Two Texas Health Dallas Nurses Win Regional Awards
11/24/2009

DALLAS — One is the consummate leader: a chief nursing officer known for thoughtful decisiveness. The other, a consummate clinician: a labor-and-delivery nurse beloved by coworkers and patients alike.

Martha Steinbauer, M.S., R.N. (left) Carol Gentry, R.N.C., B.S.N.
Martha Steinbauer, M.S., R.N. (left) Carol Gentry, R.N.C., B.S.N.
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Martha Steinbauer, M.S., R.N., chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, and Carol Gentry, R.N.C., B.S.N., L&D staff nurse at Texas Health Dallas, both have been honored with major regional awards for nursing excellence by Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek magazine.

Steinbauer was honored with the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award. Gentry was recognized with the 2009 Clinical Care Award.

“To have two of our nurse leaders honored with these prestigious awards speaks to their wonderful careers and how they’ve excelled individually,” said Philip M. Wentworth, interim president of Texas Health Dallas. “Collectively, having two award winners speaks to the high caliber of clinicians throughout our hospital. Nurses are the foundation of hospital care, and this shows that our foundation is strong and that our patients are cared for by the very best.”

As chief nursing officer at Texas Health Dallas, Steinbauer is responsible for 1,800 employees, plays a major role on every hospital leadership team, and directly oversees numerous service lines within the facility.

A nursing strategic plan has been developed under Steinbauer’s leadership with input from all levels of nursing, especially staff-level RNs who interact with patients daily.

“I think it’s important that leaders in any organization not forget that input from front-line employees is the most important element to good decision-making and the development of best practices,” Steinbauer said. “It gives nurses a sense of ownership when decisions are made, and ultimately, it’s best for the patients.”

Under Steinbauer’s leadership, Texas Health Dallas was one of the first hospitals in Texas to achieve Magnet status in 2006. She represents nursing at all levels within Texas Health Resources’ 14-hospital system by serving on the executive committee within the facility. And Texas Health Dallas maintains a nurse vacancy rate of 2.5 percent and a retention rate over 90 percent.

While Steinbauer’s resume goes on for pages, Gentry doesn’t have a resume or bio at all. The 27-year nursing said she doesn’t need one.

“Since I first stepped foot in this hospital after I got my nursing degree, this has always felt like home,” she said. “I’m not going anywhere.”

That simple dedication to Texas Health Dallas has made her a force in the nursing ranks, respected for her experience, judgment and pursuit of excellence.

Gentry started at Texas Health Dallas in 1983 as a graduate nurse, beginning her career in telemetry as a cardiovascular nurse. She rose to manager of the unit, a role she held until 2000, when she decided to move to labor and delivery. She has served as a staff nurse, preceptor, charge nurse, manager and counselor.

When she transferred to labor and delivery, she also received her certification in inpatient obstetrics. She quickly became a nurse leader, with the responsibility of teaching Advanced Cardiac Life Support to labor and delivery nurses.

Part of Gentry’s mission to serve patients at Texas Health Dallas has included reaching out to patients who suffer the loss of their child. She makes each couple a memory box that includes pictures, blankets, the baby’s footprints and handprints, and other keepsakes.

“These situations are very emotional, but like any parents, the mom and dad want to have something to remember their child,” Gentry said.

Gentry also was the catalyst behind the creation of a bereavement room in labor and delivery, where nurses and parents of a deceased child can prepare the baby’s body, and bathe and dress the baby.

“Clinical excellence is one part of nursing. There’s no doubt Carol possesses that,” said Deb Maitre, R.N., director of women’s and infants’ services at Texas Health Dallas. “The other part of nursing is the way you go about delivering that care, the compassion you show patients in need, the personal attention you give to people as individuals. Carol doesn’t just possess that special gift; she’s a shining example of it to all of us.”

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 866-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 TexasHealth.org/Dallas.