More than 1,100 guests gathered Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh for the 17th Annual Cameos of Caring Gala, a program established in 1999 to honor exceptional bedside nurses working in acute-care facilities. For 2015, 73 honorees were recognized from 53 different facilities in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Italy. Of them, 24 – a record! – are alumni or students of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.
During its first year, 20 hospitals in Western Pennsylvania joined the Cameos of Caring family, each selecting one nurse who demonstrated excellence in nursing care, served as an advocate for patients and families, and embodied the essence of the nursing profession. Today, the program has expanded to include additional award categories to reflect the breadth of the nursing profession and recognize exceptional individuals in many different practice areas, such as the Advanced Practice Award, the Donate Life Award (recognizing those nurses who actively advocate for organ and tissue donation), the Case Manager Award, and the Nurse Educator Award. For 2015, a new award category was added, the Quality & Safety category, to honor nurses focused on creating a culture of safety and quality patient care throughout their facility.
Proceeds from the program and awards gala benefit the Cameos of Caring Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund, established in 2000 to offer financial support so that practicing nurses may advance their education. Since the program’s inception more than 250 scholarships have been awarded and over $1.3 million has been raised for the scholarship fund. For more information about the program and to see a list of the honorees, go to the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.