Recognizing Fort Sanders Regional’s Finest

Celebrating employees who went “above and beyond” in 2022

At Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, we believe all our employees demonstrate excellence in everything they do. They are compassionate caregivers who put our patients first and continue Fort Sanders Regional’s 100-year legacy of excellence in healthcare.

Fort Sanders Regional recognizes its exceptional team members through the DAISY Award for nurses and the FLAME Award for non-nursing employees. Individuals can be nominated by patients, visitors or fellow employees. Throughout this past year, outstanding employees provided exceptional care that left a lasting impression on patients or colleagues, who then nominated them for an award. Fort Sanders Regional is proud to recognize these employees for their dedication and high-quality care.

The DAISY Award

The DAISY Award is an international nurse recognition program celebrating the compassion and skills nurses bring to patients and families every day. The DAISY Foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died in Seattle, Washington, from complications of an autoimmune disease. His family was impressed by the care and compassion his nurses provided during his 8-week hospital stay. The DAISY Award was created to honor them and other nurses through the years who provide extraordinary care.

At Fort Sanders Regional, recipients of the DAISY Award must embody PETALS: Passion, Excellence, Trust and Teamwork, Attitude, Learn and Listen, and Safety. Nurses are nominated by patients and families, other nurses, physicians, hospital staff members or volunteers.

In 2022, these nurses were recognized for their outstanding care:

• Tara Abernathy, Neuro ICU

• Jessica Acuff, Pulmonary

• Shelby Bates, Neurology

• Mazie Bivens, Neuro ICU

• Richard Callaway, Pulmonary

• Jeremy Curl, Medical-Surgical ICU

• Loron Duncan, Neuro ICU

• Natalie Feliciano, Labor & Delivery

• Ashley Gibson, Case Management

• Halley Gray, Neuro ICU

• Maleah Hipsher, Women’s Services

• Holly Marion, Orthopedic Medical-Surgical

• Jason McLean, Neuro ICU

• Karen McPherson, Float Pool

• Rachel Ridenour, Neuro ICU

• Elisabeth Torrente, Women’s Services

• Tara Turner, Complex Medicine

• Ainsley Villafana, Medical-Surgical ICU

Thank you, nurses, for all you do!

To nominate a Fort Sanders Regional nurse for a DAISY Award, visit

The FLAME Award

While patients may interact with their nurses more often than other employees, non-nursing staff often impact patient care in a positive way. That’s why Fort Sanders Regional created the FLAME Award for non-nursing staff. Since 2018, the FLAME Award has recognized non-nurse employees who exemplify the following characteristics:

Faces each day with the drive to be the first and best choice for our patients.

Lives our Pledge of Excellence.

Attentive to our patients’ and visitors’ needs.

Maintains a positive attitude under pressure or in difficult situations.

Exhibits the characteristics of integrity, respect and teamwork in all activities.

Staff members are nominated by patients and their families, physicians, other hospital staff members or volunteers.

In 2022, these employees received FLAME Awards:

• Richard Baxter, Security

• Tracey Bazen, Physical Therapy

• Ron Blankenship, Security

• Cindy Blazanovic, Surgery

• Carla Beth Burnette, Physical Therapy

• Rafael Cofer, Materials Management

• Annisha Davis-Fugate, Sleep Center

• Niki Day, Case Management

• Jacob Doster, Security

• Jimmy Harb, Valet

• Jerry Harris, Environmental Services

• Jeff Hepler, Security

• Leigh Hoopes, MRI

• Medley Johnson, Physical Therapy

• Lexie Jones, Lab

• Josh Mayes, Security

• Wendy McGaha, Neuro ICU

• Michelle McMahan, Sleep Center

• Pat Ragland, Case Management

• Jared Sexton, Sleep Center

• Richard Shipley, MRI

• Kristen Stallings, Sleep Center

• Tina Sturgill, Case Management

• Shannon Taylor, Dietary

• Jessica Thomas, Security

• Maurice Thomas, Transport

• Elliot Whidby, Sleep Center

• Robin Wilson, MRI

• Haley Winkle, Sleep Center

• Charity Worrick, Sleep Center

If you would like to nominate a non-nurse employee for a FLAME Award, visit

The Silver Lamp Award

Jeana Barton, MSN, RN, CCRN , left, and Patricia Mackey, RT, RDMS (AB) (VT)

Healthcare is an ever-changing landscape, and continuing education is important to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and procedures. The Silver Lamp Award from the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee annually awards $2,500 for continuing education for up to two employees from each of 12 area hospitals.

Recipients of the Silver Lamp Award are nominated by their hospitals for demonstrating exceptional leadership and dedication to healthcare and their community. In 2022, Fort Sanders Regional was honored to nominate Jeana Barton, neuro-ICU nurse manager, and Patricia Mackey, imaging services manager.

Mackey, who has worked for Covenant Health for 25 years, oversees the ultrasound, MRI and transport departments. She plans on using her grant money to attend a leadership conference.

“I am very appreciative of Covenant Health and Fort Sanders Regional for their support in growing great leaders,” says Mackey. “I am new to management and am looking forward to enhancing my education.”

“I have been a nurse for 12 years and have always worked in critical care. I love patient care and still work as a nurse to ‘fill my cup,’” says Barton. “I have been in leadership for seven years and love motivating and inspiring others to provide excellent care to our patients. I am planning to use my grant money to attend the international stroke conference and learn how to make the Neuro ICU at the Fort even better!”

Welcome April Mount, Our New Chief Nursing Officer!

April Mount, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer

April Mount, MSN, RN, RN-BC, NEA-BC, has joined Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center as the new Chief Nursing Officer (CNO).

Mount recently served as vice president of patient care services and CNO of two Georgia hospitals: Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital and Emory University Smyrna. She will serve on Fort Sanders Regional’s senior leadership team, assisting in the implementation of safety initiatives, staffing strategies and strategic plans. She will work closely with physicians and nursing staff to ensure continuation of the hospital’s patient-centered approach to care.

“April is a welcome addition to our Fort Sanders Regional team,” said Keith Altshuler, president and chief administrative officer. “Her experience as a nurse leader and as a reviewer for The Joint Commission will bring new insight and ideas. I look forward to seeing the effect her engaging leadership style has on our hospital.”

Mount brings more than 18 years of progressive experience as a nurse and nurse leader. She has been instrumental in achieving and maintaining Magnet designations for nursing excellence. In her most recent roles, Mount was responsible for the operating performance of two hospitals, along with supporting the advancement of nursing practices.

“I am proud to join Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and be part of the outstanding staff that cares for the East Tennessee community,” Mount said. “While it is a challenging time for healthcare, it is also an exciting time where innovation will be key. I look forward to growing the Fort Sanders Regional team and enhancing the services the hospital provides.”

Mount is a member of the American Organization of Nursing Leadership (AONL) and the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, and has received Medical/Surgical and Advanced Nurse Executive Certifications from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She earned a Master of Science degree in nursing with emphasis in nursing healthcare leadership from Grand Canyon University and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Mercer University.






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