Photo by Zack Berlat, Gonzaga staff photographer: Elaine Frank, a Gongaza University nursing student from Magnolia, received a surprise honor for the care she provided a patient in Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s cardiac unit.
Photo by Zack Berlat, Gonzaga staff photographer: Elaine Frank, a Gongaza University nursing student from Magnolia, received a surprise honor for the care she provided a patient in Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s cardiac unit.

A Gonzaga University nursing student from Magnolia, who provided care for a patient in Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s cardiac unit, received surprise honors after an individual made a donation recognizing the quality of their work.

The gift was made to the Providence Health Care Foundation, which has a program called Honor Your Caregiver. Melanie Miller, director of annual giving and special events for the foundation, arranged with Gonzaga for the presentation of a certificate and pin to Elaine Frank, Magnolia, during a class Nov. 12. She was joined by another student, Quincy Neal, in receiving the award.

The ceremony occurred during Sarai Libsack’s senior-level NURS 465, Transition to Professional Nursing Practice. Tiffanie Hoffmeyer and Crystal Talamantes, team members from Providence Health Care’s Professional Development Program, presented the awards.

“Quincy and Elaine were very surprised” Libsack said. “They both were tearing up a bit after class over this. The rest of the class was also surprised and very happy for them.”

Frank called her senior practicum on the Cardiac Acute Care Unit “an amazing experience” and said it “validated my pursuit of a career in cardiac nursing.”

She is focused on cardiac/telemetry nursing.

“My time at Gonzaga University in the nursing program has truly been a formative experience for me,” Frank said. “The simulations and skills training coupled with our lectures from the nursing faculty focus on holistic healing. This has influenced my nursing care to be patient-centered with therapeutic communication at the forefront.”

The foundation shared what impressed the donor.

“While I found most of the staff were great, especially those who go unseen, I must say that the two student nurses, Elaine and Quincy, were most attentive and helpful, as were my RNs,” the patient wrote, and recognized the difficult circumstances. “I was impressed with the care your staff gave, despite the fact that they were dealing with so many COVID patients on two floors. There were so many that needed direct attention, I was amazed at how well they took care of those that didn’t have the virus, and how they kept their spirits up, and never showed that they were tired or ready to go home, when most people would have, or gotten grumpy.

“The quality of the care that everyone showed me this last time I was in the hospital was truly exceptional, in spite of the work and the patients they dealt with daily.”

Libsack is confident about what lies ahead for Frank and Neal, and for all those in her class.

“I am very proud of both Quincy and Elaine for this honorable recognition from a patient at Providence,” she said. “They both went above and beyond in their care during their practicum experience, embodying the holistic care that we teach within the nursing program at Gonzaga. Although both were surprised with this honor, I was not surprised when Providence reached out to me with a request to recognize them.

“Quincy and Elaine, as well as all of their classmates, are going to be amazing nurses here very soon and will touch many more lives in their work,” Libsack added.

It’s not every day that a patient responds to a hospital stay with a gift to Providence.

“The act of making a donation, as a response to receiving incredible care, is truly generous,” said Miller, of the Providence Health Care Foundation. “And for this donor to have recognized Elaine and Quincy, specifically, and acknowledged that they are still training was incredibly thoughtful. They have a bright future in nursing ahead!”