Sherri Garber Mendelson, nurse manager for the maternity department at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, received the Best of JOGNN Writing Award this week for a paper she co-authored titled "A Community-Based Parish Nurse Intervention Program for Mexican American Women with Gestational Diabetes."
The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, meeting in San Diego, presented its top writing award to Mendelson, a registered nurse who holds a PhD in nursing.
The award honors the first author of an original paper published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, the association's bi-monthly peer-reviewed journal.
"Sherri is a tremendous nurse - in fact her research for this paper illustrates her commitment to her patients," said Larry Bowe, the hospital's chief executive. "We serve a growing Latino community and diabetes is a very, very serious health issue in this population."
Papers are nominated by the editors, with the winning paper chosen by the members of the JOGNN Editorial Advisory Board. Criteria for the award include the originality of the work; the clarity and scholarliness of the writing; the potential for the paper to significantly affect the care of women, infants and/or childbearing families; and the interdisciplinary importance of the work.
The honor came this week, coinciding with top honors for the Providence Holy Cross maternity department, named among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the U.S. by HealthGradesTM, the nation's largest health care ratings organization.
Mendelson is chairwoman of the Nursing Research Committee and co-chairwoman of the Magnet Committee at Providence Holy Cross. Her award-winning article explores the need for developing effective evidence-based programs to address the growing rise in gestational diabetes in Mexican American women.
"This important research will help to address a significant problem," said Nancy Lowe, the Journal's editor-in-chief. "Dr. Mendelson's innovative exploration of parish nursing has made a valuable contribution to the current literature and the care of women during pregnancy."
Providence Health & Services sponsors a Faith Community Nurse - or "parish nursing" - outreach program where nurses from the five Providence medical centers in the Los Angeles Area bring medical programs such as health screenings to their own churches or synagogues.
Mendelson began her nursing career in the Mother-Baby Unit at Prentiss Women's Hospital, Northwestern Memorial. Previously, she worked at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., engaged in all areas of obstetrics and pediatrics followed by a position as Clinical Nurse Specialist. She received her BSN and MSN from the University of Illinois and her Ph.D. in Nursing from UCLA.