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Nursing Excellence Award

The Nursing Excellence Award for Leadership or for Clinical Practice honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to nursing in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana. The awards were presented in conjunction with the annual presentation of nursing scholarships on May 6, 2019.


The InterAct for Change Board of Trustees / Scholarship Committee annually appoints a committee to review nominations and to select the honoree(s) for the award. Awards are given for Leadership and for Clinical Practice.


The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding contributions to nursing in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana. Nominees should exemplify contributions in one or more of the following ways:

  • Longstanding leadership in nursing
  • Exceptional clinical practice or professional care delivery
  • Creativity in responding to opportunities or challenges
  • Significant positive impact on nursing issues, care delivery, education, or practice


These awards recognize contributions to nursing made by individuals in a variety of practice settings, institutions, and organizations. We are purposefully casting our net broadly. Any registered nurse who is actively involved in a paid or volunteer leadership capacity -for example, as a board member, executive, manager, or other leadership capacity - is eligible to be nominated. Self nominations are welcome.

2019 winners

Ashel Kreutzkamp

Kreutzkamp was honored for her leadership efforts to reduce the harm brought by opioid use in Northern Kentucky. As Nurse Manager in the emergency department at St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas, Kreutzkamp was one of the first to recognize the increase in opioid-related overdoses in 2011, and began tracking data. Since then, she has worked to improve care for people with substance use disorders by increasing access to the overdose reversal drug Narcan, bringing peer counselors into the emergency department and helping link emergency patients to substance abuse treatment. Kreutzkamp is now recognized among health care leaders in the region, the state and nationally as an advocate for ways to address addiction as a medical illness, and often speaks on the topic at conferences and with media outlets.


Abbie Crookham

For four years, Crookham has been the school nurse at Cincinnati’s Deaconess Health Check school-based health center, which serves both Western Hills and Dater high schools. She received the clinical practice award in recognition of her ability to care for both the physical health needs—including immunizations, diabetes care and infectious diseases—as well as the social/emotional health needs of the teenagers she serves. She goes beyond the standards of care for students struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts and becomes the trusted caring adult supporting students dealing with adverse childhood experiences. To further develop her students’ ability to deal with behavioral health issues, Crookham volunteered to represent the school-based health center on the school’s planning team for trauma-informed care and partnered with counselors from Lighthouse Youth Services.

Questions? Contact Francie Wolgin at (513) 458-6612 or

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