Local VA nurse wins Secretary Award for health care service

nursing secretary award
Posted at 1:28 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 16:39:00-04

A VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System nurse recently won the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and Advancement of Nursing Programs for helping to improve health care services for Veterans.

Emergency Department (ED) Nurse Maria VanHart was one of six selected to receive the 2021 award, announced by Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough. VanHart was recognized for demonstrating leadership, selfless dedication to Veterans, and providing patient-centered care in a safe, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

VA established the award in 1984 as a way to honor nurses and executives across its health care system.

In her role as an ED Nurse, VanHart performs comprehensive physical, psychological and spiritual assessments to a wide variety of patient populations with complex medical and surgical conditions requiring emergency care. She applies the nursing process to systems at the unit, team, and workgroup level to improve the care Veterans receive.

VanHart was also recognized in June 2020 for providing life-saving care while off duty when she was a first responder to an overturned passenger van containing 10 people.

Local police and emergency personnel noted that her triage, trauma care, and calling for helicopter medivac likely saved the lives of several of the critically injured.