Local nurse lauded for excellence in community, profession

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — For Rhonda Smith, being the Chief Nursing Officer during a pandemic has been anything but easy. Her hard work was recognized Wednesday by a local committee.

Smith was the recipient of the 2021 Women’s Excellence In Leadership Award, sponsored by St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce. Winners are chosen for showing excellence within their community and profession.

“The Women’s Excellence in Leadership Award in the Wabash Valley, it’s a privilege to receive this award,” Smith said.

Smith was surprised by the award when she walked into the room for what she thought was supposed to be a meeting, but turned out to be a room filled with colleagues in person and nearly 100 people virtually.

When asked how she felt the only words she could make out were “in shock and disbelief.”

Smith has been with Union Health for 10 years. A nomination submitted on her behalf described her as, “the nurse executive they all strive to be.”

“We have a very good group good group of directors that support me and the mission of Union Health,” Smith said.

In her career at Union Health, she is also the Vice President of Patient Care Services.

“I guess the work we do is what we’re trained to do and what we’re called to do and what we’re called to do, so to me it’s nothing extra out of the ordinary, it’s just what we should be doing,” Smith said. “We represent our community and it’s how we represent our hospitality,”

Smith later said there are always areas for improvement and hopes to continue to raise the standard at Union Health.

Registration for the Terre Haute Women’s Conference is underway. The virtual event is next Friday.

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