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Manager of Aurora/UW clinics receives national nursing award

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Dessie Levy of Fox Point honored as nurse administrator

Dessie Levy, RN, MHA, of Aurora Health Care, has been named Administrative Nurse of the Year by the National Black Nurses Association. The NBNA represents 150,000 African-America nurses in 76 chapters nationwide.

“This is a monumental milestone for me as a nurse, to be recognized by my colleagues,” Levy said. “It demonstrates that the work I’ve done as an administrator is truly valued.”

Levy, who will receive her award at the national conference July 23 in Chicago, is a manager of academic clinics for Aurora Health Care. The clinics are a partnership between Aurora and University of Wisconsin Medical School, in which third- and fourth-year residents participate in training programs in Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Family Medicine.

“I oversee two of the academics clinics, Aurora Sinai Family Care Center and Aurora Clark Square Family Health Center, and I work closely with the residency program, committees and ambassador programs,” Levy said. As an administrator, she says she strives “to listen and seek understanding from people on both sides of an issue in order to make conscious decisions that are fair and just.”

A native Milwaukeean who has been a nurse for 23 years, Levy has a master’s degree in health administration from Cardinal Stritch University.

But Levy doesn’t limit herself to administration. “The two clinics account for 15,000 patient visits a year,” she said. “If there’s a need for staff coverage, I pitch in. If there is a need for immunizations, I give shots. I do what has to be done to serve the patient and make a positive contribution to the community.”
Jestene McCord, retired nurse and past president of the Milwaukee chapter of NBNA, was among those who recommended Levy for the award and recognized her potential early in her career.

“I was impressed with Dessie right from the beginning,” McCord said. I have kept in touch with her throughout our careers and have seen her grow, develop and move up the ladder. One thing I admire about Dessie is that she works hard, and then helps others through mentoring, coaching and cheerleading. I have always seen her as a good role model for her staff and the community.”

Linda Cottreau, vice president/nursing executive at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, also wrote a letter on Levy’s behalf. She wrote: “Dessie exhibits a confident leadership style… and is exemplary as a nursing leader and upholds high standards all while inspiring others.”

Levy, who is married to the Rev. Garry Levy, has three children, Tammy, Garry Jr., and Aryahna. They live in Fox Point.

“They’re proud of me and they deserve part of the award too, because sometimes my job kept me from being at home. But they understood that I am committed to them as well as being committed to being a nurse. I never want to do anything half-way,” she said.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers care at sites in more than 80 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact:  Sue Pierman (414-647-6432)

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