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Avera’s Gunderson named one of 100 Great Iowa Nurses

By Staff | May 14, 2008

Annesley Gunderson was joined by her fellow Avera Holy Family Health employees her nominated her for the award as one of 100 Great Iowa Nurses May 4 in West Des Moines. From left are Christy Flaherty, Bev Mathiowetz, Nancy Diekmann, Gunderson, Sherry Mace, and Velvet Lundren. The award and program were sponsored by the University of Iowa College of Nursing and the Iowa Nurses Association. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

When you’re one in 100 in Iowa, you know you have to be good.

Annesley Gunderson was successfully nominated by her peers at Avera Holy Family Health in Estherville for the 100 Great Iowa Nurses. Gunderson was honored May 4 in West Des Moines in the celebration sponsored by the University of Iowa College of Nursing and the Iowa Nurses Association.

Gunderson was also honored Thursday by her fellow Avera Holy Family Health employees who all donned traditional nursing hats in her honor.

“This honor isn’t for me,” Gunderson said, lavishing praise on her co-workers. “I am the person I am today because of the people that gave so much to me.”

Following is the text of Gunderson’s acceptance speech May 4:

With deep appreciation and surprise, I would like to thank each of you for nominating me for the “100 Great Nurses of Iowa, 2008” award.

As we journey through life, we come to the realization that life is built on the labors of our coworkers and mentors, and how earnestly we must exert ourselves in order to give in return as much as we have received.

Each day in my career, I have prayed the Lord would walk with me and give me guidance as I cared for my patients and coworkers. But it has been the support, teamwork, and commitment of coworkers sharing the same goal, to care for others, that has brought so much meaning to my nursing career.

It is said, “Every life leaves a fiber of it interwoven in the world.” On May 4, I will be accepting this award on behalf of nurses, past and present, who have mentored me, given so much to me and have touched my life during my 42-year nursing career.

Gunderson graduated from the Evangelical School of Nursing in Marshalltown Iowa in 1966. During her 42-year career, she has practiced in a variety of nursing fields including psychiatric nurse, clinic nurse, continuing education instructor for Iowa Lakes Community College, medical surgical nurse, nursing supervisor, general orientation coordinator, utilization review nurse, the HRSA Bioterrorism representative for Avera Holy Family, and currently Employee Health with Infection Control that she has practiced since 1989. She has been employed at Avera Holy Family for 32 years of her 42-year nursing career.

“One of the opportunities that Avera Holy Family has provided to me has been to grow professionally in my career,” Gunderson said.