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Martha Jefferson Nurse Receives National Award for Excellence - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Nurse Receives National Award for Excellence

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Kristin Von Thelen receives award at MJH Kristin Von Thelen receives award at MJH

No one appreciates a caring nurse more than a patient in need. But now a national group is showing its appreciation too.

Kristin Von Thelen is one of six care providers across the country to be named a national award winner. She was selected because of her extraordinary patient care, sacrifice and innovation.

Wednesday started like any other day at work for Von Thelen, listening to a baby's heartbeat and taking care of a woman in her final hours of pregnancy - until she found out she is the winner of the 11th annual Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award. Von Thelen is the national grand prize winner in the registered nurse category.

"It's just an unbelievably humbling and amazing thing and very honoring and I just feel so unbelievably grateful for it," she said.

Von Thelen has been a nurse for 29 years and has taken six trips to India to care for women and children there. Jean Blankenship, a co-worker of Von Thelen's at Martha Jefferson, nominated her for the award. Blankenship says she was amazed at her passion for mission work and her volunteer efforts in the community.

"When she talked about going to India and you know working in rudimentary conditions to save lives and change lives and educate people I was just amazed and inspired," she said.

When Von Thelen got the chance to read the letter Blankenship submitted for her nomination, she felt both proud and emotional.

"I truly burst down in tears in front of the computer and I was just so honored and so amazed to read about this person she was describing and it was me and I was just like ‘wow I can't believe this,'" Von Thelen said.

Von Thelen is being awarded an all-expense-paid Caribbean cruise for two as a "thank you" from Cherokee.

As if the award wasn't a surprise enough, Von Thelen's mom also surprised her at the ceremony, after coming all the way from New York.

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