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AdventHealth Shawnee Mission employees receive awards from The Research Foundation

Continuing education award winners

KANSAS CITY, Mo., (Jul. 13, 2023) – The Research Foundation’s annual continuing education awards given to health care workers at regional hospitals have been presented to two AdventHealth Shawnee Mission employees. Beth Cotton is the 2023 recipient of the Hal M. Quinn Excellence in Nursing Award and J. Beth Porter-Sakumura is the 2023 recipient of the Kathy DeGrande Award for Excellence.

Cotton has been a nurse for 28 years and is currently a lactation consultant for AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. She is the only night shift lactation consultant and has served as the lead consultant for their weekly breastfeeding support group for several years. Cotton’s coworkers describe her as a “warm hug” and is loved by fellow nurses and patients alike.

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 who commits to excellent patient care, has an interest in the welfare of others, inspires nurses to be their very best; serves as role model for other nurses, possesses personal integrity, and is involved in the community.

Porter-Sakumura is also a lactation consultant at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. Working as a nurse for 18 years, she consistently strives to keep her department up-to-date with the latest literature and evidence-based practices related to their work. She voluntarily revamped their patient education curriculum, including valuable handouts for breastfeeding patients. She also helped train employees who work for the outpatient lactation clinic and breastfeeding support group.

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, Children’s Mercy Hospital, 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.