May 28th, 2002

Contact:      Jennifer Kurczek
      Community Relations Director

      (920)361-5481 or


  Lori Kray named Community Health Network’s

‘Commitment to Healthcare Award’ winner


A surgical technician at Berlin Memorial Hospital (BMH) has been honored with Community Health Network 9th annual “Commitment to Healthcare Award.” The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a non-traditional student from this area who is pursuing a career in the healthcare field.


The Commitment to Healthcare Award has traditionally been given to area residents who are both changing careers and returning to school to pursue a new career path, or to those seeking advanced degrees or training in their present healthcare occupation.


Working in the BMH surgical department assisting surgeons during procedures for the past several years, Kray earned her degree as a licensed practical nurse from North Iowa Community College in Mason City, Iowa. She recently started coursework in the registered nurse (RN) program through Excelsior College. Her educational goal is to complete the RN program and continue working in the hospital setting.


“I have enjoyed working as a surgical technologist in surgery for many years, but I’ve reached a point of wanting more,” Kray said in her application essay. “The time has come for new challenges and I feel that I can help even more people with the extra education.”


Those whose work closely with Kray agree that she has promising potential as an RN.


“Lori has a quality in which I feel very strongly that all healthcare workers need to possess: an ethical and responsible character,” said Diana Krause, RN, co-manager of the BMH Surgical Department. “She demonstrates strong and compassionate convictions to maintain the highest quality of care to our BMH patients. She is not afraid of the challenges her decision (to pursue and RN degree) will bring nor is she afraid to work hard to achieve her goals.”


“For the past 17 years, I have had the pleasure working with Lori in the operating room,” said Dr. Gerald Clarke, ophthalmologist who serves BMH. “She is knowledgeable, responsive, and always proactive in terms of thinking of possible complications that could occur during a surgery. Because of her intelligence, her heart, and her hard work and diligence, I heartily recommend Lori as a candidate for this scholarship and the RN degree program.”


In fact, the professional chemistry Kray and Dr. Clarke share has been integral in their work as medical missionaries. For the past three years, the duo – along with Clarke’s family and other community volunteers – have traveled to the Honduras, where they’ve served underprivileged patients in the Sight to the Blind eye care clinic there. During their week-long trips, the team performed cataract and other eye surgeries, as well as routine examinations and treatments.


Closer to home, in addition to her professional duties, Kray balances her career schedule with home and community responsibilities. She is the wife of Dennis, and mother of two busy children, Katie, 13 and Karrie, 14 – and lends her medical skills to the Berlin Barracuda Swim Team. Kray is also an active member of Faith Community Church in Berlin, and a former member of the Jolly Jill Homemakers club and Berlin Parent Teacher Organization.


“It is a tremendous honor to be given the Commitment to Healthcare Award,” she said. “As a community member and employee, I am thankful that CHN honors those that are trying to improve their knowledge to best serve their patients.”