In honor of National Nurses and Hospital Week which were celebrated in the month of May, HSHS St. Francis Hospital proudly recognized numerous colleagues in nursing and other areas of the hospital with Nursing Exemplar and TORCH Awards. Hospital colleagues and medical staff members were asked to submit nominations to highlight colleagues who bring excellence to their work and joy and compassion to patients and coworkers. 

The Nursing Exemplar Awards recognize the dedicated health professionals and nurses who serve patients each day with respect, care, competence and joy. They play an important role in providing excellent care to our communities. It is more important than ever to thank, recognize and celebrate that we have these health care professionals in our community.

Below is the list of Nursing Exemplar Award winners: 

Preceptor of the Year
Jacquelyn Weatherford, RN, critical care and surgery

Partner in Nursing
Alesia Haslett, health clerk, surgery

Clinical Excellence in Nursing
Emily Ruemmler, RN, critical care unit

Rookie of the Year
Lauren Hernandez, RN, medical/surgical unit

“Nursing is an extremely difficult but deeply rewarding career that is truly a calling,” said Bobbi Kinkelaar, chief nursing officer at St. Francis Hospital.  “I couldn’t be prouder of these Nursing Exemplar winners for their dedication to serving the people in our communities, especially over the last couple of years.”

St. Francis Hospital also honors colleagues who exemplify the mission of the Hospital Sisters and St. Francis by living our Core Values with our annual Torch Awards. One Torch award in each category of Respect, Care, Competence and Joy are presented. 

The Torch Award winners include: 

Heather Senaldi, RN, Medical Surgical

Kaylee Cox, financial counselor, orthopedic clinic

Marilyn Pastrovich, cardiac rehab

John Irwin, manager, environmental services

The Torch awards were created to honor those whose values reflect our commitment to our colleagues, patients and their families; how they have carried the torch, passed to us from St. Francis and the Hospital Sisters, forward through the past year.  

“Colleagues at St. Francis have had a special impact on our community. National Nurses and Hospital Week is an opportunity to celebrate our dedicated nurses and all colleagues for the care and respect they show each other and our patients,” said Jim Timpe, president and chief executive officer of St. Francis Hospital. “To be nominated by your peers for these very special awards speaks volumes about the dedication, competence and care shown by each of these honorees and I am proud to have them be part of our St. Francis family.”

Please join HSHS and St. Francis Hospital administration in thanking these dedicated health care professionals for their dedication, compassion and commitment to excellence.

To apply for a position at HSHS St. Francis, visit


Media Contact

Melissa Athmer

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 32258

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