For making a positive impact on health, Annamarie Flick, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, nurse manager at ChristianaCare has won an inaugural HealthImpact DAISY Nurse Leader Award in Policy. She is one of six national awardees recognized for leadership and advocacy in policy that advances compassionate care to improve health in communities and society.
Flick’s leadership and advocacy have supported policies to combat the growing opioid epidemic and violence against nurses and other health care providers.
“Annamarie is guided by her steadfast vision of compassionate, empathetic, expert nursing care and better clinical outcomes for patients,” read the nomination from ChristianaCare’s Professional Nurse Council.
Flick established professional relationships with organizational, state and national leaders to affect policy. She spearheaded initiatives at ChristianaCare to improve care and at the state level to improve safety in the work environment for nurses and other health care providers.
Making a difference for patients
Flick led her medical-surgical unit at Christiana Hospital in a project to enhance compassionate care and improve clinical outcomes for patients with substance use disorders.
The team implemented interventions focused on optimal safety and education for patients, families and nurses, and objective, empathetic assessment of symptoms.
As part of the initiative, Flick and her colleagues partnered with behavioral health specialists and security to design a safety protocol that strengthened communication and understanding through frequent rounding.
When working with patients and families, the nomination read, “Annamarie deployed compassionate leadership and communication skills that lets those we serve know ‘we are here for you, we do not judge you, we want to help.’”
This initiative increased the satisfaction of both nurses and patients and improved clinical outcomes including reducing readmission and incidences of patients leaving against medical advice.
ChristianaCare is expanding these practices with accompanying guidelines and policy.
Making a difference for health care providers
As co-chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Delaware Nurses Association and a member of national networks, Flick organized Nurses Speak, an event that brought together Delaware nurses and legislators in January 2020.
She rallied the nurses to help extend existing legislation enacted to deter violence against nurses to protect more health care workers in hospitals. The personal stories that nurses shared about the impact of workplace violence persuaded state legislators to pass the measure and opened the door for more conversations about workplace violence and strategies to curb it.
“Annamarie’s advocacy and leadership are consummate examples of the positive impact we can have when we serve together and speak with truth with courage and empathy,” said Ric Cuming, Ed.D., MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, chief nurse executive at ChristianaCare and president of ChristianaCare HomeHealth.
“This national award reflects our respect and appreciation for Annamarie’s energy and commitment to those we serve. Her leadership is driving evidence-based, compassionate care for patients and improved safety for health care workers at ChristianaCare, in our community and throughout Delaware.”