Demand and opportunities for excellent nurses have never been greater, and through the Shirley Traster Nursing Scholarship, the Parkview Noble Foundation annually recognizes and encourages at least one Parkview nurse or nursing student who has demonstrated the commitment needed to become a highly successful nurse. This year, foundation leaders announced that Michelle Lefevra, BSN, and Alyssa Doak, BSN, are the scholarship recipients for the 2022-23 academic year.
Michelle, a registered nurse working in pre-/post-surgery at Parkview Premier Surgery, has been in healthcare for 24 years, and in her current position for four years. “I have worked at Parkview for 18 years at numerous locations and departments,” she said. “I will be a Parkview co-worker until retirement as the mission of Parkview aligns with my personal beliefs and morals.”
She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Western Governors University (WGU) while working full-time and is now enrolled in WGU’s Master of Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner program with the goal of working in that capacity with surgical patients and physicians. She serves as chair of the Nursing Committee Action Team and has served as a representative on Premier’s Perioperative Nursing Council.
“I have wanted to be in healthcare ever since I was a small child,” Michelle said. “I have always wanted to take care of people and show them compassion. Helping them feel better, relax and smile makes my day. In my current role, I find it satisfying to connect with the patients and educate them on healthy lifestyles. I also enjoy teaching students and new nurses.”
Carrie Crawford, MSN, RN, CNOR, nursing services manager at Parkview Premier Surgery, recommended Michelle for the scholarship with high praise. “She is a joy to have on the team, and I can count on her to give her all each time she works. Michelle’s integrity and character have led to her success as a nurse. She is kind, empathetic and cares for her patients, families and co-workers without judgment. She upholds high standards. She is incredibly hardworking and always seeks opportunities to further her nursing knowledge.”
In addition to her work and studies, Michelle teaches CPR several times a month to students, teachers, parents and members of law enforcement. She also volunteers at Country Meadow Elementary and provides weekly "Club Life" instruction for children in grades 1-4 at Grace Point Nazarene Church.
Alyssa is a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) RN and Nursing Professional Development (NPD) practitioner at Parkview Regional Medical Center (PRMC). She has been in healthcare for 14 years, 11 of them in the PRMC NICU. She has served in the NPD practitioner role for two and a half years. She finds joy in seeing bedside staff connect with the information she provides and watching them aspire to pursuing further professional development.
Alyssa holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Saint Francis and is currently enrolled in the Doctorate in Nursing Practice (Neonatal Nurse Practitioner) program at the University of Indianapolis. Her goal is to transition to the role of NNP within Parkview.
“I chose healthcare for my career because it allows me to make a positive difference in someone's life,” Alyssa said. “It allows me the privilege of caring for someone else's loved one. There is no better gift than that.”
Alyssa was recommended for the scholarship by Jennifer Thieman, MSN, RN, NICU clinical nurse specialist. “Alyssa’s drive to continue pursuing professional development and using her education for the benefit of others is unmatched,” Jennifer said. “In addition to pursuing an advanced degree, Alyssa holds three certifications that allow her to serve her patients and bedside staff at a top-tier level. Her inquisitive spirit has been a gift to the bedside staff in our unit and is a shining example of positive role modeling for others.”
Alyssa has also applied her talents for the benefit of others through military service. She is a member of the Indiana Air National Guard, serving with the 181st Chemical Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP). “I often volunteer via my military position,” she said. “Homeland defense is the mission of my unit. In this position within the military, we often dedicate time to influencing high school students interested in joining.”
“It is such a pleasure for us to be able to help these exceptional women further their nursing knowledge and training through the Shirley Traster Nursing Scholarship,” Denise Andorfer, director, Parkview Foundations, said. “We congratulate them and look forward to seeing how they continue to develop their skills and insights for the benefit of patients and their care teams at Parkview.”
For Shirley Traster, RN, nursing was far more than a job; it was a calling for all of her 36 years at McCray Hospital – which later became Parkview Noble Hospital – until her retirement in 1986. Shirley was very highly regarded for her compassion, wisdom, humility and humor. She demonstrated her love of caring, compassionate nursing throughout her entire life, often mentoring or teaching younger nurses through her example.
“Mom was very passionate about being a nurse,” Shirley’s daughter, Sharrel Wells, said. “Even during her final hospital stays at Parkview Noble Hospital and Parkview Regional Medical Center, she would occasionally offer suggestions and encouragement to the nurses assigned to her case.”
It was this passion that moved Darrell “Skip” Traster – Shirley’s husband of more than 60 years – and their daughters Sharrel, Jenny Luttman and Janet Domer, to create the Shirley Traster Nursing Scholarship as a memorial to her exemplary life of nursing.
The Shirley Traster Nursing Scholarship is available to all eligible Parkview Noble Hospital and Parkview Regional Medical Center co-workers who would like to advance professionally in the nursing field. You can learn more about these scholarships through the Parkview Foundations by calling 260-266-7800 or emailing email@example.com.