Applekamp, Laurie
[email protected] | (405) 415-1262
[email protected] Applekamp, Laurie

Heroes in Action - Oklahoma

DATE: Thursday, November 2, 2023  |  TIME: 6 p.m.
LOCATION: Riverwind Casino Showplace Theatre
ADDRESS: 1544 OK-9, Norman, OK 73072


Still want to help us?

event description image

Event description

The chefs, volunteers and guests who make up our Signature Chefs Events community are coming together in new, innovative ways to suport moms and babies this year.

We are following state mandated guidelines in response to COVID-19 and will not have an in-person event this year. So, we are preparing an exciting, new Virtual Gala for your 2020 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction experience!

We need your help now more than ever. Your support funds:

  • COVID-19 interventions and support for moms and babies
  • Programs that promote health equity for moms and babies and directly combat racial disparities in maternal and child health
  • Free virtual NICU support program for families
  • Virtual prenatal programs for moms-to-be
  • Educational programs, including live Facebook panel discussions, to get info into the hands of moms and families
  • Necessary supplies for expectant mothers including blood pressure cuffs and masks and so much more!

Support the mission

Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely worldwide, and 1 million will die before their first birthday. Your gift helps the March of Dimes fund research, education, advocacy and programs that help more moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

Become a sponsor

Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely worldwide, and 1 million will die before their first birthday. Your gift helps the March of Dimes fund research, education, advocacy and programs that help more moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

Local Contact Person, Region
[email protected] | Phone #
Contact Us


Join us Thursday, November 2nd at the Riverwind Casino Showplace Theatre, 1544 OK-9, Norman, OK 73072 at 6pm (registration and reception)  7pm, (dinner/program) for the Nurse of the Year-Heroes in Action Awards Gala. We will pay tribute to nursing excellence and the tireless efforts of nurses throughout the state of Oklahoma while also raising money for the mission of March of Dimes.

At the awards event, March of Dimes will be celebrating the 14th year of honoring nursing excellence in our great state.


Congratulations to the 2023 Heroes in Action Finalists

Advanced Practice
Amber Morrow, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Angela Farmer, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Lauren Krieg, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Nakeda Hall, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Whitney Essex, Cherokee Nation Health Services

Charge Nurse
Gala Searcy, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Kent Kinzer, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Kristen Potts, Norman Regional Health System
Kristina Dixon, INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center
Tonya Carver, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center

Critical Care
Ashley Irons, Norman Regional Health System
Joseph Muniz, INTEGRIS Health Canadian Valley Medical Center
Kristi Russell, Norman Regional Health System
Rebekah Miller, Norman Regional Health System
Victoria Fletcher, INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center

Ancy Varughese, INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center
Angela Woodard, SSM St. Anthony Hospital
Angela Kersh, INTEGRIS Health Edmond
Charlotte Prewitt, Meridian Technology Center
Denise Ruth, Marian University ABSN OKC

Amber Cotton, INTEGRIS Health Edmond
Jessica Low, SSM St. Anthony Hospital
Kristi Pratt, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Misty Gray, SSM St. Anthony Shawnee
Rodney Stewart, INTEGRIS Health

General Medical/Surgical
Amanda Avey, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Dakota Clayton, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center
 Elizabeth Trenary, INTEGRIS Health Edmond
Erika Regacho, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Kimberly Ruttan, SSM St. Anthony Hospital

Healthcare Technology Partner
Charlie Nguyen, INTEGRIS Health
Kevin Shuffield, INTEGRIS Health
Oshean Lopez, Ardent Health Services

House Supervisor
Danica Johnson, Bethany Children’s Health Center
Elisabeth Bell, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital
Helen Sears, Hillcrest Medical Center
Kristin Cleary, Bethany Children’s Health Center
Matthew Newcomb, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital

Infection Control, Occupational Health, Quality & Risk Management
Ashley Newton, Oklahoma Spine Hospital
Holly Dickson, Stillwater Medical Center
Julie McCurley-Smith, Norman Regional Health System
Kristine Beauchamp, SSM Health St. Anthony
Vickie Downing-Boyd, OCOM Hospital

Innovation in Clinical Advancement
Brenda Southwell-Warden, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center
Kristina Kriz, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Paula Griffith, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Rachel Talley, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Sandi Sharp-Hayes, Norman Regional Health System

Charity Plisek, Cherokee Nation Health Services
Esther Henning, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Gaylynne Russell, Specialty Care Pediatrics
Lisa Elbon, Three Rivers Health Center
Nikki Martinez, Comanche County Memorial Hospital

Amy Smith, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Brittany Dubberstein, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital
Elaine Banks, Ascension St. John
Kylee Turner, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Rachel Richardson, Specialty Care Pediatrics
Vera Daugherty, Bethany Children’s Health Center

