LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The fourth annual Kelsie Small Future Healer Award was presented to Ashley Zahniser, RN, in the Trauma ICU at UofL Health – UofL Hospital. Ashley was selected because of her dedication to the medical field and her commitment to serving patients each and every day.

The award was established in 2021 in honor of Kelsie Small, a Central High School graduate and nursing student at Northern Kentucky University, who was killed the day before Mother’s Day in 2020. Kelsie loved helping others. Her mother, Delisa Love, said she would do anything for anyone and was determined to make a difference in life. It’s why, each year, the award is presented to a medical professional at UofL Health who exemplifies excellence, caring, compassion and commitment to education.

Ashley started as a new-graduate RN in April 2021. Those who nominated her recognized her for her “above and beyond care” each time she steps foot onto the 8th Floor, West hospital wing to take care of trauma patients in the ICU. Ashley has been called a “constant advocate” for her patients and their families. She’s been seen holding hands during a patient’s final moments without friends or families by their side, and providing fingerprints and rhythm strips to loved ones of those that have passed.

This year, Ashley achieved her goal of becoming a trauma-certified RN. She’s an example to those around her—and the kind of nurse Kelsie Small aspired to be—and keeps her memory alive.

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UofL Health

UofL Health is a fully integrated regional academic health system with eight hospitals, four medical centers, Brown Cancer Center, Eye Institute, nearly 200 physician practice locations, and more than 1,000 providers in Louisville and the surrounding counties, including southern Indiana. Additional access to UofL Health is provided through a partnership with Carroll County Memorial Hospital. With more than 13,000 team members – physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and other highly-skilled health care professionals, UofL Health is focused on one mission: to transform the health of communities we serve through compassionate, innovative, patient-centered care.

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