Published on March 14, 2014

Three at Mary Greeley Medical Center Named to 2014 '100 Great Iowa Nurses' List

Mary Greeley Medical Center is proud to announce that Neal Loes, Rachel Haugland, and Ruth Castro Santana have been named to the 100 Great Iowa Nurses list for 2014.

Great Iowa Nurses

Pictured from left are Mary Greeley's
2014 'Great Iowa Nurses,' Neal Loes,
Rachel Haugland & Ruth Castro Santana.

Loes, Castro Santana and Haugland were nominated by their Mary Greeley colleagues, and each of them was cited for their dedication to patient care. The three also had to meet certain criteria to be selected as “Great Iowa Nurses.” A Great Iowa Nurse must be registered as a nurse in the state of Iowa, have practiced nursing for a minimum of three years and made a significant contribution to the profession of nursing.

Neal Loes, vice president and chief nursing officer at Mary Greeley since 1993, has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare. He previously worked as a staff nurse and as director of quality management at Mary Greeley. In his nomination, Loes was praised for his “boundless empathy, his deep insights into the nursing profession, and his lively sense of humor.” Loes is an active leader in the nursing profession and is a member of both the Des Moines Area Community College and Grand View College Nursing Advisory Boards. He has led the effort to increase the number of nurses with bachelor’s degrees in nursing at Mary Greeley as studies show that a higher percentage of BSN prepared nurses can increase patient satisfaction and decrease mortality.

Castro Santana started out as a unit secretary on the inpatient oncology unit at Mary Greeley Medical Center in 1999. She took the courses required to become a patient care technician and then went back to school to become a registered nurse. She is the co-chair for Mary Greeley’s Nursing Quality Council and also serves as a preceptor for new nurses. Castro Santana is fluent in Spanish and often helps translate for patients and families. “She is a calming force for patients and co-workers on the inpatient oncology unit where she works,” read her nomination. “She has come in to the hospital on her days off to translate important medical information for patients who were unable to speak any English and had no family members that were able to assist with complicated medical information.”

Rachel Haugland is a registered nurse in Ambulatory Care. She began as a registered nurse at Mary Greeley in 1986. In her nomination, Haugland was praised for being a patient advocate. There are several stories about Haugland’s commitment to patient care, including one that received more than 10,000 views on Mary Greeley’s Facebook page. Another story described in the nomination involved Haugland’s discovery of a patient’s previously undiagnosed heart murmur during a routine pre-operative physical examination. Haugland immediately brought the discovery to the attention of the surgeon and anesthesiologist. The surgeon praised Haugland’s “excellence in nursing and the value that she adds to our team of nurses here at Mary Greeley Medical Center.”

Loes, Castro Santana and Haugland will be among those honored at the annual celebration of Iowa’s Great Nurses on Sunday, May 4, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.