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Service highlights global mentor’s life

Monday December 9, 2013
Judith Kutzleb, RN, works with sick patients in a mountainous region of Haiti during a recent mission trip.
Judith Kutzleb, RN, works with sick patients in a mountainous region of Haiti during a recent mission trip.
(Photo courtesy of Holy Name Medical Center)
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The New Jersey Consortium, Sigma Theta Tau International, has recognized Judith Kutzleb, RN, DNP, CCRN, CCA, APN-C, with one of its highest honors. Kutzleb, whose record of service to nursing includes mentorship and international mission work, has received the Mary Anne Rooney Essence of Nursing Award.

Kutzleb is vice president, advanced practice professionals at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, N.J., and associate professor and coordinator of the advanced nursing program track in the graduate program at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck.

“Judith Kutzleb is dynamic, intelligent, innovative and passionate about nursing,” Sylvia Cabassa, RN, DNP, MSN, APNC, RT, FNP-C, associate director of Fairleigh Dickinson’s undergraduate nursing program, wrote in her nomination. “Her passion for nursing and nursing excellence is manifested by her dedication to clinical practice, education, leadership and mentoring of students for their professional future as tomorrow’s leaders.”

Named in memory of a nurse leader, the Rooney award is given to an individual who demonstrates special interest and guidance to a colleague or student. Those honored share resources with their mentees for professional growth and development. This sustained mentoring relationship fosters talent and develops nurse leaders through a personal connection of caring, inspiration and encouragement to accomplish these goals.

Cabassa, who began working with Kutzleb in 2008, is impressed with her mentoring style.

“Her success as a mentor and educator stems from her philosophy of learning where she believes the learner to be an active participant and central focus of the educational experience,” Cabassa wrote. “Her goal has always been to create an environment where the student develops to their potential so as to become a self-actualized individual.”

Cabassa also noted Kutzleb’s volunteer work, both locally and internationally. Since 2011, Kutzleb has served in missions to Haiti, and along with cardiologists, spearheaded development of a cardiac program at Hospital Sacre Couer in Milot, Haiti.

“During her routine missions to Haiti, after her shift at the clinic is over, she makes her daily voyage four miles up the mountains in Milot to care for the sick, bringing medications and food to the most underserved who cannot and will never afford healthcare,” Cabassa wrote.

During her career, Kutzleb also has designed and developed evidence-based protocols that changed nursing management of patients with traumatic brain injury by promoting enhanced outcome through cognitive and physical therapy.
“Her protocols have been initiated not only in New Jersey, but [also] replicated nationally,” Cabassa wrote.


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