Tanya Peterson is a registered nurse at the Viera Outpatient Clinic near Melbourne, Florida, and a member of AFGE Local 599. She has just won the 2014 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Award for Excellence in the Staff Nurse category for her excellent work serving veterans. AFGE is proud of Peterson and congratulates her on her accomplishment.
"This is just another example of our hard working member doing great things for our veterans. They are very satisfied with the service she provides," said Paul Lee, vice president of AFGE Florida State Council 41 who personally recruited Peterson into Local 599 eight years ago. "She has been a great supporter of our Local."
But because of budget cuts, Lee said the VA is not holding its annual award ceremony usually held in October in Washington, D.C. to recognize outstanding employees this year. The council is considering having a celebration for her at an upcoming meeting in Florida in September.
AFGE Local 559 President Terrance Watts, who is the Local president throughout this time, said Peterson’s outstanding work is a true testament to AFGE members’ commitment to serving veterans.
In an interview with the VA, Peterson was thrilled to receive such recognition at the national level after having won an award at the Veterans Integrated Service Network 8 (VISN) level.
"I work in a department where veterans are usually apprehensive walking in the door, due to the invasive nature of what we do in endoscopy," Peterson said. "So I do my best to relax them and let them know they're cared for here, and of course that begins with a big smile. I educate them, talk with them about their concerns, and answer their questions to do the best I can to keep them in that home environment."
Peterson's supervisor Dawn Mossing praised her work.
"Obviously Tanya provides exceptional care to our Veterans at the Viera OPC," she said. "She is recognized among the staff as an outstanding nurse, one that works closely with our providers and staff to provide superior care to each and every veteran."