Carla Mensonides received a Nursing Excellence Award for her mentoring program.
NurseWeek magazine selected Mensonides from a group of five finalists at a gala in Los Angeles.
Mensonides’ director, Betty Lopez, nominated Mensonides for her work as a healthcare career coordinator at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.
Mensonides faced competition from much larger hospitals, including UCLA, Loma Linda, and UCSF.
“Just being recognized by my director was a ‘performance evaluation’ of a lifetime. Talk about a pinnacle experience,” said Mensonides.
Mensonides has been a nurse for more than 20 years but has spent the past 10 mentoring young people and adults interested in the health-care field. She reaches 750-1,000 students annually.
By getting into schools and reaching out to at-risk teens, Mensonides has offered a vision of a brighter future to struggling students. The program provides employment, scholarships, and support for students entering the health-care profession.
“She is present in their classrooms or at their clinical sites, welcoming them and assuring them that our organization is a window to their potential future,” said Lopez.
Mensonides speaks to many organizations about the health-care field, provides job-shadowing opportunities, and promotes those pursuing careers in health care.
“I tell students that in this career they can make a difference in people’s lives every day,” said Mensonides.