Chester River Hospital Center
Recent News


Hospital Recognizes Excellence in Nursing

Caregivers Edna Lee Howeth, Constance Bonnewell and Yvonne Fenwick were selected by their peers as the registered nurse, licensed practical nurse and unlicensed nurse of the year at Chester River Hospital Center. The Nursing Excellence awards are presented each year during Nurse’s Week to nursing team members who provide direct patient care; any Hospital employee may nominate the individuals. An impartial panel of nurses from the community participates in the selection process.

Howeth, a registered nurse, was nominated for her “vast knowledge of obstetrics and her professionalism, plus her wonderful sense of humor.” She is certified in inpatient obstetric nursing and electronic fetal monitoring; she is a lactation consultant and an instructor of neonatal resuscitation. This veteran nurse is an active member of the Eastern Shore chapter of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.

She joined the Hospital’s nursing staff in 1968 as a relief registered nurse in obstetrics and has never left that department. Currently she serves as a preceptor for new staff members, presents in-service classes to other staff members and writes and updates the policies and procedures of the department.

The Chestertown resident received her nursing training at the McQueen-Gibbs Willis School of Nursing in Easton. She notes that the choice of nursing as a career was the correct one for her. “Nursing is demanding, responsible work but it is so rewarding and satisfying. It is rewarding to help a new mother begin developing a relationship with her child-it is the beginning of something that will last a lifetime. I enjoy seeing the babies I have helped deliver become adults and I am now seeing second generation babies. Recently I assisted a couple with their delivery and slowly we pieced together that I had attended the births of both the mother and father. I always knew I wanted to work in a job that allowed me to help people. In high school I did a little work teaching children and I enjoyed it, but I felt nursing would be more fulfilling for me. It is what I always wanted to do.”

Bonnewell’s peers nominated her as LPN of the year to recognize the caring attitude she extends to all patients, especially those who are new ostomates. The knowledge and assistance she shares with patients, their families and the staff concerning ostomies is above and beyond what is required. She often continues to serves as a resource person for discharged ostomate patients and their families. An ostomate is a patient who has had a surgical procedure that bypasses the body’s natural waste elimination process. Her “thoroughness in assessing and following through with a patient’s concerns is dependable,” wrote one peer. “She has been my ‘team-mate’ frequently and has been invaluable; I can on count her to be professional and responsible.”

She joined the Hospital in 1969 as a nursing assistant and earned her certification as a licensed practical nurse at Dorchester General Hospital in 1970. She has worked in the medical/surgical and obstetric units but currently works in the intermediate care unit; she also serves as a member of the medication safety committee. This is the second time she has received the Nursing Excellence award; she was a recipient in 1995. Her work with ostomate patients earned her the health education award this fall.

What has a career in nursing meant to Bonnewell? She sums it up with four words: changing, challenging, rewarding and enjoyable. “What I do today is very different from the job I began in the early seventies; I feel I am always growing as my job changes and I learn new information and techniques. Nurses are constantly learning and immediately applying that knowledge as they care for people; it is rewarding to use what you know to help patients improve.”

Patient care technician Fenwick was selected to receive the unlicensed Nursing Excellence award because, “She is a good listener; her common sense and proficient clinical techniques combined with a good memory enable her to work smoothly with patients, families and staff,” her peers write. She assists in teaching new obstetrics staff the use, operation and storage of equipment.

Fenwick was cited for “striving to do her best in everything yet still being fun to work with." Another peer comment was, "I am proud to work with her and know she takes tremendous pride in what she does for the Hospital."

She joined the Hospital’s nursing team in 1982 as a nursing aide working in the medical surgical unit and progressed to a patient care technician position. Today she is certified as a neonatal resuscitation program provider and has participated in the perinatal continuing education program. Fenwick is also a second time recipient of this honor; she was named the unlicensed nurse of the year in 1996.