NYU Winthrop Hospital is proud to announce that among a field of nurses and nurse faculty at 27 hospitals and schools of nursing in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Lila Hageman-Sheehan, BSN, RN, CEN, stood out to win Nassau–Suffolk Hospital Council’s top nursing honor, the “Nurse of Excellence Award 2018.” Hageman-Sheehan, the nurse manager of the emergency department at NYU Winthrop Hospital, was chosen for her outstanding contributions to the nursing profession and to the field of healthcare including demonstrating leadership, serving as a role model to inspire others, illustrating significant achievements, and going far above and beyond normal duties.
“Lila Hageman-Sheehan represents all that a nurse should be, passionate, caring, and competent, and she is a leader who fosters safer communities,” said Valerie T. Terzano, PhD candidate, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer at NYU Winthrop Hospital. “Lila has long been a catalyst for change, working to improve the healthcare of Long Island residents, and we could not be prouder of her at this moment, receiving this coveted award.”
Among other current initiatives, Hageman-Sheehan is taking a lead role in the development of a SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) program for NYU Winthrop, collaborating with the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, Nassau County Police Department, and others to improve upon and provide compassionate care to the victims of sexual assault. She participates in the Medical Reserve Corps of Nassau County, volunteering to be on standby in the event of a mass casualty incident. She also participates in an annual Nassau County Special Olympics program, providing emergency care, if needed, to the participants.
Hageman-Sheehan’s compassion knows few bounds. Following the Las Vegas mass shootings in October 2017 that left 58 dead and 851 injured, she felt strongly that the emergency department staff caring for the victims deserved to be cared for as well.
Said Terzano, “She walked a mile in their shoes, figuratively, by imagining how difficult it was for the staff to cope. She wanted them to know they were not alone and, as nurses, we are a special family of professionals, regardless of geography.”
Hageman-Sheehan’s empathy spurred her into action. She coordinated a collection to purchase lunches for the entire staff at two Las Vegas Hospital emergency departments. Those colleagues, overwhelmed by the support and compassion shown, sent in return letters of appreciation and a banner of thanks with signatures of all the staff.
Previously, in 2017, Hageman-Sheehan served as president of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) Nassau/Queens chapter, a local base for education, advocacy, and information sharing among emergency nurses, and she mentored an associate to succeed her as chapter president. While president, she initiated valuable offsite programs for ENA members, including “Water Watch,” a water safety program for children and parents, aimed at reducing the number of pediatric victims of water-related accidents that emergency departments see all too often.
In receiving this Nurse of Excellence 2018 recognition, Hageman-Sheehan also was given a unique teapot, in a tradition that dates back decades. The teapot symbolizes that nurses are like teabags; they don’t know their own strength until they get into hot water.