Amy Berner, RN care manager with Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice, an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice, was one of several outstanding nurses in the Miami Valley who were honored at the Wright State University Miami Valley College School of Nursing and Health 2019 Cameos of Caring® Awards on Nov. 14 at the Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton.
Amy is a certified hospice and palliative nurse. Compassionate, caring and kind, Amy is excellent at building trust with patients and families. She always has a smile and is in the right place at the time.
“I let them know that we celebrate the beginning of life,” Amy said. “And I think we need to truly celebrate the end of life.”
Amy has been serving the community since 1998. She has been with Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice since 2016.
She attended Atlanta Bible College and earned an associate degree of nursing from Clayton State College in Georgia in 1996. Following graduation, Amy moved back to Ohio and began her nursing career at Grandview Hospital in Dayton, working on a 38-bed stepdown unit.
She returned to her hometown of Springfield, Ohio, and worked as a nurse at Community Hospital for 18 years. Amy was a charge nurse, staff educator, interim manager and a manager, working with cardiac patients. After several years working on the telemetry unit, she worked in medical oncology, where she found a new passion for serving patients facing life-limiting illnesses.
She transferred to hospice care. She embodies the characteristics that make an outstanding hospice and palliative care nurse. She sits with her patients, holds their hand and sings with them. She is a patient advocate and is committed to her patients and their families.
“I always ask the patient and family what else can I do for you before I go,” Amy said. “Then I try to focus on what can I do to make their day better.”
For example, she and a patient were talking about their favorite desserts. The patient’s favorite was cherry pie. So, Amy brought the patient a cherry pie during the next visit.
“She was so excited about it,” Amy said. “She hadn’t had cherry pie in such a long time. Just something little that I can bring to them brightens their day.”
Amy is a preceptor and has earned the Preceptor of Excellence Award from Ohio’s Hospice. She also volunteers and participates on the Kindness Crew.
A teammate of Amy recognized her for going above and beyond the call of duty. “Amy gave of herself when times were tough, carrying her own caseload and covering for another teammate,” the teammate said. “Her positive attitude is appreciated by all.”
Amy has been recognized throughout the years by patients and families through letters and donations. A family member stated through a donation, “I honestly cannot thank you enough for staying with us when Mom passed and for everything you did for her.”
Another family member of a patient of Amy’s also spoke highly of the care she provided. “Amy was there for my mother during her journey and was comforting to us, as well,” she said.
Amy truly enjoys nursing, and she has found her niche as a hospice nurse.
“I’ve always been brought up to care for others first above myself,” she said. “I try to keep that focus when I’m taking care of the patients.”
Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice is a service of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. Founded in 2004, the not-for-profit, community-based organization provides superior care and superior services for patients facing life-limiting illnesses in Clark, Madison, Greene and Champaign counties.