Nursing Administration 
 Amber McKinzie, Bethany Children’s Health Center
Cynthia Leathers, Saint Francis Health System
Lisa Lumry, Ardent/Hillcrest Hospital Cushing
Liz Michael, Stillwater Medical Center
Marva Harrison, OCOM Hospital

Nursing Management
Brittany Ross, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center
Christina Ney, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Jessica Smith, OCOM Hospital
Lori Page, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital
Michele Bradshaw, INTEGRIS Health Edmond
Tina Edwards, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center

Public Health, Ambulatory Care, & Other Nursing Specialties
Antonesha Lewis, Aveanna Healthcare
Jackie Cole, Bethany Children’s Health Center
Jordan Fielden, Cherokee Nation Health Services
Lynn Mayes, Norman Regional Health System
Wanda Emmett, Integris Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation
Rising Star
Angela Ramming, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center
Courtney Ellis, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Doc Brown, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center
Kaelyn Terral, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center
Madison Brady, INTEGRIS Health Canadian Valley Health Center

Surgical Services
Dawn Lyles, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital Medical Center
Erik Guerra, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Lacey Brennan, OCOM Hospital
Kyndra Kreger, OCOM Hospital
Maira Zuniga Chavez, OCOM Hospital
Miranda Tierney, Jackson County Memorial Hospital

Women’s Health
Abbie Hixon, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Emily Harp, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Jessie  Knight, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Terrah Semrad, INTEGRIS Bass Baptist
Whitney Marrero, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center




Registered and Licenced Practical nurses in Oklahoma that are in good standing with the
Oklahoma State Board of Nursing are eligible.
Nominee must exemplify an extraordinary level of caring and compassion in the delivery of patient care services. Nominee is perceived as a leader among peers and affects positive change in the profession, workplace and community

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, Nurse Practitioner,
Nurse Anesthetists, and Nurse Psychotherapist.
Includes nurses in all clinical areas who function in the Charge,

Lead or Shift role.

Includes adult ICU/CCU, IMC, Cath lab and special procedures, PTCA Interventional Radiology, Cardiology, with intermediate care units. 
Includes University/Junior College, Hospital, and Community

(schools, etc.) and Research. 

ER, flight, ambulance, pre-hospital, telephone triage and Peds ER.
Medical, surgical, orthopedics, neurological, renal respiratory, cardiovascular, nursing dependent upon specialty for either category.

Recognizes a technology partner (or vendor) within a hospital setting or in the MCH Field (ex: Medical Device Equipment).

A registered, competent, professional nurse who supervises, directs, and supports the nursing staff on all shifts. Has strong clinical and problems solving skills and acts as administrative representative of the hospital in the absence when the Administrative team is not on site

Nursing in IC/EH and Occupational Health Settings, Performance Improvement, Quality Management, Risk Management, Informatics, Patient Advocate, Patient Safety in Community and/or Hospital.  

Recognizes an individual (nurse, doctor, researcher or other clinical provider) whose innovation has improved patient safety, quality of care and patient outcomes in the healthcare environment.  Innovation can be in the form of products, programs, projects, or interventions.
Includes Consultants, CNE's, CNO's, and VP's


Clinical Director/Nursing Manager/Administrative Directors

Nursery, general pediatric units, pediatric clinics, PICU, and NICU.

Public health, clinic, office and other ambulatory care settings and/or school, government agencies, Indian health facilities, reservations, Parish, prison nursing and/or transplant coordinator, nursing caring for patients in Behavioral Health, Hospice, Home Health, Long Term Acute, Rehabilitation, etc.

Nurse within the first 2 years of practice who exemplifies outstanding caring, leadership, and professionalism.
Perioperative, Preoperative, PACU, Day Surgery, AND/OR Endoscopy.
Antepartum, Intrapartum, Maternal/Baby Care, Postpartum, and Gynecology.



Melissa Alvillar
 is the Chief Nursing Officer at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. Melissa has been a nurse for 17 years. She has worked at Comanche County Memorial Hospital for 12 years, and was promoted to Chief Nursing Officer last year. Her husband is also a registered nurse at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. Together they have two beautiful boys, Roman, 9, and Joseph, 3. She is currently working on her Doctorate in Nursing Practice.

We celebrate the nursing profession by recognizing extraordinary nurses throughout our community and honoring those who make a difference in the lives of so many.

Whether serving as educators, researchers or health care providers, nurses are critical to improving the health of families, which is even more important now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For 85 years, March of Dimes has worked to improve the health of mothers and babies. By joining us to honor the outstanding health professionals at the Heroes in Action Awards gala, you’re helping March of Dimes continue to make a tremendous impact in our community through research, education, advocacy and outreach. 

Thank you for helping us recognize deserving nurses.

