Medina nursing officer one of 14 finalists in WNY for award for nurses who showed courage in unprecedented times

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 10 May 2022 at 9:05 pm

Provided photo: Kim Gray, chief nursing officer at Orleans Community Health, is one of 14 finalists for the 2022 Community Recognized Distinguished Nurse Award.

MEDINA – Orleans Community Health has learned one its nurses, Chief Nursing Officer Kim Gray, is one of 14 finalists for the 2022 Community Recognized Distinguished Nurse Award.

The announcement appeared over the weekend in The Buffalo News, which ran the competition.

The award recognizes a nurse who has long provided care for individuals with serious illness and their families in a manner that has clearly gone well beyond the usual and expected requirements.

A nurse chosen for this award is one whose clinical practice is exemplary and who is generous in mentoring other clinicians. The form on which Gray and other nurses were nominated states the award, in these unprecedented times, “celebrates the courageous Western New York nurses who put the needs of their patients and community first.”

Gray has been employed at Orleans Community Health for 19 years. While she doesn’t know who nominated her, she thanks whoever it was around her who submitted her name.

“I’m blessed to be able to work in my community hospital, to take care of the patients in my community and to work every day with those who want to see this hospital flourish,” Gray said. “I love this team, this hospital, the community and everyone around me. Being a finalist for this award is an amazing honor. More so that someone felt I was worthy of the nomination. I really love what I do. It’s my purpose.”

Scott Robinson, director of marketing, communication and outreach for OCH, shared a bit of information about Gray.

“We’ve all heard the name Nancy Albanese, one of the true giants in the history of Medina Memorial Hospital,” Robinson said. “Albanese would eventually become a resident of the North Wing, and when patients were taken to the surgery department on the third floor, Gray would get a wheelchair and take Albanese up there. She would hand Nancy a clipboard and let her be in her element. If Nancy Albanese had a last hurrah at Medina Memorial Hospital, it was probably thanks to the memories Kim Gray gave her during those days.”

Albanese, a recovery room nurse for 40 years, died about two years ago, and the Recovery Room has since been remodeled and named in her honor.

Winner of the award was Kymmarrie Knose-Weibel from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.