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Texas Health Dallas Recognizes 'Magnetic' Nurses at Annual Award Ceremony
Michael Mandapat Rebecca Horn
Michael Mandapat Rebecca Horn
Julie Balluck Lisa Ayala
Julie Balluck Lisa Ayala
Libby Morse Carol Jones
Libby Morse Carol Jones
Denise McGruder Priscilla Chavarria
Denise McGruder Priscilla Chavarria

DALLAS — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas recently held its 21st Annual Nursing Awards ceremony recognizing the hospital’s finest nurses and caregivers. Texas Health Dallas honored eight winners who provide “magnetic” care to patients, family and the community.

“I am extremely proud to practice beside these inspiring and talented nursing professionals,” said Cole Edmonson, D.N.P., R.N., FACHE, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at Texas Health Dallas. “They are exemplary professionals living the mission to improve the lives of the people in the community we serve.”

This year’s Excellence in Nursing Award recipients are:

  • Michael Mandapat, B.S.N., R.N., CCRN, a staff nurse in the surgical intensive care unit at Texas Health Dallas, was honored for Excellence in Clinical Nursing - Transformational Leadership. With 16 years of nursing experience, he currently serves as chair on the hospital’s clinical practice council and percepts and mentors new nurses accepted into the RN residency program.
  • Rebecca Horn, M.S.N., R.N.-C, a nurse in the hospital’s psychiatric unit, was awarded for Excellence in Clinical Nursing - Exemplary Professional Practice. Horn recently completed her fellowship in Evidence-Based Practice. As part of the year-long program, her major project focused on dialectical behavior therapy with eating disorder patients and was highlighted at the 26th Psychiatric Nursing Symposium at the University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Julie Balluck, M.S.N., R.N., CPAN, NEA-BC, director of surgical services at Texas Health Dallas, was recognized for Excellence in Nursing Leadership — Transformational Leadership. An award-winning researcher and a 17-year nurse veteran, Balluck significantly improved employee and patient satisfaction scores in her unit. She has facilitated two major research studies, which have impacted nursing practice in the organization.
  • Lisa Ayala, R.N-C., nursing supervisor of the hospital’s level III neonatal intensive care unit, was named winner of the Excellence in Nursing Leadership - Exemplary Professional Practice award. She led at the bedside and collaborated with nursing staff and physicians on the medical staff at the hospital to improve patient care. Her effort significantly improved staff participation in training activities.
  • Libby Morse, B.S.N., R.N., CPAN, a 29-year nurse veteran who currently serves as a clinical educator for surgical services, was honored for Excellence in Nursing Education - Structural Empowerment. An award-winning researcher, she is also an evidence-based practice and national specialty standards champion. For her work, Morse was also named the hospital’s Nurse of the Year.
  • Carol Jones, M.S., R.N., CPAN, staff nurse for post-anesthesia care unit at Texas Health Dallas, was recognized for Excellence in Nursing Research, Evidence Based Practice and Innovation. A 35-year nurse veteran and award-winning researcher, Jones recently presented major study findings at the Texas Heath Resources Nursing Congress and Texas Association of PeriAnesthesia Nurses Conference.

As part of the program, Texas Health Dallas also honored Denise McGruder as this year’s Clinical Technician of the Year and named Priscilla Chavarria Unit Secretary of the Year.

McGruder is an active member of the unit based council who is known for her “can do attitude.” With several years of experience as a patient care technician, she anticipates the needs of the patients in the hospital’s psychiatric unit and uses her skills to care for them. She has also donated over 100 books for the patient library in the unit.

Chavarria, who celebrates her 17th anniversary with Texas Health Dallas this year, provides administrative support and help direct work flow during peak hours in the hospital’s medical/surgical unit. She uses her bilingual skills to help Spanish-speaking patients during their stay at the hospital. She is known to be a great cook among her co-workers and often bring treats to the staff on her days off.

“We are so proud of our partners in care, Denise and Priscilla, without whom we could not provide the excellence in care that we are known for,” Edmonson added.

The awards are sponsored by Texas Health Foundation from endowed gifts from grateful donors for excellent nursing care.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 898-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Texas Health Dallas among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Dallas has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit

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