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Breezy Point nurse honored with award

Christine Roy of Breezy Point, a certified radiology nurse at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Crosby for the past 11 years, on May 13 was presented with the Mary Lou Houle Nursing Excellence Award as part of the organization’s Healthcare Week celebration.

Roy received the award from Houle and CRMC CEO John Solheim for her dedication to patients, families, peers and the community and because she works hard as a role model for all CRMC employees.

“I am honored and humbled to have been nominated for such a prestigious award,” Roy said, adding Houle reminds her of other courageous nurses such as Florence Nightingale, Isabel Hampton and Lillian Wald. “I believe Mary Lou is our local legend. She is a brilliant nurse who has impacted the nursing profession in many ways and is a beautiful woman.”

Similarly to Houle, Roy worked as a registered nurse in several CRMC departments. Today she assists the interventional radiologists with invasive procedures such as lung biopsies, central line insertions and pain management injections. Roy said the best part of her job is interacting with patients and giving them hands-on care at the bed side.

“I was lucky enough to work with Mary Lou in education and on the critical care program,” Roy said. “She is the warmest, most welcome person; you just want to hug her.”

Roy said she loves the health care field because she chose to commit herself to the practice of caring for others in a way that upholds dignity and considers integrity of the body, mind and spirit through caring in a holistic way.

CRMC’s medical director of peri-operative services, Dr. Mark Gujer, was one of her nominators. He wrote: “Christine lives and breathes the can-do attitude. Her very nature is infectious to her patients and co-workers. I can always count on seeing happy faces in the radiology hallways. She is all about the patient experience and such an impressive patient advocate.”

“Chris is so caring and sweet; she’s always looking to improve patient care in our department. I always hear patients giving her such nice compliments,” wrote co-worker Connie Perpich, an X-ray operator. “She has the ability to teach us as a group new procedures and protocols and that patient safety is number one. When you ask her for help she’s always willing to do anything she can, she is very knowledgeable, always a smile on her face.”

Roy has served as a department preceptor, educator/lecturer at radiology seminars, is active in Joint Commission tracer audits, and developed many clinical practice improvement plans, policies and standards of care. A clinical expert, Roy holds national certification in radiology nursing.

She graduated summa cum laude from St. Scholastica and is in a graduate program. She is also an active Komen Race for the Cure volunteer, Breast Health Alliance Pink Frosting fundraiser, and a religious educator in her church.

Now that her daughter and two sons are all enrolled in college, Roy is studying to become a nurse practitioner. Her husband, Roger, works as a purchasing agent at Cross-Tech in Crosslake.

CRMC established the Mary Lou Houle Nursing Excellence Award in 2010. Houle began her nursing career in 1959 at the original CRMC, Miner’s Hospital. She dedicated her career to the patients, families and community of the Cuyuna Range. She was a skilled registered nurse working in many areas such as obstetrics, surgery, the ER, medical/surgical, staff development and leadership.

She was renowned for her exceptional patient care and the level of dedication she demonstrated in every patient interaction. Although Houle retired in 2010, her legacy lives on through her volunteerism and commitment to CRMC and the community she serves.