Palm Healthcare Foundation Honors Local Nurses

May 16, 2018 - West Palm Beach, FL – Palm Healthcare Foundation hosted its fifth annual Heart of Gold Nursing Reception on Thursday, May 10 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. to honor the extraordinary work of local nurses and recognize the county’s “Nurses of the Year.” The event concludes the foundation’s six-week Thank a Nurse campaign. Thank a Nurse is generously sponsored by Tenet Health and VITAS Healthcare.


More than 300 guests attended the Heart of Gold Reception at the Cohen Pavilion at The Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Attendees enjoyed cocktails, food and entertainment, including a nurse-inspired photo booth. The Heart of Gold Sponsors included VITAS Healthcare, Tenet Health, Trustbridge, E.M. Lynn Foundation, Academy for Nursing and Health Occupations, The Breakers Palm Beach, Lynda Harris RN Home Care, ManorCare and Palm Beach Atlantic University.


The Master of Ceremonies, CBS 12 Meteorologist Michael Ehrenberg helped introduce speakers Pat McNamara, president & CEO of Palm Healthcare Foundation; Cheryl Wild, Good Samaritan Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer and representative of Tenet Health; and Gayle Stevens, RN, Volunteer Manager at VITAS Healthcare. The highlight of the evening was the introduction of Palm Beach County’s 2018 Nurses of the Year.

Each awardee received a gift certificate for Sunday Brunch for Two at The Breakers Palm Beach, donated by The Breakers Palm Beach.


The 2018  Palm Beach County “Thank A Nurse” Nurses of the Year


  • Barb Bzura, Ascension Catholic Church, Catholic Charities
  • Katie Clark, Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Peter Gonzales, JFK Medical Center
  • Karen Gulledge, Academy  for Nursing and Health Occupations
  • Toni Harris, Palms West Hospital
  • Patti Joyce, Children’s Medical Services
  •  Mark Lefco, St. Mary’s Medical Center
  •  Marge McManus, Good Samaritan Medical Center
  • Cheryl Morkan, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center
  • Inez Nascimento, Delray Medical Center
  •  Jessica Patino, VITAS Healthcare
  • Norma Reyes, VA Medical Center
  • Nuvia Rodriguez Machado, CL Brumback Primary Care Clinic
  • Julie Smith, West Boca Medical Center
  • Constance Upshaw, Department of Health – Palm Beach County
  • Dr. Karen Wisdom-Chambers, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at FAU
  • Latoya Wright, Trustbridge


Over the past 16 years, Palm Healthcare Foundation has donated more than $10 million to nursing initiatives designed to advance the field of nursing. This funding seeks to ensure that Palm Beach County has a highly skilled nursing workforce that provides care across all settings and supports optimal health in the community including care transitions and care coordination.  More than $2 million in nursing scholarships has been granted to more than 1,000 nursing students for advanced education – so that Palm Beach County residents will have quality nursing care when they most need it. 

“At some point in our lives, we will all need the care of a nurse.  Palm Healthcare Foundation is delighted to shine a light on the exceptional stories of some of the most dedicated nurses in Palm Beach County, said Pat McNamara, President and CEO of Palm Healthcare Foundation, Inc.”


About Palm Healthcare Foundation, Inc.

Palm Healthcare Foundation is Palm Beach County’s community foundation for health. With the support of donors and a focus on results, the foundation builds strong community partnerships, respects diverse opinions, advocates for its most vulnerable neighbors and inspires innovative solutions to lead change for better health now and for generations to come.  Palm Healthcare Foundation has invested more than $75 million dollars in Palm Beach County health since 2001. For more information about Palm Healthcare Foundation, Inc., visit or call (561) 833-6333.