Showing gratitude during UF Health Nurses Week

2022 UF Health Nurse of the Year Kelli Stewart, RN, observes an IV solution bag.
Nurse of the Year Kelli Stewart, RN

When we think of gratitude at UF Health, we consider the wonderful ways patients and families show appreciation to our staff. 

Last month, your support made our nurses feel cherished during UF Health Nurses Week. Through the Nourish a Nurse campaign, we surprised nurses with tasty treats and special meals – all made possible by UF Health patients, donors and friends. Your generosity totaled nearly $12,000 in donated treats for our nursing staff! Community businesses, like B’z Gelati and Halo Potato Donuts, partnered with us to provide these meals and treats.

Your gift not only nourished our nurses but also furthered the impact of the UF Health Shands Nursing Continuing Education Fund.

“I cannot fully express my gratitude for all the ways our nurses have received acknowledgment for their diligence and representing our shared values,” said Irene Alexaitis, D.N.P., R.N., NEA-BC, UF Health Shands chief nursing officer and nursing and patient services vice president. “We recognize that our nurses are a valuable part of the UF Health family. The Nourish a Nurse campaign provided the opportunity for the community to recognize the care, compassion and leadership our nurses demonstrate every day.”

This year’s UF Health Nurses Week theme celebrated being “Rooted in Leadership, Wellness, Innovation and Solidarity,” and our nurses exemplify these principles every day. The passion with which they tackle challenges reminds us of the impact our nurses have within health care.

“I feel like I have the best job in the whole hospital,” said Lauren Arce, MSN, RN, OCN, AHN-BC, nurse coordinator. “I get to focus on humanizing the health care experience, both for patients and families, as well as our health care providers.”

A special thanks to the following community partners for their generous in-kind food contributions:

B’z Gelati

An orange gelati, red and white-swirled gelati and white gelati from B's Gelati.


Nuggets from Chick-fil-A.


Three hard-shelled tacos with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese from Chuy's. Rice is on the left of the tacos.


An assortment of donuts from Dunkin'.

Halo Potato Donuts

A donut with cinnamon crumbs and white, vanilla glaze from Halo Potato.


Buffalo wings with a side of ranch dressing from Hooters.

Jimmy John’s

Jimmy John's sandwiches in a catering box.

Pomodoro Café

Spaghetti with red pasta sauce is twirled around a silver fork from Pomodoro Cafe.

Sonic Drive-In

Six slushes from Sonic Drive-In. Each slush is a different color, including purple, white, yellow, green, blue and pink. The white Sonic Drive-In cups have red straws sticking out of the top.