Celebrate Caring award winners - Meet Kemberly Mayer

OLNEY (WPVI) -- Nurses have been in the spotlight during the coronavirus pandemic, but they're always there, delivering their special brand of care.

Independence Blue Cross honors them annually in its Celebrate Caring campaign.

This year, there were five top winners and nine honorees.

Kemberly Mayer's call to nursing came after a 3rd grade accident.

"I had an injury to my lip, chipped my tooth and the school nurse saved my life, you know, in my 8-year-old eyes," Mayer said.

"She was so calm with me. She reassured my mom that I was going to be OK. And I was like, 'I want to be that person for someone someday,'" said Mayer.

Mayer is delivering that calm compassion now, in a COVID-19 unit at Einstein Medical Center.

To limit exposure to the coronavirus, fewer staffers go into patient rooms.

"So, basically, the patient only sees the nurse and possibly their attending the entire day," she said.

The nurses must be the eyes and ears of the whole medical team, reporting on a patient's condition.

Yet, they're also the ones patients and families lean on now.

"I try my best to act as, as if these are my family members, my patient are my family members," she told us.

Independence Blue Cross received over 1,100 nominations for this year's Celebrate Caring campaign, a sign the drive is achieving it's goal:

"We really wanted to make sure that we could share with the community all the good work that nurses are doing," said Koleen Cavanaugh, vice-president of marketing for IBC.

Mayer is grateful for the award, not for herself, but for the gift IBC will make to charity.

"I want to donate it to an organization, a local organization that feeds the homeless. Because that's one of my passions in life," she said.
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