HGB Nurse Receives MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award

​Kassandra Gauna, RN, a nurse in the emergency department at Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital in Charlotte, Mich., was honored Friday, Nov. 3, with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

The award celebrates patient and staff safety through the recognition of individuals or teams in Michigan hospitals who demonstrate a commitment to the prevention of patient or staff harm.

Gauna is the first recipient of the award at Hayes Green Beach (HGB). Gauna received the award for speaking up about a medication that was erroneously ordered and refusing to administer it to a patient. Nurses are often the last line of defense between the patient and medication administration. Her uncompromising diligence protected the patient from harm.  

“I chose to speak up because it was the absolute right thing to do,” Gauna said. “Throughout my training and career, I've been very fortunate to work with and learn from some of the best nurses in Michigan. The advice I’ve received from those nurses has always had a resounding theme: If you are unsure about something, ask questions. Use your resources and trust your gut. Be 100 percent positive that what you do is appropriate and will not bring harm to the patient. You responsible for the patient while they are in your care and you are their advocate.”

HGB has implemented several programs that are centered on its commitment to zero patient and employee harm, including its Speak Up Now (SUN) Award program. Each month, the HGB Patient Safety Team reviews monthly nominations and chooses an individual who spoke up to prevent patient or employee harm. A small presentation is held to honor the winner with the team from the recipient’s department, as well as the HGB leadership team. All monthly SUN Award winners are nominated for the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award.

“It sends a very powerful message that it’s OK for me to speak up and not only will my colleagues and my leadership have my back, but in fact, that’s going to be rewarded; celebrated,” said Brian Peters, MHA CEO.

“Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital has an excellent group of leaders that have helped create a culture where patient safety is top priority,” Gauna said.

About the MHA & MHA Keystone Center

Based in greater Lansing, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) advocates in Michigan and Washington, DC, on behalf of healthcare providers and the communities and patients they serve. The MHA is a nationally recognized leader on initiatives that protect and promote quality, cost-effective and accessible healthcare.

The MHA Keystone Center brings together hospitals and state and national patient safety experts to implement evidence-based, best practices to improve patient safety and reduce healthcare costs in Michigan and beyond. To learn more, visit mhakeystonecenter.org.