Rita McClain, of Merrillville, second from left, who has spent the last 11 years of her 18-year career as an Intensive Care Unit nurse at Franciscan Health Dyer, recently accepted the hospital’s annual St. Margaret of Cortona Award for excellence in her field from Linda Kraiko, center, interim chief nursing officer; during a celebration Sept. 29. Among numerous attributes, nominators said McClain, “is an amazing nurse who never complains, always is willing to help coworkers, is kind to patients, families and other nurses; is the first to offer assistance, is kind-spirited and an amazing person.”
McClain said she was “humbled, surprised and shocked” to receive the honor. Her philosophy of care, she said, is “to treat patients the way I would want to be treated.” She added, “I love people and love taking care of them. I try to make them relax by talking about such things as their families and I check on them frequently to make sure they are doing all right.”
Also shown, from left, are Sister Aline Shultz, hospital chief operating officer; Rachel Moody, administrative director of critical care and infection control for Franciscan Health’s Northern Division; and Maria Carrizalas, hospital interim manager of critical care, who is McClain’s supervisor. The award is named for St. Margaret of Cortona, who joined the Third Order of St. Francis in the 1200s and chose to live in poverty. She founded a hospital for the homeless and impoverished in the city of Cortona, Italy and pledged her life to serving God through the hospital. She was canonized on May 16, 1728.