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Emma Atkinson given nursing award

From left are Adirondack Health President and CEO Sylvia Getman; Emma Atkinson, BSN; Betsy Buck, MD, of Hudson Headwaters Health Network; and Marilyn Leitsch, recently retired perinatal services director for Adirondack Health. (Provided photo — Adirondack Health)

SARANAC LAKE — Adirondack Health maternity nurse Emma Atkinson is this year’s recipient of the Meghan E. Handler “Excellence in Nursing” memorial award.

The award, established by Dr. Richard and Leslie Handler in memory of their daughter Meghan, is given annually to a registered nurse employed by Adirondack Health with one to three years of professional experience, a commitment to improving and expanding one’s knowledge base, excellent technical skills and efficiency, and demonstrated compassion and rapport with patients’ families, significant others and colleagues.

Atkinson, who grew up in Saranac Lake, earned a two-year registered nursing degree at North Country Community College. After graduating in 2017, she immediately accepted a night shift position on the medical-surgical floors at Adirondack Medical Center. About a year later, she transferred to the hospital’s Stafford New Life Center maternity ward. She completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing and recently became the youngest Adirondack Health nurse ever to be certified in advanced fetal heart monitoring.

“Emma has a friendly, positive and professional personality,” said Marilyn Leitsch, recently retired director of perinatal services at Adirondack Medical Center, who nominated Atkinson for the Handler award. “She collaborates and interacts with her team members while providing safe and efficient patient-centered care. Emma is often recognized in patient comments and thank-you cards for her gentle and compassionate manner.”

The Meghan E. Handler “Excellence in Nursing” memorial award is accompanied by a check for $500.

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