End-of-Life Care Advocacy Group Announces Illinois Compassion in Nursing Award Winners

Pandemic Highlights Value of Nursing and Compassionate Care at the End of Life

Compassion & Choices today announced its first-ever Illinois Compassion in Nursing Award winners in honor of National Nurses Day on May 6, 2021.

In addition to recognizing excellence in patient care, the licensed nurses were also honored for their compassion and support for patients at the end of life and for their commitment to the patient's family and loved ones. The winners were nominated by the Central Illinois and Chicago chapters and the President’s Office of the Greater Illinois Black Nurses Association.

“Each of these nurses bring their best every day, living our organization’s mission of improving care and expanding options at life’s end while making a profound difference for the patients and the families they serve,” said Amy Sherman, regional campaign and outreach manager for Compassion & Choices. “These leaders also show a commitment to the public through community service and to the professional community through education and advocacy.”

The winners  are:

  • Erma Clark, (Bolingbrook), OSF Little Company of Mary Medical Center
  • Jennifer Mata Gomboa, (Aurora) Kane County Public Health
  • Charellise (Lee) Coleman (Chicago), DeVita Kidney Care

“These heroes worked since early in the pandemic putting aside their personal health and safety to test, treat and vaccinate hundreds of patients,” said Patricia Roberts, president of the Greater Illinois Black Nurses Association (GIBNA). “They worked endless hours  beyond their scheduled work days to serve their clients and their families. The passion for their job and clients has not gone unnoticed.”

Myra Gutierrez, medical assistant of OSF Little Company of Mary Health Center, praised Clark for her compassionate care.

"I was initially concerned about getting the vaccine because of my pregnancy and my prior case of COVID-19,” she said. “Erma went out of way to answer my questions, share informational resources and address my concerns. I was able to make the right decision for me and my baby to get the vaccine because of Erma’s care and compassion.”