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SGNA Honors Outstanding Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Professionals With Nationwide Awards

Winners Recognized as the Best in GI and Endoscopy Nursing at SGNA 36th Annual Course

ST. LOUIS, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc. (SGNA) is proud to honor GI and endoscopy professionals through a series of annual awards that recognize their dedication to the field and commitment to patient care. The recipients of these four distinguished awards represent the best in GI and endoscopy nursing and exemplify great skill, passion and knowledge in the work that they do. The winners will be recognized and celebrated by their peers this week at the SGNA 36th Annual Course at America's Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri.

The SGNA Annual Course provides a meeting place for GI and endoscopy professionals to share ideas and best practices, in addition to offering important resources and certification opportunities to advance in the GI profession and stay up-to-date on the trends of the industry. The Annual Course also provides a great opportunity for GI professionals to convene and network with new friends year after year, as well as honor and congratulate individuals for their excellent work.

"There are many outstanding gastroenterology and endoscopy nurses, associates and nursing teams across the nation, and the SGNA is honored to count the majority of them among our members," said Lisa Heard, BSN RN CGRN, president of SGNA. "Each year we look forward to honoring the 'best of the best' at our Annual Course, celebrating these winners' exceptional professional commitments and hopefully encouraging all of our members to aspire for similar success, for the greater benefit of the field and our patients."

Following are the awards being presented this year and their corresponding recipients:

  • Proud to Be GI Award awarded to Karen Bell, BSN RN CGRN
  • Gabriele Schindler Award awarded to Fay Massullo, RN CGRN
  • Distinguished Service Award awarded to MaryAnne Malone, RN CGRN
  • ABCGN's GI Professional of the Year Award awarded to Elisabeth Anne Margl, BSN RN-BC CGRN

Following are details about the awards and additional information on each recipient:

"Proud To Be GI" Award

This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies the best qualities of a GI nurse or associate, namely leadership, mentoring, communication and teamwork. SGNA, in partnership with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals (P&GP), is proud to present this year's national award to Karen Bell, BSN RN CGRN. Karen, a clinical leader of the Endoscopy/Surgery Center at the Bayhealth Medical Center, is passionate about being an expert in her field, and she's proudly mentored many of her staff in seeking higher-level certifications, like the CBGNA. Karen is also widely recognized for her leadership skills and attention to detail as SGNA's Delaware Region 10 Treasurer, a demanding behind-the-scenes position which Karen has held - to great praise - since 1998. Personally and professionally, Karen continues to exemplify the leadership, professionalism, integrity, dedication to teamwork, effective communication and superior clinical skills that traditionally distinguish "Proud to Be GI" award winners.

The SGNA Gabriele Schindler Award

This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates excellence in gastroenterology clinical practice and who exemplifies the skill, knowledge and compassion of Gabriele Schindler, the first recorded gastrointestinal assistant and an early pioneer of GI patient care. This year the SGNA presents this prestigious award, which is sponsored by Salix Pharmaceuticals, to Fay L. Massullo, RN CGRN, who represents Schindler's spirit of compassion, commitment, professionalism and caring. Fay has demonstrated her dedication with more than 30 years of service at the West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown where she became the hospital's first GI Nurse in 1984. One of only three nurses in the North-Central West Virginia region who can perform esophageal manometries, Fay is a leader in her field and has worked closely with physicians to develop a top-notch endoscopy department. As a charter member of her regional SGNA chapter, Fay has served the society as chapter president, coordinator of local chapter education courses and editor of the chapter's quarterly newsletter.

The SGNA Distinguished Service Award

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to SGNA at both the national and regional levels, while actively promoting the Society and the GI specialty through significant contributions in the areas of public service, legislation and other community involvement. This year's recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, sponsored by ERBE USA, Inc., is MaryAnne Malone, RN CGRN. After serving in the endoscopy unit at the Samaritan Hospital in Albany, N.Y. for more than 20 years, MaryAnne chose to expand the realm of her practice by working with nationally recognized gastroenterologists at Albany's Medical Center. MaryAnne has been an active SGNA member for the length of her career, serving as chapter president for three terms and also on the national review board for the fourth edition of SGNA Gastroenterology Nursing: A Core Curriculum.

ABCGN GI Professional of the Year Award

The American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology News (ABCGN) seeks to recognize a nurse who is dedicated to validating his or her qualifications through certification and who also demonstrates commitment and leadership among colleagues and patients to enhance the practice of gastroenterology nursing. ABCGN presents this year's GI Professional of the Year Award, sponsored by Cook Medical, to Elisabeth Anne Margl, BSN RN-BC CGRN, for her dedication to patient care and her commitment to her own professional development and the development of her colleagues. Elisabeth is recognized amongst her peers at the Ocean Medical Center Endoscopy Department for her mentorship, and in 2004 she helped facilitate the certification of eight members of her endoscopy unit.

About Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA)

The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc. (SGNA) is a professional organization of more than 8,500 nurses and associates dedicated to the safe and effective practice of gastroenterology and endoscopy nursing. SGNA carries out its mission by advancing the science and practice of gastroenterology and endoscopy nursing through education, research, advocacy, and collaboration, and by promoting the professional development of its members in an atmosphere of mutual support. For more information, visit

SOURCE The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.
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