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The Research Foundation provides continuing education awards to Children’s Mercy Hospital employees

Jacque Ashbaugh and Michele Smith

KANSAS CITY, Mo., (July 18, 2022) – The Research Foundation’s annual continuing education awards given to health care workers at regional hospitals have been presented to two Children’s Mercy Hospital employees. Jacque Ashbaugh, RN, BSN, is the 2022 recipient of the Hal M. Quinn Excellence in Nursing Award and Michele Smith is the 2022 recipient of the Kathy DeGrande Award for Excellence.

Ashbaugh, who has been a nurse for 45 years, works in the intensive care nursery at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She has been involved in the development of her unit by attending and sharing CNE opportunities with her coworkers, advocating for diabetes education in Washington D.C., and working directly with physicians to improve long-term outcomes for the Children’s Mercy neonatal intensive care population. Ashbaugh’s coworkers describe her as having excellent critical care skills and being an exceptional resource for others in the unit.

The Hal M. Quinn Excellence in Nursing Award was created in honor of former board member and chairman of The Research Foundation, Hal Quinn. Quinn passed away May 2013. The award provides $1,500 for continuing education to a nurse that excels in patient care.

Smith is an emergency department technician at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas. She is an astute observer of patients’ and coworkers’ needs and offers innovative solutions for challenges that arise in the emergency department, including reutilizing an unused space for an increasing population of patients. Smith was described as an asset to both her department and Children’s Mercy Hospital.

The Kathy DeGrande Award for Excellence was created to honor Kathy DeGrande, former vice president and chief financial officer at Research Medical Center and Research Belton Hospital, now Belton Regional Medical Center. DeGrande passed away March 2000. The award provides $1,000 for continuing education to a full-time or part-time health care professional that is committed to excellence, abiding interest in the welfare of their co-workers, has a zest for life, and a sense of humor.

Both awards are given annually to area health care professionals who work at hospitals in the region including Belton Regional Medical Center, Cass Regional Medical Center, Centerpoint Medical Center, Golden Valley Medical Center, Liberty Hospital, Olathe Medical Center, Research Medical Center, Truman Medical Center, and Western Missouri Medical Center. Funds can be used to attend local, regional, or national symposiums. They can also be applied to tuition, textbooks, journals, and other professional materials.

The Research Foundation supports professional development in health care through several other continuing education opportunities. Visit to learn more.