Karen “Myke” McKinney, RN, a clinical manager with BAYADA Home Health Care in Mecklenburg County, was recognized with the prestigious Ann Baiada Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership. McKinney, who could not stop shaking when she heard her name announced, was honored for exemplifying the highest standards of nursing excellence before more than 1,900 employees at the company’s recent annual awards meeting in Charlotte, NC.

“This is the best thing that has ever happened to me!” exclaimed McKinney.  “I was shocked to be honored for doing something that I love to do.  I get uplifted when I see my clients and how they deal with their struggles and how positive they are.  It motivates me to go the extra mile to make their lives a bit easier.”

The Ann Baiada Award, a tribute to BAYADA Director Ann Baiada, RN, CRRN, was established in 2006 to honor nursing leaders who are true role models and who are committed to excellence in the area of nursing leadership development.  McKinney was chosen from among 20 BAYADA nursing leaders nominated for the award based on their ability to exemplify Baiada’s legacy to “empower, inspire, and support” those whose lives they touch through their work at BAYADA. 

McKinney was described as an exceptional clinician who epitomizes the BAYADA core values of compassion, excellence, and reliability.  “I am in awe of her selflessness when it comes to client care,” shared BAYADA Charlotte Personal Care Office Director Rup Kelly.  “She is full of love and cares so deeply for others.”

A 39-year veteran of the nursing profession, McKinney worked in dentistry, obstetrics and gynecology, and a hospital medical/surgical unit before making the transition to home care, where she truly found her calling.  She serves as a manager, mentor, and coach to more than 100 home health aides and provides clinical supervision for 75 clients who all benefit from her personal visits and accessibility.  What’s more, she can be counted on to train new staff, present continuing education programs, and review documentation for charting.

“Myke has built such a trust with her clients,” said Kelly. “They know she wants the best for them.”

Ann Baiada is grateful for the inspiring nurse leaders who make a lasting impression on the lives they touch, and help the company create a lasting legacy.

“The role of our nurse leaders is critically important for the care and safety of our clients—especially in home health care,” Baiada said. “They are advocates for our clients, and mentors and role models for our nurses. To have the best nurses, we need the best mentors. We need nurses who love nursing.”

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