Unsung Healthcare Heroes: Inspired Comfort Winners Announced

Cherokee Uniforms has announced it’s winners for the 2013 Inspired Comfort Award. Below are the real life stories of three of the winners who deserve much more than a “thanks.”

NICU nurse uses iPad to connect mother and premature baby Laurie Ketterl Portraitfor the first time before life-saving surgery:

Co-workers describe Laurie Ketterl, a nurse manager in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), as someone who continually challenges her peers to think outside of the box in order to provide excellent patient care. Ketterl jumped into action earlier this year when a premature baby, born at just 29 weeks, and his critically ill mother were in separate Intensive Care Units. Since the mother had never seen her son and would soon undergo a life-saving surgery, Ketterl arranged for the mother and baby to see each other for the very first time via a video call using two iPads. When the mother kissed her child on the forehead using the screen, surrounding staff watched in amazement as the baby responded with a kick. Thanks to Ketterl’s innovation and exceptional care, the hospital’s foundation has since funded iPads for the NICU.

90-year old hospital volunteers provides comfort to lonely and Joe Grierconfused elderly patients

For the last two years, 90-year-old, Joe Grier, has spent every Wednesday afternoon volunteering at Alegent Creighton Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center as a “Volunteer Companion” in the post intensive care unit. Grier eases loneliness and reduces anxiety in elderly patients who have no family or visitors and/or are suffering from confusion and anxiety. While in his 80’s Grier decided to learn Spanish and now is often heard praying in Spanish with patients for whom Spanish is their primary language. In addition to his service at Bergan Mercy Medical Center, Grier also distributes Communion each week at Creighton University Medical Center.


Mourning father works to protect children around the world from violence and crime.

Bill LegereAfter the tragic death of his daughter, Grace, in 1993, Bill Legere, a family nurse practitioner at Central Maine Medical Center, became a fierce advocate for at-risk children – in Maine and around the world. Legere started the non-profit Foundation of Hope and Grace to serve as a voice for at-risk women and children, especially victims of child abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking. The foundation partners with like-minded organizations around the world to protect, educate and nurture. Legere also co-founded the Not Here Justice in Action Network to elevate the awareness of human trafficking and exploitation in his home state of Maine and to facilitate a collaborative safety net for women and children among law enforcement, social service agencies, educators, healthcare workers and the faith community.


Each year the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award honors healthcare providers across the country who demonstrate exceptional care. Find out more information about the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award.


  1. RTConnections says

    I love this Brittney! Thanks for posting this. Nurses do heroic things everyday but just think they’re “doing their job.” It’s nice to see some of them recognized!


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