Current Report Articles
Nurse Advocates for Health Equity and New Parents

Whitney Winder (Sept. 1, 2023) – The Kansas Hospital Association's Health Care Worker of the Year Award highlights hospital employees who have made a significant contribution to the betterment of their hospital. These individuals are nominated for this award because they routinely go above and beyond the call of duty.

Whitney Winder is dedicated to providing outstanding and equitable patient care. As a registered nurse with Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, Winder epitomizes compassionate care and teamwork.

Smith County Memorial Hospital is located in a maternity desert, so Winder seeks educational opportunities to improve her skills to maintain obstetrics labor and delivery services. Her passion for serving lower socio-economic families fuels her tenacious pursuit of national and regional grants. She recently coordinated a team of three nurses, including herself, to complete a three-day training with Drive Safe Kansas to become certified as child passenger safety technicians.

Winder works to achieve health equity using evidence-based infant nutrition practices. Her commitment to helping underserved babies thrive in their homes led her to implement the EMPower Best Practices at SCMH as part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Thanks to her work to receive a national grant, the EMPower educational resource is now available to the nursing staff. Winder also shares her knowledge by teaching the EMPower Best Practices to every nurse in Smith County, as well as leading regional educational training on infant nutrition.

Winder is empathetic and understanding of the needs of new parents and families. She became a certified lactation educator to offer breastfeeding support to new parents. Educating parents is her passion because she believes it helps parents succeed while alleviating stress. She also teaches childbirth and baby basics classes in the community four times a year and includes time in the courses for parents to ask questions and get to know other families in the area.

Winder will be recognized, along with other Health Care Worker of the Year nominees, during the KHA Awards Luncheon at the 2023 KHA Annual Convention, on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Hyatt Regency Wichita/Century II Convention Center in Wichita.
--Shelby Stacy