Nurses provide exceptional care in the La Crosse and Winona area. Every day at all hours, they show caring compassion and dedication during what can be terribly trying times for patients.

That commitment to excellence is behind “Nurses: The Heart of Healthcare,” sponsored by the River Valley Media Group.

We asked for nominations of outstanding nurses.

More than 120 nominations poured in — heartfelt praise from patients, co-workers and others who have been inspired by the outstanding service of the terrific nurses who serve us in the La Crosse and Winona area.

A panel of judges selected 10 nurses who stood out for their outstanding service and patient-first compassion.

Those outstanding nominees below. Then came the really hard part — selecting the nurse of the year.

Alyse Betchner, an oncology and hospice nurse for Gundersen Health System, receives our inaugural nurse of the year honor.

What makes her work exceptional? Constant commitment.

“I think that’s why so many of us are good nurses, because we can’t shut off the work and home,” she said. “We sit around and think about patients all the time, hope they’re having a good day. Even if we can’t be there, we’re still thinking about them.”

The top nurses were selected by a panel that included:

  • Tim Kotnour, president, State Bank Financial
  • Ryan Smith, general manager, Dahl Subaru
  • Joanne Sandvick, project manager, La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium
  • Josh Trust, publisher/president, River Valley Media Group.

The nurses were honored at a gala May 8 at Court Above Main in La Crosse.

Sponsors of the event included Gundersen Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System, Winona Health, Dahl Automotive and 4 Sisters.

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