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Annual VIA: Zoe Abel, RN

The ICU nurse is known at Asante Ashland for her bubbly personality and being the person everyone can rely on.

Even as a child, Zoe Abel was a familiar presence at Asante Ashland Community Hospital. On Take Your Daughter to Work Day, she could be seen tagging along with her father, a medical transcriptionist at the hospital for 30 years.

The experience imprinted on Zoe a desire to work in health care, and to be part the hospital’s close-knit culture.

Her dedication to the hospital, her patients, co-workers — and her sunny disposition — earned her a coveted 2020 Values in Action award, the highest honor given by Asante.

She was celebrated by colleagues, Asante executives and her family on Nov. 3 at the annual Values in Action gala, held this year online.

“Zoe has contributed extensively to Asante Ashland, its patients, employees and the community through her clinical skill and expertise, her positive attitude and approach, her kindness and compassion, her patient and team advocacy and her incredible sense of humor,” said Amanda Kotler, VP of Nursing for AACH and ARRMC.

Abel’s first job was in the hospital’s medical records department, where she worked after graduating from Ashland High School and through nursing school. After earning her degree from Oregon Health & Science University in 2009, she went to work on the Med/Surg unit and later began caring for patients in the Intensive Care Unit.

“Zoe actively participates in extra activities to make her workplace better,” said David Goodman, a nurse and co-worker who nominated Abel for the annual VIA. “She’s an outstanding nurse who pitches in for extra shifts, pulls extra duty in areas where she’s needed, such as house supervisor, and then volunteers for committees Asantewide.”

Abel, who has worked at the hospital for nearly 11 years, is an Epic trainer, helping her team learn and use the electronic health records system. Most recently, she started an inpatient council for ICU and Med/Surg to make the working relationships between the two departments seamless.

Among her colleagues, however, she may be best known for the care she gives to patients.

“Zoe had a challenging shift taking care of a very sick patient,” one co-worker wrote. “Her dedication to that patient from the moment she started her day until the patient took their last breath was absolutely heartwarming. I commend Zoe for her compassionate care.”

Working mom

VIA winners are encouraged to invite family members and co-workers to the annual celebration. From her work family, Abel choose David Candelaria, MD, an AACH hospitalist and public health physician.

“When I was a new nurse it meant a lot that Dr. Candelaria always remembered me,” she said. “Even when I was a student nurse, he called me Nurse Abel. He made me feel like I was important and that I mattered to someone that I was there.”

The events of the past year have tested every health care worker, including Ashland, which serves as the referring hospital for noncritical patients with COVID-19. Abel’s attitude in times of stress have endeared her to her co-workers, and vice-versa.

“When we’re having a bad day,” she said when accepting the VIA honor, “I want them to know that I wouldn’t want to have it with anyone but them.”


Zoe Abel, RN, AACH

Jini Danis, ARRMC lab

Megan Frost, MD, APP

Amalia Kieley, RN, AACH

Kristi Lambert, RN, ARRMC


Current roles: ICU nurse, Epic trainer

Location: AACH

With Asante: 11 years


Jennifer Susi:
Congratulations, Zoe!

Amanda Kotler:
Zoe! We are so lucky to have you. Thank you for being a great nurse and leader!

Brianne Poland:
Congrats, Zoe — you are amazing!

Kristi Blackhurst:
Congratulations, Zoe!

Brenda Schweitzer:
I always love working with Zoe!! Congrats 🙂

Amalia Kieley:
We are always thankful you are here with us each day, Zoe! Congratulations and well deserved.

Zoe you are an amazing nurse. I am very happy to get to work with you. Well deserved.

Lee Shapley:
Well-deserved, Zoe!

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7 Comments. Leave new

  • Way to go Zoe. You are the person I would want to take care of me and my family. Keep up the wonderful job you are doing and Congratulations!

  • Congratulations Zoe! This is so well deserved! Thank you for being so wonderful to work with! I appreciate your humor and your humanity so much.

  • I worked with Zoe’s dad. He would be so proud of her!!!

  • Zoe’s amazing to work with and I look forward to many more years.

  • Michelle Hollenback
    November 11, 2020 10:03 am

    I am so proud of your accomplishments! Congratulations!

  • Congratulations Zoe! So glad to see that you have done so well and brought so much to all your patients and everyone you work with. I’ve been over at ARRMC for over 6 years now, but it was so great to see that you received this award.
    I sure enjoyed working with you and it’s true that your dad would have been incredibly proud!

  • Go Zoe! Besides all the great nursing you do, I think we love you for your jokes and humor and most of all just being our Zoe. Plus the best mom I’ve ever known.


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