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Becoming a nurse and helping people is something she always aspired to do, even as a young girl in her home country of Macedonia. But being recognized as the best nurse for an entire health care system is something she never dreamed might happen.
Doca Merdjanoska, a surgical department nurse at the VA Central California Health Care System’s main hospital in Fresno, was recently selected as VACCHCS Nurse of the Year.
For Merdjanoska, it’s not about being the best. She said she just wants to be there to help people who need her assistance.
“Helping patients, especially Veterans, is what I enjoy. I always want to help people and make people happy. Nursing allows me to that.”
Before working at the VA, the Licensed Practical Nurse worked at an assisted living home in Fresno for seven years and before that she worked at an Ears, Nose and Throat specialty clinic in Macedonia for three years. With that much experience and her desire to help people, it’s no surprise Merdjanoska was selected as Nurse of the Year.
“It’s a huge honor for Doca to be selected as Nurse of the Year,” said Michael Provencher, Chief of Nursing at VACCHCS. “I’m very proud of her.”
“I hired her and she was a star from the first day she started working at VA. We’re very lucky to have her on our staff,” said Provencher.
“Helping patients is what I enjoy.”
Doca Merdjanoska and family
When she’s not working at the VA, Merdjanoska, who is married and has two children, enjoys going outside with her family and exploring the great outdoors, she said. She and her family like to ride bicycles and visit the parks and forests. She’s also an avid runner.
As far as the honor of being named VACCHCS Nurse of the Year, just like running Doca takes it all in stride.
“I feel honored. It’s a nice feeling,” she said.
Editor’s Note: Here’s an additional shout-out to the other VACCHCS Nurse of the Year Nominees:
- Kimberly Cinco (ICU)
- Lupita Sanders (ER)
- Erika Sutton (Medicine Dept.)
- Maria Lara (Inpatient Psychiatry Unit)
- Jessica Greene (Quality Management)
- Vilma Barba (Medical Surgical Unit)
- Geraldine Ignacio Saechao (Primary Care Dept.)
About the author: Cameron Porter is a Public Affairs Officer at the Fresno VAMC