Charlotte Nurse Receives MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award

Posted on November 03, 2017

Preventing Patient HarmKassandra Gauna, RN, a nurse at Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, Charlotte, was honored Nov. 3 with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award.

The award celebrates patient and staff safety through the recognition of individuals or teams in Michigan hospitals who demonstrate a commitment to the prevention of patient or staff harm.

Gauna is the first recipient of the award at Hayes Green Beach (HGB).

Nurses are often the last line of defense between the patient and medication administration.

Gauna received the award for speaking up about a medication that was erroneously ordered and refusing to administer it to a patient.

Kassandra Gauna, RN, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital.Her uncompromising diligence protected the patient from harm.  

“I chose to speak up because it was the absolute right thing to do,” said Gauna. “Throughout my training and career, I've been very fortunate to work with and learn from some of the best nurses in Michigan. The advice I’ve received from those nurses has always had a resounding theme: If you are unsure about something, ask questions. Use your resources and trust your gut. Be 100 percent positive that what you do is appropriate and will not bring harm to the patient. You are responsible for the patient while they are in your care and you are their advocate.”

HGB has created several programs that are centered on its commitment to zero patient and employee harm.

MHA leadership presenting speak up award.In July 2017, the hospital created the Speak Up Now (SUN) Award program. Each month, the HGB Patient Safety Team reviews monthly nomination forms and chooses an individual who spoke up to prevent patient or employee harm. A small presentation is held to honor the winner with the team from the recipient’s department, as well as the HGB leadership team. All monthly SUN Award winners are nominated for the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award.

“Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital has an excellent group of leaders that have helped create a culture where patient safety is top priority,” said Gauna. “Every morning, there is a safety meeting where a manager, staff and administration check in to make sure each department is safe and debrief any events that may or could occur.” 

Featured in Monday Report. Click to view the full edition. More information about the MHA Keystone Speak-up! Award, including award criteria and a nomination form, are available online. Members with questions may contact Adam Novak at the MHA. 

Photo Captions: 
(Top photo) Kassandra Gauna, RN, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, expressed appreciation during the Speak Up! Award ceremony for the support she received from her colleagues and leadership when she spoke up about a medication error.
(Lower photo) MHA and HGB leadership celebrated Gauna during the award ceremony. (From left) MHA CEO Brian Peters; Gauna; Sam R. Watson, MSA, CPPS, senior vice president of patient safety and quality, MHA Keystone Center; and Matthew Rush, FACHE, president and CEO, HGB.


  • Charlotte Nurse Receives MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award

Tags: MHA Keystone Center, Patient Safety and Quality, Speak-up! Award

Posted in: News Releases, Patient Safety & Quality

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