During the nation’s pandemic, Jamestown Regional Medical Center nurses selected its infection control expert as the 2020 Nora Paulson award recipient.

 Quality & Risk Manager Jenna Bredahl joined JRMC in 2000. She started as a nurses aide in the medical surgery department, now known as the Patient Care Unit. She assumed her current role in 2010.

The role of a quality and risk manager is not always well known to those outside of the healthcare industry. Bredahl works proactively to keep patients and employees safe. Her job is to improve the quality of patient care. She does this through patient satisfaction surveys, accreditation requirements, staff education as well as policies and procedures.

“When we think of hospitals, we don’t always think about the quality and risk manager,” said Trisha Jungels, JRMC Chief Nursing Officer. “However, that person is critical to a hospital’s success, especially during a pandemic. Jenna has led us through preparations for the novel coronavirus as well as other pandemics like Ebola and swine flu. She is what makes JRMC legendary.”

Each year, JRMC nurses vote to select a recipient of the Nora Melvold Paulson Excellence in Leadership Award. The award recognizes a nurse who consistently embodies a commitment to excellence in nursing education and clinical care. JRMC usually announces the award during Nurses Week in May, however, in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse.” Nightingale was a visionary nurse and leader that became an icon as the founder of modern nursing. As a social reformer, she established early quality measures for care and training.

“As the organization’s Infection Control Nurse Jenna has positively led our Incident Command Center Team through effective communication, process improvement and patience,” said Mike Delfs, JRMC President & CEO. “She is a fitting recipient of this honor.”

Bredahl’s leadership provided the platform for a series of healthcare designations and awards including Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital, ND ASRH Quality Excellence Award, National Rural Health Association Top 20 Hospital and iVantage Top 100 Critical Access Hospital (CAH). Bredahl also helped develop the JRMC Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality and Safety and is on the CAH Quality Network Executive Committee.

“This award is special because it’s our colleagues who nominate and vote for the recipient,” Bredahl said. “What I do is behind the scenes. I support out team in patient care. I’m grateful people notice. It’s also important to share that all of the 110 nurses here at JRMC are #DifferenceMakers. They do really hard work, especially in a pandemic. I am grateful for them.”

Jungels said JRMC nurses appreciate Bredahl for her follow through and how she investigates best practices.

“Jenna is open-minded, empathetic, resilient and successful in making decisions and acting on them. She is a great listener and has perspective. During each day, dozens of JRMC teammates ask for her assistance with everything from patient experience data to policy and procedure development. She accommodates each of these requests with care and service,” Jungels said.

Brian and Nancy Spector established this award eight years ago through a named-expendable fund with the JRMC Foundation. The award honors the memory and legacy of Brian’s grandmother, Nora Paulson, RN. Much like Nightingale, Paulson dedicated her life to clinical excellence programs at Jamestown Hospital.

Past recipients include:

2013: Renae Lunde, RN
2014: Allison Danzl, RN
2015: Lili Ruby, RN
2016: Courtney Cook, RN
2017: Kacie Edwards Pahl, RN
2018: Marla Wegner, LPN
2019: Lisa Schrenk, RN

To support frontline workers at JRMC, visit www.jrmcnd.com/giving.