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Filipina nurse shines in US

By Cheeko Ruiz
Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Filipino-American has been named one of the 10 Best Nurse Leaders of the United States, an honor that Los Angeles-based senior nurse Lily Maniquiz Lara finds unparalleled.

Lara, nurse manager of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System’s Nursing Home Care Unit 213-2, won the 2006 ADVANCE for Nurses Journal’s Best Nurse Leader award. Vital to Lara’s winning was the successful implementation of a program that she created for the reduction of patient fall incidents. This program has been adopted as model for other fall prevention programs.

“I was challenged by my senior leadership team to address the increasing patient fall incidents in our unit. What I did was, together with my multi-disciplinary staff, implement specific changes that became a four-pronged approach to reduce patient falls,” Lara shared in an e-mail to The STAR.

The approach included hourly safety checks, assessment, communication with and assistance to patients.

Lara’s program was initially met with resistance by nursing assistants who felt the extra duties would stress an already heavy workload. But being a true leader, Lara not only gave orders but personally went on rounds with her staff, in the process showing them how the new procedure could benefit patients.

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