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Longtime PEF member at Oxford Veterans’ Home named Registered Nurse of the Year by Health Facilities Association

By KATE MOSTACCIO

Inspired by a long history of military service in her family, PEF Member Teresa Davis has dedicated the last 26 years of her life to serving veterans at the New York State Veterans’ Home at Oxford – her way of giving back to these brave men and women.

Davis started at Oxford as a registered nurse, quickly rising to the level of supervisor and taking the helm as day charge nurse in the dementia unit. She moved on to clinical supervision of 120 beds, which paved the way for her rise to nurse administrator. Now also certified in wound care, Davis leads the wound care team daily and provides education to staff, residents and their families.

The New York State Health Facilities Association/New York State Center for Assisted Living (NYSHFA/NYSCAL) honored Davis as the 2020 Registered Nurse of the Year. Her coworkers at Oxford nominated her for the prestigious award.

“It was a big honor to be nominated,” Davis said. “I didn’t really expect to win. I was just so happy that I was nominated. My whole family is military; it’s definitely an honor for not just me, but for my family as well.”

Originally, Davis’ brother, who she hasn’t seen in three years as he currently serves in the military, planned to fly out for the award ceremony. The COVID-19 pandemic derailed those plans and instead NYSHFA/NYSCAL held a virtual Zoom ceremony.

Davis said the recognition is humbling.

“I’ve met a lot of wonderful veterans and heard a lot of their stories,” she said. “It’s so hard to believe that they’ve gone through so much. It’s amazing what they’ve gone through to fight for our freedom.”

Davis has come a long way in her field and is proud of her work.

“Working at the Veterans Home in Oxford since 1994, I have had a wonderful growing experience in the field of nursing as I serve those who served us,” she said. “As a relatively new nurse I had worked in acute care. While I enjoyed acute care and learned a lot, I knew that I wanted to be of service to my country as my father, grandfather, and uncle had been. As a nurse, I knew I could provide compassion, respect, dignity, and comfort to our nation’s heroes.

“Twenty-six years later, I have witnessed many changes in the field of nursing,” she said. “One thing holds true and that is, making a difference is an honor each and every day.”

She received praise from New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard A. Zucker and New York State Veterans’ Home at Oxford Administrator Kurt Apthorpe in a NYSHFA/NYSCAL press release posted on the Oxford’s Facebook page.

“Having Registered Nurses like Teresa Davis working at the New York State Veterans’ Home at Oxford embodies the values and quality of care we provided to the residents at all four of our state’s 5-star rated nursing homes. Teresa’s dedication to caring for the veterans at Oxford has had a profound impact on the health of those who call this facility home,” said Zucker. “Under Teresa’s leadership, Oxford’s direct care team continues to provide first-class care to its residents.”

“Teresa has excellent clinical skills and provides the highest quality of care possible,” said Apthorpe. “We are proud that she has been honored with this prestigious award from NYSHFA/NYSCAL.”

The New York State Veterans’ Home at Oxford has been serving veterans and their families in the Central and Southern Tier regions of New York since 1897.