Nurses Make the Difference - Chautauqua County Recognizes National Nurses Week

Submitted by raters on Fri, 05/03/2024 - 10:37

Nurses Make the Difference!
Chautauqua County Recognizes National Nurses Week


(Pictured left to right: Sarah Ravenhall, New York State Association of County Health Officials Executive Director; Cathy Burgess, Chautauqua County Health Department Director of Community Health Nursing; Nancy Mcgraw, New York State Association of Rural Health Board Member and Treasurer; and Brett Harris, New York State Public Health Association President.)

MAYVILLE, NY — In honor of National Nurses Week 2024, The Chautauqua County Health Department (CCHD) acknowledges the critical work that nurses perform every day and sends a heartfelt thank you to all nurses in Chautauqua County. The impact nurses have in the health care system is unparalleled, directly affecting the health and well-being of our society.

National Nurses Week begins annually on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, who is often recognized as the “founder” of modern nursing. For 2024, the American Nurses Association has selected the theme "Nurses Make the Difference" to honor the varying roles of nurses and their positive impact on our lives. Nurses truly do make a difference as trusted advocates, direct care providers, service navigators, trusted friends and in many more roles.

The CCHD recognizes one of their own staff, Cathy Burgess, Director of Community Health Nursing, who was recently awarded the Outstanding Contribution for Individual Public Health Service in a Rural Community award.  This prestigious award was presented earlier this week at the 2024 New York State Public Health Partnership Conference in Saratoga Springs, an annual statewide gathering of health officials and staff.

Cathy began her career as a Registered Nurse at W.C.A. Hospital 30 years ago where she worked in the Medical-Surgical Unit.  Two years later, she started her work at the CCHD.  During her tenure, she has worked within most of the six core functions of the local health department that include, Family Health, Communicable Disease Control, Chronic Disease Prevention, Community Health Assessment, Environmental Health, and Emergency Preparedness and Response.  

“I chose to work in the public health field because I wanted to make a difference in my community and am honored and humbled to receive this award,” states Burgess. “I am fortunate to have the pleasure of working with amazing nurses and administrative staff.  Together we continue to work diligently to improve community health and increase access to care, particularly for underserved populations in the County.” 

Cathy manages and coordinates the CCHD’s Community Health and Nursing Division that includes the Welcome Home Baby program, hospital rounds, numerous lactation and breastfeeding support services, environmental intervention projects, Article 28 clinical services, communicable disease services and surveillance, family health services, and chronic disease prevention.   Most notably is her leadership in the areas of Covid-19 coordination, as well as reaching, developing and growing a trusted and flourishing relationship with our school population. We also credit her with the monumental undertaking of earning the National Commission on Correctional Health Care accreditation for our county jail system on behalf of our intra-county partnership to provide on-site correctional health services.

“In addition to her exemplary work as a clinician, Cathy has forged paths to reach communities and interact with systems that are historically isolated and disconnected,” states Lacey Wilson, Public Health Director. “Perhaps most extraordinary though, is the respect and admiration Cathy has earned from local leaders, her peers in the community and her staff team.”

Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system and are relied on for their knowledge, skills, and dedication to provide compassionate care to patients. Their contribution to society should not go unnoticed.  We recognize the vital role they play in the lives of our community.

“To our incredible nursing team, I thank you for all that you do to provide help and care in the moments that matter most. You are an inspiration to us all, and we could not live out the full purpose of the local health department to prevent disease, promote wellness, and protect the health of our residents without you,” continues Wilson. 

This week, let’s take time to reflect on the significant role nurses play in our public health system and to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication.  CCHD is doing just that by highlighting a few more of the Health Department’s exemplary nurses on their social media pages and they join you to do the same!  Follow and like them on Facebook and Instagram @HealthyCHQ. 

About Chautauqua County Health Department - The Chautauqua County Health Department is the leading Public Health organization in Chautauqua County dedicated to the support of the community’s health.  The Health Department takes innovative approaches to provide technical assistance to partner organizations, and offers various programs and services in order to help prevent disease, protect the public’s health and promote our community’s overall health and wellness.  For more information visit www.HealthyCHQ.com.