Trinity Health System Honors Two Nurses of Excellence

Steubenville, Ohio—May 28, 2024– For the first time since the pandemic, Trinity Health System has revived its Nursing Excellence Awards and recognized two extraordinary nurses for being exemplars of their profession.

The 2024 Nursing Excellence Award recipients are Felicia Corabi, RN, Case Management Department, Trinity Medical Center West, and Shilah Pace, RN, Trinity Twin City Medical Center.

Nurses are nominated and submitted by fellow Trinity Health System employees, including non-clinical staff and physicians. Winners are then chosen based on the total number of times the individual was nominated as well as weighted scores for specialty certifications, educational advancement and degrees, and volunteer work.

“This is the first time in many years Trinity Health System has awarded a Nurse of Excellence,” Dr. Rhonda Hatfield DBA, BSN, RN, CCRN, Nursing Management Advisor, CommonSpirit Southeast Division, Trinity Health System, said. “The daily demands of healthcare were highlighted by the pandemic, however, and the ongoing need still exists for a culture that supports staff appreciation, boosts nursing morale, and strengthens job satisfaction.”

Felicia Corabi is committed to kindness and community

Felicia Corabi’s interest in nursing began when she was a child. Her grandfather had a significant cardiac history and was taking upwards of 20 pills a day.

“I was 10 years old at the time, and I made it my job to fill his pill containers every day,” Corabi said.

Corabi first pursued a degree in education, but discovered her heart wasn’t in it. She began taking general classes in the summer, one of which was a medical terminology class.

“Then, I went to an Open House at Trinity School of Nursing. I had heard phenomenal things about the program, so I got on the waiting list and while I was waiting, I took all of my prerequisites at EGCC (Eastern Gateway Community College), so I could immediately enroll in the nursing program when my name came up.”

Corabi graduated from Trinity SON in December 2004. She entered the preceptor program under the supervision of a nurse on the fifth floor at Trinity West.

“I was there for two weeks when the clinical manager approached me and asked if I wanted to work here, so I knew before I graduated where I was going to work,” she said.

Corabi was on the fifth floor until 2019, when she switched into the case management department and became one of the inpatient case managers on the sixth floor. Over the years, she has seen many changes in healthcare, but none of these changes have dampened her passion for connecting with people and ministering to their needs.

“I’ve never lived in the world of a big-city hospital,” she said. “I’ve always been a local girl. I was born and raised in Steubenville, and the longest I’ve been gone is during my six-month stint at Kent when I was studying education.”

Corabi loves working at a community hospital. She treasures out-of-office interactions with former patients and their families.

“I love being in Kroger and having someone tap me on the shoulder and thank me for taking good care of their Mom years ago,” she said. “Everything is a small circle, and you feel your impact even years down the road when you run into somebody and they thank you for how well you treated them.

“This is it for me. Trinity Health System is my home, and Steubenville is where I want to spend the rest of my life. I’m dedicated to this community, and I want to support this organization for as long as I can.”

Shilah Pace believes in teamwork and bettering herself

Shilah Pace started her nursing career back in August 2011 as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant at Union Hospital on the Medical Surgical Unit. Trained at Central Ohio Technical College and graduating from Aultman College in December 2014 with an associate’s degree in nursing, she then completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing in September of 2019, also from Aultman College. In June 2021, she accepted a position in Trinity Twin City’s ER Department.

“Truthfully, I am not really sure about the moment I felt nursing was my calling,” Pace said. “Growing up, I wanted to be a teacher and I guess, in a way, I’m still teaching, just in a medical sense. When a patient simply just thanks me or tells me that being a nurse is my calling, then I truly feel I am right where I need to be. When I go home at night and still think and worry about my patients, that is when I know that being a nurse is my calling.”

When Pace started as an RN, she said she was surprised at how hard the job is.

“You constantly have to be thinking at all times,” she explained. “‘Can this particular patient take this medication we are giving? Did I give that medication correctly? Did I perform all the steps of that procedure unerringly? Did I miss anything?’

“I think what surprised me most, too, is that it is okay to not know everything. If you have a good team, you will all figure it out together. I am extremely thankful for the team I work with.”

Because the medical field is constantly changing and every patient is unique in their treatment and what they need, Pace said she still asks questions and researches medications and treatments. Learning more and bettering herself are integral elements of her nursing philosophy.

“Based on my nursing experiences and really just in general, my philosophy has always been about treating the patient and their family as I would want to be treated,” Pace said. “Kindness goes a long way. I try to be the person I need in my life; a person you can count on. This could be the patient’s worst day of their life. They don’t deserve a grouchy or careless nurse. My coworkers can usually find me dancing around the nurse’s station or being goofy. I know when to be serious, but I also like to have fun and lighten the mood.”

Nominees will be featured on regional billboards

The complete list of nurses who were nominated is as follows: Lisa Anderson; Sharon Barbetta; Stacey Bardall; Christy Bear; Ruthann Belknap; Amy Bevilacqua; Alexis Colletti; Felicia Corabi; Amy Demattio; Jessica Dipasquale; Beth Hardey; Chris Heinen; Brigid Kramer; Emily Mathieu; Michelle McMath; Carla Milosevich; Sheila Mirabella; Erin Moores; Amanda Newburn; Shilah Pace; Lori Roe; Jocelyn Shaw; Renee Shilling; Ashley Sproul; and Paige Wilson.

In addition to the internal nominations, Trinity Health System will feature all of the nominees on public billboards around the region. Trinity Health System also encourages the community to write letters of recognition for nurses who go above and beyond in making a patient’s experience exceptional.

These letters of recognition are shared with the nurses and entered into the system’s Daisy Award program.

“Each winner is more than deserving of this recognition,” Dr. Hatfield said. “In their own way, Felicia and Shilah are advancing the nursing profession at Trinity West and Twin City.

“The 2024 Nurse of Excellence award is a high compliment shared by meaningful recognition through nurse-to-nurse nominations. Any way we can express appreciation for their hard work is essential for a positive work environment. Many times the smallest gestures make the biggest impact.”

**Not all of the nominees were present for the celebration.**