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Pittsburgh-area CRNAs honored with ‘Cameos of Caring’ Awards

The Cameos of Caring Awards Gala honors outstanding nurses for their commitment, dedication, and passion for patients, families, students and more. The award recipients are not only caregivers; they also are role models, advocates, educators and researchers. Two Pittsburgh-area CRNAs --- Chad Artman and Lynnette Sikora --- were recognized.

During its inception, 20 hospitals in western Pennsylvania joined the Cameos of Caring family, each selecting one nurse who demonstrated excellence in nursing care, served as an advocate for patients and families, and embodied the essence of the nursing profession.

Today, the program has expanded to include additional award categories to reflect the breadth of the nursing profession and recognize exceptional individuals in many different practice areas, such as the Advanced Practice Award, the Donate Life Award (recognizing those nurses who actively advocate for organ and tissue donation), the Case Manager Award, and the Nurse Educator Award. For 2015, a new award category was added, the Quality and Safety category, to honor nurses focused on creating a culture of safety and quality patient care throughout their facility.

Proceeds from the program and awards gala benefit the Cameos of Caring Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund, established in 2000 to offer financial support so that practicing nurses may advance their education. Since the program’s inception, more than 250 scholarships have been awarded and over $1.3 million has been raised for the scholarship fund.

The 2016 honorees represent a variety of health systems, hospitals and schools of nursing. They also span a great number of specialty areas including: anesthesia, oncology, education, intensive care and emergency nursing.

This year, Chad Artman, CRNA, and Lynnette Sikora, CRNA, were honored to be selected as recipients of this prestigious award. The Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists congratulates them on being recognized for their hard work and dedication, and for providing outstanding patient care on a daily basis.

Learn more about these two deserving honorees:

Chad Artman:

As an anesthetist, Chad has saved lives countless times. But what makes Chad special is his insistence on going out of his way to help others. Family and friends can tell many stories about Chad rescuing strangers from life-or-death situations. One day, Chad was driving on an on-ramp when he noticed a car sitting on the shoulder. A man was dragging an unconscious woman from the car. Without hesitation, Chad pulled over to help. He performed CPR for 20 minutes before paramedics arrived. The woman eventually awoke and made a full recovery.

This was not the only time Chad’s quick thinking has saved a life outside the hospital. One day, Chads 15-month-old son started to breathe irregularly and became unresponsive. Chad kept his composure and performed CPR while his wife called for help. Thanks to Chad, his son lived.

Chads ability to perform under pressure has not gone unnoticed among his peers. Staff has requested him to care for their family members or critical patients. They know that with Chad on the case, the patient and their family will be safe and feel comforted.

In addition to his clinical work, Chad teaches multiple courses at the Winter Institute for Simulation, Education and Research (WISER). He is also adjunct faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh Nurse Anesthesia Department.

Chad is a strong proponent of education: “Education to eliminate fear empowers nurses,” he said. He believes that nurses not only can advance their careers but also their nursing profession by continuing to learn. “His actions speak for themselves.” says one colleague. “He exemplifies the essence of the Cameos of Caring Award.”

Lynn Sikora:

Lynn has always been fascinated by the human body. Her choice of toy as a child was an anatomically correct model of the human body. It had removable plastic organs and even a heart that would pump red and blue water. This interest paired with Lynn’s caring personality made the decision to become a nurse simple.

“It has been one of the easiest and most personally rewarding choices I’ve made.” Lynn said. “I chose this profession to give back to humanity and to make a difference in another’s life.”

Lynn gives back to others in more ways than one. As an anesthetist, she is constantly trying to make sure the patient feels safe and comfortable. Lynn also recognizes that often patients’ families need special attention, and she makes sure she takes the time to build relationships with them.

Lynn’s compassion extends outside the hospital setting, too. She supports local nonprofits like Family House, which provides affordable housing to families of patients. Lynn also attends many award ceremonies that honor her colleagues and does outreach to recruit more people to become CRNAs.

To Lynn, all this giving is part of the job: “We are a patient’s advocate profession, and our holistic approach embraces the family and the community,” she says. Lynn also prides herself on helping to advance her career through attending national conferences and other continuing education presentations. But, in the end, what Lynn truly cares about is caring for people. “What better way to give back to humanity than to be part of a profession that enjoys a past, present and very important future of helping others,” she said.

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