The Receiver’s Office recently honored seven nurses for superior service, including rescuing a drowning man.

Honored were Michell Acosta, Lisa Soliz, Jose Alves, Douglas Woods, Rachel Rios, Chris Brady and Cheryl Schutt.

Some of the honorees work in health care services at CDCR institutions – the California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC);  California State Prison, Solano (SOL);   California State Prison-Corcoran (CSP-COR); and the California Men’s Colony (CMC).

The Nurse Excellent awards ceremony began in 2010 based on extraordinary life saving measures provided by all level of nursing staff in the institutions. HQ Nursing Leadership incorporated this ceremony with Nursing Week which occurs the first week in May and is recognized Nationally. This is an annual award that brings the Receiver, HQ, regional and institutional Leadership, nurses, psych techs and their families together to recognize extraordinary service in the field.

The citations for the honorees read as follows:

“Ms. Michell Acosta and Ms. Lisa Soliz are Registered Nurses, Medical Emergency Responders and ACLS certified, and work in the Treatment Triage Area (TTA) at LAC.

“In February 2013, while Acosta and Soliz were off duty, they were walking along the Aqueduct in Palmdale, California and heard a young male in his twenties yelling for help. He had fallen into the aqueduct and was being washed away. As TTA nurses, they responded immediately and proceeded to rescue this victim and save his life. They did not wait for help nor did they wait for the rescue team; they were the rescue team.”


“Mr. Jose Alves joined SOL in 2008 and is the sole clinical practitioner in the Receiving & Release (R&R) area.  He is an extraordinary person and clinician who epitomizes nursing at its best.

“Mr. Alves consistently demonstrates pride and commitment towards nursing as a professional practice.  His ability to go above and beyond supports the mission of prison health care and encourages his peers to follow his natural leadership.”


“Mr. Douglas Woods joined COR in 2010 as the Holiday Relief Nurse and has since been in the Lead Nurse position in the General Acute Care Hospital (GACH), and is currently the Nurse Instructor.

“In February 2014, Mr. Woods became a certified Wound Nurse to assist our infection control goal to reduce infections.

“Mr. Woods is an example of how one person can influence and improve the working environment through dedication, integrity and an incredibly positive motivating demeanor.”


“Ms. Rachel Rios began her career as a Psychiatric Technician at CMC in 2006 and promoted to a Senior Psychiatric Technician (SPT) in 2012.

“Ms. Rios delivers superior services through being hard working, respectful and very dependable.  She is a great resource, teacher and advocate to all staff, as well as a great asset to the newly activated CTC by contributing to the activation team and providing CTC Policy/Procedure training to nursing staff.“


“Mr. Chris Brady began his state service in 2007 as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) at CMC. He has worked in several posts including Medication Compliance, Medication Rooms, and currently as a Primary Care Nurse in the West Medical Clinic.

“Mr. Brady’s initiative and leadership enables him to not only identify problems, but also to offer solutions to resolve and improve processes.  He is extremely knowledgeable and eager to share his knowledge and experience with new employees.”


“Cheryl Schutt, RN, BSN, Assistant Statewide Chief Nurse Executive was honored with a Nursing Executive Award in recognition and appreciation for her outstanding dedicated service to the Nursing profession.

“Ms. Schutt consistently delivers superior service across her various career capacities, exudes creative leadership and remains steadfast in her patient focus. Nursing Services Branch is so grateful for Ms. Schutt’s contributions — she is invaluable.”