Lisa Sollars’ “Aha!” moment came at the tender age of 7 when she broke her arm and came face-to-face with healthcare professionals. Through that nurturing experience, Sollars knew exactly what was in store for her future: a nursing career. Sollars’ childhood epiphany came true following graduation from Missouri Western State University and nursing school in the mid-1980s when she went to work at a hospital in St. Joseph, MO. In 1986 Sollars took an orthopedic surgical nurse job at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, and that has been her place of employment for 25 years. Known as a take-charge individual whose passion for the profession has motivated many young nurses she’s mentored over the years, Sollars has dedicated herself to the patient experience.
Because of that unwavering commitment to excellence in patient care for a quarter century, Lisa Sollars, RN, received Research Medical Center’s coveted Medical Staff Appreciation Award during a late 2010 ceremony. Robert Bruce, MD, has worked with Sollars since 1988 and presented the award. “Lisa has witnessed many changes in the operating room at Research Medical Center,” says Bruce. “She has remained very committed to Research and in addition to being a busy surgical nurse, took care of two foster children at separate times during her demanding career. That required a lot of physical and emotional stress, but she remained firm and dedicated.”
The Medical Staff Appreciation Award was developed in 1981 at Research Medical Center with the purpose of recognizing employees who play a non-physician, non-administrative and non-trustee role at the hospital. Recipients are honored for their continuous efforts, loyalty and support of the hospital’s mission to provide compassionate patient care. Like the honorees before her, Sollars receives financial support for an educational conference to further her nursing knowledge.
Katherine Burton, director of Surgical Services at Research Medical Center, says Sollars has played an integral role in shaping many of the surgery department’s staff. “Lisa took me under her wing many years ago and inspired me to be the best nurse I could be,” says Burton. “It comes to me as no surprise that she would receive this great honor from the physicians. Lisa’s support of the surgeons is constantly proven through her drive to supply them with the right equipment, instruments and trained staff to provide the best possible patient care.”
Kevin Hicks, chief executive officer of Research Medical Center, says Sollars is a shining example of the “care” in healthcare. “She has dedicated herself to Research Medical Center’s patients, surgeons and staff and we are all honored to work beside her,” says Hicks.
Burton says Sollars has a personal expression familiar to her colleagues. “She often says at the end of a day, ‘See you tomorrow. They’re counting on us,’” says Burton. “By ‘they,’ Lisa means every patient, surgeon and staff member that she comes in contact with on a daily basis.’”