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A local nurse has brought some bragging rights back to WellSpan York Hospital.

According to a WellSpan Health news release, Emily Huggins, manager of WellSpan York Hospital’s forensic nurse examiner program, was a winner in the community nursing category at the Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania’s 27th annual gala. Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania is a statewide, nonprofit foundation created to help recruit and retain nursing professionals, according to the organization’s website.

More than 100 nominees statewide were chosen as finalists. Huggins was one of three category finalists and seven nominees from WellSpan Health.

“Our work is so important to help the community,” Huggins said in the release. “Sometimes we nurses forget to stop and think, ‘Wow, we do great work to help people every day.’ This event allowed us to do that. Now, to have the extra benefit of bringing this great award back to WellSpan York Hospital — it’s unbelievable and represents the great work all of us do.”

Huggins is a sexual assault forensic examiner nurse, providing specialized care for patients who are victims of sexual assault and physical abuse. SAFE nurses also have specialized knowledge of the legal system and skills in evaluation, documentation and injury identification.

A new SAFE Suite will open in early 2017 as part of WellSpan York Hospital’s $50 million emergency department renovation project. The suite will include a private room with forensic examination equipment.

Other WellSpan Health finalists included Brenda Artz in the advanced practice registered nurse category and Kay Bozart in the nursing education-academia category. Mary Ann Jurewicz, a nurse manager on Tower 2 at WellSpan York Hospital, was nominated in the nursing administration-leader/manager category.

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