(Photos by Michael Tierney)
Dennehy was selected as one of six 2012 National Nurses of the Year by Nurse.com, winning in the category of Home, Community and Ambulatory Care.
"Peter works with some of the most disenfranchised patients in the country, who are often diagnosed with mental illness in addition to HIV, and he works with them where they live, which may be in single-room-occupancy hotels, public housing or the streets," Berg said. "He brings respect for human dignity and a commitment to social justice to his practice along with care, compassion and professional competence."
With family members, friends, colleagues and Nurse.com staff in attendance, Dennehy accepted the Nursing Excellence award from Berg, and expressed his gratitude for the national recognition. "Receiving this award is one of the best experiences of my life, and I realize how it affirms what I do every day," said Dennehy, who plans to nominate others for nursing excellence recognition in the future.
Dennehy also serves as the manager of an HIV medication adherence trial program through San Francisco General Hospital, and since being selected for the Nurse.com award he has received recognition from work colleagues, medical staff and hospital management. "I have even been approached by nurses from a doctoral program who want to publish and present the findings from the adherence program," Dennehy said.
Nominated for the award by multiple colleagues, he is praised for his special ability to reach those who are seemingly unreachable and admired for his dedication and service to others. Dennehy has spent the past decade coordinating and overseeing the home care of patients. Because many of his patients have complex medical and psychosocial needs and often don’t have family support, Dennehy serves as the primary professional contact with other disciplines and community services.
"Our patients deserve the same healthcare that others have, and they rely on us to advocate for them. At the San Francisco Department of Health, we work as a team, and I always feel as though I am part of something much bigger than myself," Dennehy said.
To nominate a nurse for the 2013 program, visit www.Nurse.com/Nursing-Excellence.
To view photos from the celebration, visit www.Nurse.com/Gallery/Dennehy-Award.
Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is a regional nurse executive. Send letters to editorWest@nurse.com or post a comment below.