Local Nurse Wins State Nurse of the Year

For the past five years, Jennifer Miner has spent her days at the Chesterly Meadows, working with patients diagnosed with dementia.

"I just really gravitated to the elderly when I was working in the emergency department," said Miner, "That just seemed to be a passion."

However, Miner never expected that passion to become something more.

Two weeks ago, Miner was named the Washington State Nurse of the Year for assisted living facilities -- that selection was made by the Washington Health Care Association.

She was chosen from over 400 different assisted living centers across the state.

There are currently about 90 patients at the assisted living center, 16 of those fall under Jennifer Miner's care.

Colleagues say Jennifer's sense of responsibility, and her even bigger heart, makes her winning the award no surprise to them.

"[Miner] shows that in her compassion, she shows that with her abilities and her skills to recognize what each of the residents need," said Executive Director Susan Vantuinen, "And she takes care of the families as well."

"The Yakima Valley actually does a wonderful job of taking care of our seniors in special populations with dementia and mental health issues," said Miner, "I believe Yakima is one of the best at doing it."

Miner says she will find out in June if she qualifies as a candidate for the National Nurse of the Year.