Community Hospital Staff Celebrates Top Nurse/Caregiver

Community Hospital Staff Celebrates Top Nurse/Caregiver
By: Community Healthcare System Last Updated: May 23, 2018

Community Hospital’s celebration of Nurses Week culminated with a ceremony to recognize the most outstanding nurse and top patient caregiver, as voted by their co-workers. Mary Puntillo, clinical nurse educator has received the “2018 Nursing Excellence Award,” and Grozda Vranic, a patient care technician in the Family Birthing Center, is recipient of the “2018 Patient Caregiver Excellence Award.”

“Our nurses place the care of our patients first and foremost before anything else we do,” said CEO Lou Molina. “We are proud to have such a dedicated group of outstanding nurses and caregivers making a difference in the lives of our patients.”

Vranic and Puntillo were nominated by their peers at the hospital for going above and beyond in their respective patient care areas and in the community.

To meet the criteria for the Patient Caregiver Excellence award, the staff member must demonstrate excellence in the areas of Dignity, Compassionate Care, Community, Quality and Stewardship. These standards and values set the foundation for the hospital’s mission to bring quality care to everyone in need.

Vranic, a Crown Point resident, has worked at Community Hospital for more than 13 years taking care of moms and babies in Labor & Delivery.

Nurse Manager Teresa Meece said Vranic is a valuable team player and multitasking is her strength.

“Her experience and skill makes her job look easy, but in reality, it is anything but,” she said. “Managing multiple delivery situations at once with instrumentation, sutures, delivery table set up, RN and obstetrician requests while answering call lights for laboring patients and answering the phone or getting the door for visitors is routine. Doing everything with such care and concern is our blessing. She is truly a part of our success.”

A Highland resident, Puntillo has been working at Community Hospital for more than 35 years. Director of Education Jean Gardner said Puntillo’s care and compassion extend well beyond her daily work into the lives of everyone she touches.

“Mary has impacted the practice of hundreds of nurses and nursing students through her commitment to education and keeping infants safe,” she said. “She not only makes a difference, but influences others to do the same as well. As a neonatal clinician, Mary is committed to educational activities that infuse the highest quality care for our youngest patients. She is an ambassador for infant safety, endorsing the Back to Bed and Safe Sleep campaigns at the hospitals and teaching Taking Care of Baby, Grandparents Class and Family and Friends CPR for the community.”

“I am proud of all the nurses, certified nursing assistants, patient care technicians and nurse externs who are committed to excellence at Community Hospital,” said Chief Nursing Officer Ronda McKay, DNP, RN, CNS. “Mary and Grozda are two wonderful examples of an entire staff that provides compassionate care to our patients, day in and day out.”

For more information about nursing careers at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, visit