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Treating HIV patients earns PEF nurse award

Mary Crymes, a PEF-represented teaching and research center nurse at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and a charge nurse for the STAR (Special Treatment And Research) Program, received the Joanne Ruiz Achievement Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice HIV by the Association of Nurses in Aids Care (ANAC).

The award recognizes “an outstanding nurse clinician, one who is a source of pride to self, peers, patients/clients and colleagues. He or she brings knowledge, skill and caring to people with HIV infection and their families or significant others. In essence, the award recognizes the nurse you would most like to care for your loved ones,” according to the ANAC.

Joan Rosegreen, Division 198 council leader at SUNY Downstate, said, “Among the many nurses at SUNY Downstate who provide quality care on a daily basis, it is always gratifying to see one of our own being honored. Mary is an example of giving back to the community with her professional expertise, dedication and sensitivity to those with an infectious disease. She is more than deserving of this prestigious award.”


 Mary Crymes

Crymes has been involved with HIV care since 1993, and has an extensive and diverse background in ambulatory care nursing including correctional health, substance abuse and family planning.

“I felt very honored and humbled to be selected for the Joan Ruiz Achievement Award. At the presentation they kept saying the word ‘excellent’ and I was overwhelmed for something I do every day,” Crymes said. “I am not new at this. I am true to this.

“I also want to credit my dedicated STAR clinic staff for their commitment, and their daily hard work. I share this award with each of them. But the true awards for a nurse comes with the sense of accomplishment or satisfaction when a patient looks you in the eyes and says, ‘Thank you for helping me.”

— Deborah A. Miles

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