McNamara honored with 2022 Meghan E. Handler ‘Excellence in Nursing’ memorial award

(L-R): Adirondack Health’s Melissa Hodgson, Gwenyth McNamara and Carrie Reardon.
December 23, 2022

SARANAC LAKE – Adirondack Health has named registered nurse Gwenyth McNamara as the 2022 recipient of the Meghan E. Handler “Excellence in Nursing” memorial award.

The award, established by Dr. Richard and Leslie Handler in memory of their daughter, Meghan, is given annually to a registered nurse employed by Adirondack Health with one to three years of professional experience. The recipient must show a commitment to improving and expanding their knowledge base, excellent technical skills, and efficiency, as well as demonstrate compassion and rapport with patients’ families, significant others, and colleagues.

McNamara joined Adirondack Medical Center in 2020 on the medical/surgical floors, directly after earning her registered nursing degree from North Country Community College. She went on to care for patients on the ambulatory surgery/endoscopy units and is most recently a part of Adirondack Health’s Mountain Health Center in Keene.

“Launching my career during a pandemic is something I will never forget,” McNamara said. “Adirondack Health was my first and only pick for employment. I knew they would provide the support I needed to get on my feet as a new nurse. I absolutely loved working at AMC, but the Keene health center is a very special place, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work close to home with two of the most amazing female providers, Lindsey Wilhelm, DO and Devon McCabe, FNP. And as an added bonus, I get to work with pediatric patients more, which is the absolute best!”

After learning about Meghan Handler's nursing legacy and the award's past recipients, McNamara said she had goosebumps upon being presented the award.

“In Meghan’s honor, I will do my best to continue leading a compassionate nursing practice and will always try to light up a room even on the darkest of days,” she said.

The Meghan E. Handler “Excellence in Nursing” memorial award is accompanied by a check for $500.

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