Southwest General Hospital

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“Nurse of the Year Awards” Pays Tribute to Ohio Nurses


Caroline Fienga
Interactive Media &
Public Relations Specialist
440-816-6723 (office)
216-299-7727 (cell)


“Nurse of the Year Awards” Pays Tribute to Ohio Nurses

Middleburg Hts., OH (Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017) – The March of Dimes organization paid tribute to the nursing profession in the state of Ohio at the fourth annual “Nurse of the Year” awards banquet.

The Nurse of the Year Awards is a state-wide event that recognizes exceptional nurses, creates awareness of professional excellence and promotes the future of the nursing profession, all while helping to advance the mission of the March of Dimes: to improve the health of babies by preventing premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.

Southwest General is proud to announce that Debbie Borowske, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC, director, Post-Acute Care Services, Southwest General, was recognized for her work in the field of long-term acute care, rehab, hospice and palliative care.

Debbie, a long-standing employee of the Health Center, has been integral in recent years in the expansion of the hospital’s post-acute care services, and holds leadership responsibility for Hospice, Home Health, Home Infusion, Inpatient Rehabilitation, Community Nursing and Outreach, School Health, Geriatric Services and Palliative Care.

Recognizing a gap in Southwest General’s Hospice Services, Debbie launched the community-based Palliative Care program, which carries an average caseload of 50 patients per month. This enhancement to the hospice care program consistently achieves the goal of improving life and providing comfort to those with serious, chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

Additional achievements include:

  • With the goal of improving patient care for discharged patients at risk for hospital readmission, Debbie was integral in the implementation of the TeleHealth program at Southwest General. The program went live in Nov. 2015, and reached maximum capacity within the first three months.
  • Debbie has been pivotal in the success of the hospital’s inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Care Unit. To assist in the patient experience, Debbie campaigned for additional space on the hospital’s Main Campus in order to convert the semi-private rooms to private rooms. With success, patients now have a private room for their average fifteen-day stay on the Unit. The reduced noise level, improved comfort and expanded family area, are conducive to faster healing and recovery.
  • Passionate about professional mentoring and educating, Debbie holds adjunct faculty appointments at Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton College of Nursing; Malone University, College of Nursing and Allied Health Services; and Kent State University, College of Nursing. 

“Southwest General, along with our patients, is extremely fortunate to have Debbie paving the path for us in the ever-changing Post-Acute Care sector,” said Kelly Linson, vice president, chief accounting officer, Southwest General. “Debbie is continuously evaluating how she can expand and optimize services and maintains strong relationships with a number of extended care facilities throughout the community in order to ensure the best continuum of care plan and coordination of services for patients. On behalf of the hospital’s administration, community members and patients, it is a great honor to nominate Debbie for this award.” 

The Nurse of the Year selection committee reviewed 297 nominations from 69 health care facilities throughout Ohio in 18 defined categories—ranging from Advanced Practice to Women’s Health and Centering.

The March of Dimes recognizes nurses at the forefront of their mission. The finalists were honored at a luncheon gala at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus. 

“We are honored to be able to host a special tribute that acknowledges the unsung heroes of the health care provider community. Nurses take on a variety of roles: caregivers, decision makers, advocates, researchers and problem solvers. I’m proud to be a part of an event that honors the tireless efforts of those dedicated to their practice,” said Kristina Burnside, chair, 2016 Ohio Nurse of the Year Selection Committee and nurse manager of the Acute Dialysis Unit at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.


About Southwest General
Southwest General is a private, not-for-profit, 350-bed acute care facility located in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Founded in 1920, Southwest General is home to nationally recognized physicians with full access to state-of-the-art technology. Southwest General has a deep commitment to providing personalized care and building a healthy future for the patients, families and communities it serves. For more information, visit or find Southwest General on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

About The March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefitted from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at For the latest resources and information, visit or Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.