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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis Health RN honored for work as parish nurse, low-income clinic

Bone marrow transplant nurse manager also receives CARE Award

INDIANAPOLIS – Cheryl Howard, R.N., a long-time nurse and clinical educator at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville, is the recipient of the 2012 Salute to Nurses Community Outreach Award, presented by The Indianapolis Star.

Howard received those accolades Wednesday, April 25, at the 10th annual Salute to Nurses banquet and ceremony at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. The program honors the dedication and impact of nursing professionals throughout Indiana. 

Howard was recognized for her work as clinical educator for intensive care, medical/surgery, orthopedics and emergency. She also has been an active volunteer fat St. Thomas More Clinic near Mooresville, a Franciscan St. Francis-sponsored facility serving low-income and the medically underserved.

“It’s so wonderful to help so many people without money being a concern,” Howard said. “We’re there because we want to volunteer our time – and there’s a peace and joy in that. It goes back to your nurses of why you became a nurse.”

She also works as a parish nurse at First United Methodist Church in Mooresville, where her duties range from health education and counseling to blood pressure checks.

“All my life I’ve believed that holistic medicine is where we need to be – you can’t separate out mind, body and spirit – if your spirit is hurting then your body hurts,” Howard said.

Another Franciscan St. Francis Health nurse was recognized at the Salute to Nurses program. Theresa Weisenbach, R.N., M.B.A., was among five nurses presented with CARE (Compassionate About Reaching Excellence) awards. She was nominated by hospital nursing leadership for her “constant desire to surpass ordinary standards – to go above and beyond the call of duty.”

Weisenbach, who has specialized in oncology for many years, is nurse manager of the bone marrow transplant unit at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis. She also serves as chair of the nursing professional development council.

This year wasn’t the first time were in the limelight for the Salute to Nurses program. In 2010, Mooresville Emergency Services Director Nathan Lowder was named Nurse of the Year and also was the recipient of the Community Outreach Award.

Franciscan St. Francis employs more than 1,400 nurses – more than 320 certified in clinical specialties – at its hospitals in Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel.

To learn more about nursing at Franciscan St. Francis Health,  visit