APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – A ThedaCare Registered Nurse, Louise (Lou) Sharpless, was recently named “Outstanding Nurse of the Year” by the Fox Valley Family Medicine Residency and Mosaic Family Health.
Currently working as ThedaCare’s At Home Hospice liaison, Lou was nominated in June by seven residents who had completed their three-year Family Medicine Residency Program and voted for a physician and nurse they feel has been outstanding in their education.
Lou shared, “I was completely surprised and humbled to say the least about this recognition…I have been privileged to have several of the residents follow me throughout the course of a day, or several days to observe my work.”
Lou’s daily work consists of meeting with patients and families to discuss different and sometimes difficult options for them to consider, “I discuss the hospice philosophy, services and more. This is a difficult time for families. It’s important that we validate the journey they have been on while seeking aggressive treatment for their illness, and reinforce that choosing to stop treatment is not about “giving up”. It is about focusing on those moments that make them happy and give them quality of life with the people they love,” says Lou.
Lou explains further, “I don’t believe I chose hospice as my career path – I believe that a hospice passion is a choice that has just occurred naturally…The philosophy, team mindedness, support of families and celebration of a life well-lived resounds in my heart. I thrive on being that advocate, helping families determine the best plans for their loved one.”
Lou isn’t the only Appleton healthcare worker being recognized for their efforts this year, Dr. Benjamin Duffy, a Physician Lead and Hospitalist at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Appleton, was also chosen as the “Outstanding Teacher of the Year.”