Local nurse with humanitarian upbringing wins Mercy Award

Published 8:19 am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Monique Roth


LAPLACE – River Parishes Hospital nurse Kathy Lugo was recently honored with the hospital’s 2014 Mercy Award at a reception held in the hospital cafeteria.

Lugo, an R.N. in the medical/surgical unit, was chosen out of six nominees for the honor. The award is named after LifePoint Hospitals’ founding Chairman and CEO Scott Mercy, who died in 2010.

Tammy Waltz, community relations coordinator at River Parishes Hospital, said the Mercy Award is given to honor Mercy’s humanitarian spirit and aims to recognize one employee at each LifePoint hospital who best exemplifies the spirit and values upon which the company was founded.

Waltz said the Mercy Award is the highest honor a LifePoint hospitals employee can receive. Nominees for the annual award were selected from peer recommendations.

River Parish Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer Vanessa Peters said Lugo is always bringing new ideas to the table, and she works hard to make things better and improve each patient’s experience. She said Lugo is a wonderful example of being a selfless nurse.

Peters explained that Lugo’s parents wanted to work in relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area, so they moved their family from Canada to Louisiana. Lugo was just a high school senior at the time.

“You are such an example of what we strive to be,” said Peters to Lugo. “We applaud you for everything you do.”

Lugo thanked the staff and her fellow nurses for the honor. She also thanked her younger brother Kevin Trimble for being an inspiration to her in her nursing career.

Lugo and her husband, Alejandro, will be invited to travel to Nashville this fall for a special reception in honor of all 2014 Mercy Award winners. All local winners will be considered for the companywide Mercy Award, and the overall winner will be announced at a banquet in Nashville.

Other River Parishes Hospital 2014 Mercy Award nominees were Suzanne Schexnayder, Carissima Torres, Theresa Gommel, Celeste Stein and Michelle Zaidain.