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Salinas Valley Health Nurse Aide Receives STAR Award

Salinas Valley Health Nurse Aide Receives STAR Award

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

Salinas Valley Health has recognized Jackie Esparza-Valdez with the STAR Award for her extraordinary compassion, knowledge, insight, and dedication to patients. Esparza-Valdez is a Certified Nurse Aide who exemplifies the Salinas Valley Health STAR values- Support, Teamwork, Accountability and Respect. She received the STAR Award in a special ceremony at the medical center and was recognized by the publicly elected Board of Directors during the board’s January meeting.

“This is such an honor,” says Jackie Esparza-Valdez, CNA, HHA a nurse aide in the OrthoNeuro Spine Unit at Salinas Valley Health Medical Center. “When I walk in to the medical center, it feels like home. I take care of our patients as if they were my parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I see them like family and I work with an amazing team.”

Jackie Esparza-Valdez began working at Salinas Valley Health as a Nurse Aide in the Oncology Department in February of 1998. After working in that department for 17 years, she transferred to the OrthoNeuro and Spine Unit. This is Jackie’s 4th nomination for the STAR Award.

“Jackie is one of our exceptional nurse aides,” says Christie Gonder, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at Salinas Valley Health. “Every day she provides compassionate and exceptional care to our patients. She does her work with a smile which makes our patients feel at home.”

A patient wrote that after surgery, Esparza-Valdez taught her how to push herself up on the bed to avoid causing pain. That person also wrote that Jackie was always very attentive to her needs. A co-worker praised Jackie for going above and beyond in taking care of patients, writing “I love the care Jackie provides, I want to clone her.” Another colleague complimented Jackie for being “kind, compassionate and for always being willing to help.”

Several outstanding employees received STAR nominations including Miranda Aguilar, Aida Aromin, Xochil Benting, Christina Correa, Matt Countryman, Liz Garcia, Cyndie Mar, Dolores Martinez, Ariel Mendoza, Norma Merser, Maria Meza, Crystal Morales, Maria Navarro, Christina Padilla, Jeanette Pineda, Renee Salazar, Aida Solorio-Holman, Shalong "Noi" Teats, Angelica Villarreal, Carolyn Yoakum, and Nellie Zambrano.

Every month, Salinas Valley Health recognizes an outstanding employee with a STAR Award (for all staff) or a DAISY Award (for nurses). Nomination forms and drop boxes are located throughout the medical center. To learn more about the awards visit Nurse Recognition | Salinas Valley Health or STAR Award | Monterey County Health System (

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