Viera VA Clinic nursing wins make history


Viera VA Outpatient Clinic nurse Tanya Peterson, left, receives the 2014 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Excellence Award in the Staff Nurse Category from Dr. Christine Engstrom, Interim VA Chief Nursing Officer, at a July 16 ceremony at the Viera facility.

Mike Strickler

A Viera nurse won the VA Outpatient Clinic in Viera its second consecutive No. 1 award from among the entire nation’s VA medical centers and outpatient clinics.

It was a first in VA history. 

Tanya Peterson received the 2014 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Award for Excellence in the Staff Nurse category from the Department of Veterans Affairs in a ceremony at the Viera facility July 16 after being notified in May. Facility nurse Lisa Lang won that award last year.

“Lisa Lang and Tanya Peterson won back-to-back SVA awards in 2013 and 2014, making Viera the first VA outpatient clinic to place national winners consecutively,” said Mike Strickler, VA Medical Center Orlando spokesperson.

“It’s a pretty significant achievement, considering there are more than 150 medical centers and 770 OPCs nationally. It’s a great example of how successful VA healthcare providers can be when their leadership works as hard for them as they do for the veterans they serve. Pretty remarkable.”

Peterson was commended by clinic nursing manager Dawn Mossing, who nominated her this year and Lang last year, for her positive attitude.

“Obviously Tanya provides exceptional care to our veterans at the Viera OPC,” Mossing said. “She is recognized among the staff as an outstanding nurse, one who works closely with our providers and staff to provide superior care to each and every veteran.” 

Peterson summed up the most effective tool in her kit the past nine years working as a nursing liaison to Viera’s endoscopy/surgical services department.

“I work in a department where veterans are usually apprehensive walking in the door, due to the invasive nature of what we do in endoscopy,” Peterson said. “So I do my best to relax them and let them know they’re cared for here, and of course that begins with a big smile.”