadership skills and have made significant contributions to their community and to the profession of nursing.   March of Dimes received an overwhelming response this year with more than 425 nominations from across Minnesota. Nurse of the Year winners all display great leadership skills and have made significant contributions to their community and to the profession of nursing.

“Minnesota has many outstanding nurses who impact people’s lives every day in many different ways,” said event chair Cheryl Douglas, Nurse Manager at Fairview Southdale Hospital. “Nursing is a very diverse profession. Nurses are at the bedside, in homes, schools, clinics, at the capital, working in education, research, and public health. It is a great honor to work with the March of Dimes in supporting their vision and work while honoring and celebrating nursing excellence, compassion and quality of care in Minnesota and beyond.”

The Nurse of the Year Awards event helps raise money for the March of Dimes to fund lifesaving research and educational programs aimed at helping moms have healthy babies.