October 29th, 2021
The Monroe Community Hospital (MCH) Nursing Director Kristen Schulmerich this week accepted the 15th annual national McHugh Award for Leadership in Long-Term Services and Supports Nursing. LeadingAge, an association representing not-for-profit mission-driven and public continuing care providers, presented Schulmerich the award at their annual meeting and EXPO, in Atlanta, GA. Schulmerich was cited for her creative approaches to enhance recruitment and retention at MCH in the face of COVID-related workforce challenges. Local elected and community leaders echo the national recognition.
“Kristen is a true believer that the housekeeper can be every bit the caregiver as the medical provider, and COVID proved that to be true,” said Congressman Joseph D. Morelle. “When staffing levels were down and residents were isolated from their family members, MCH residents took comfort in the daily interactions they had with each and every member of the team. The relationships that Kristen built over nearly three decades of exemplary service in healthcare were brought to bear, as she called on everyone to step in and step up, to provide assistance in ways that never would have been possible without her leadership. We are proud of her and congratulate her on this well-deserved honor!”
“Nursing Director Kristen Schulmerich’s dedication, compassion and exemplary leadership are a model for nurses and medical professionals everywhere,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “Especially during the difficult days of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff and residents at Monroe Community Hospital relied on her for her expertise, empathy, guidance and professionalism. She is an asset to our hospital and to our wider community. This is a well- deserved honor. Congratulations Kristen.”
“MCH residents are being cared for by the best and brightest in the field,” said Executive Health Director Alyssa Tallo, head of MCH. “Kristen exemplifies the top-notch service you receive when you come to MCH. She truly cares about each and every resident, and making sure that they get the very best care possible. She makes MCH a fun, warm environment in which to both live, and to work. We are better for her efforts, and we are grateful and excited to be able to recognize such a deserving team member.”
Kristen ascended to the Director of Nursing role during the height of the COVID pandemic. Under her leadership, MCH had one of the lowest infection rates per 1000 patient days, and achieved over 95 percent vaccination rates in both its resident and staff populations.
“Kristen is well-regarded by all,” noted Common Ground CEO Wade Norwood. “Her advocacy and input helped create career ladder positions at MCH, which have been absolutely essential to help them attract and retain new talent throughout the continued staffing shortages plaguing healthcare, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. This latest honor from LeadingAge just underscores what we already knew - MCH has some of the best in the industry working on their team, and Kristen is one of them! Congratulations both to the facility, and to Kristen.”
“Kristen is the epitome of growth, determination, and leadership in the nursing profession,” said Civil Service Employees Association Western Region President Steve Healy. “She started her career as a Certified Nursing Assistant and has developed into a transformational nursing leader for MCH and our entire community, over the course of her three decades of exemplary service. We salute her continued good work, and congratulate her on this wonderful recognition!”
MCH is the sixteenth largest standalone skilled nursing facility in the United States, and largest in Western New York, operating 566 skilled nursing beds.
LeadingAge represents more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission- minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside their members and 38 state partners, LeadingAge uses applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old.