Selection Committee Chair                  Karyl James – Mercy Hospital

Leadership Committee                       
Angela Beddor – OCOM North

Angie Kamermayer – INTEGRIS Edmond
Annette Troxell – Norman Regional Health System
Britni McGill – Norman Regional Health System
Christine McMurray – Norman Regional Health System
Cindy Leathers – Saint Francis Hospital
Cynthia Standlee – Mercy Ada
Donna Delise – Community Hospital
Elain Richardson – SSM St. Anthony Hospital
Evelyn Radichel – Hillcrest Medical Center

Jackie Aguilar – Stillwater Medical Center
Jeanne Campbell – Stillwater Medical Center
Jill Hughes – INTEGRIS Health
Kammie Monarch –

Karen Navis – Ascension St. John Hospital
Krista Reyna – McBride Hospital
Kristen Webb – Duncan Regional Hospital
Lewis Perkins – INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center
Melissa Alvillar – Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Michelle Quinalty – Alliance Health Seminole
Shaun Horton – OU Medical Center Edmond
Shelley Wells – Northwest Oklahoma State University
Stacey Decker – Lakeside Women’s Hospital

Tina Pekrul – OSU Medical Center
Vicki Cantrell – INTEGRIS Canadian Valley


The March of Dimes in Oklahoma is celebrating the 14th anniversary of nursing excellence in the most meaningful way, through partnerships with hospitals, health care facilities, organizations, vendors and individuals.

Sponsorship activation opportunities are available at a variety of levels for our Oklahoma Heroes in Action (formerly Nurse of the Year), and this is a great way to provide integration and civic engagement while paying tribute to nurses. Partnerships can be customized for this special event based on your company's marketing needs and objectives. 
Sponsorship opportunities

Let's connect!  For more information on how to become involved or activate your brand with the Oklahoma Heroes in Action 13th anniversary campaign, contact Laurie Applekamp, Executive Director, (405) 415-1262 or [email protected]



Finalists are selected from hundreds of applications across the 17 different categories ranging from Advanced Practice to Surgical Services are reviewed and scored by high-ranking nurse executive leaders from hospitals across the state.  Through this competitive process, three finalists within each category are then selected. The March of Dimes is proud to honor the 2021 Nurse of the Year Finalists and award winners (in bold). 

Advanced Practice
Jaymi Smith, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Julee Ann Riley, INTEGRIS Baptist
Jill Nobles-Botkin, Oklahoma State Department of Health

Charge Nurse
Kent Kinzer, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Skylar Humble, INTEGRIS Miami Hospital
Kimberly Ferguson, Mercy Hospital

Critical Care
Senen Dadulo, INTEGRIS Heart Hospital
Riley Robinson, OU Health Edmond Medical Center
Melissa Bell, Stillwater Medical Center

Jennifer Sirridge, INTEGRIS Health
Karen Peters, The University of Oklahoma, College of Nursing
Stacy King, The University of Oklahoma, College of Nursing

Shareka Jackson, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital
Courtnie Alberry- Minnear, Comanche County Memorials Hospital
Deborah Slover, OU Medical Center Edmond

General Medical Surgical
Valerie Billips, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
elizabeth Mast, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Medical Center
Cheryl Greer, St. Anthony Hospital

Healthcare Technology Partner
Tammy Walsh, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Amanda Just, INTEGRIS Health

Infection Control
Heather Love, Comanche County Memorial
Debbie Cofer, Comanche County Memorial HospitalNecia Kimber, Stillwater Medical Center

Innovation in Maternal Child Health or Other Clinical Advancement
Rachel Talley, Comanche County Memorial
Emily Jones, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Fran and Earl Ziegler 
College of Nursing

Jessica Caldwell, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Linda Suderman, INTEGRIS Bass Health
Lindsay Dix, St. Francis Children's Hospital
Judith Toman , St. Francis Children's Hospital

Nursing Administration
Brandi Stewart, INTEGRIS Health Canadian Valley Hospital
Stacey Decker, Lakeside Women's Hospital
Kammie Monarch, The University of Oklahoma Medical Center

Nursing Management
Jennifer Renner, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Dustin Myers, INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center
Mandy Nelson, OU Health

Public Health
Megan Dart, INTEGRIS Grove Oklahoma
Paula Price, Norman Regional Health System
Dawn Kimmes, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

Rising Star
Abbie Hixon, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Sarah Robbins, Duncan Regional Health
Kyla Davis, Stillwater Medical Center

Surgical Services
Dawn Lyles, INTEGRIS Health Canadian Valley
Chaillie Fleming, INTEGRIS Health Canadian Valley Hosptial
Genevieve Zerger, SSM Health St. Anthony

Women’s Health
Tina Smith, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Jamie DeLay, INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center
Lacy Leaf, INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Women's Center


View our updated event acknowledgements and waivers here.