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MHP Nurse of the Year credits Linne as her mentor

Ruthie Schoentrup, left, and Dr. Gregory Howard share a laugh during last week’s presentation of the Monna Linne Award for Nursing Excellence. To the right is Linda Wessic, vice president of MHP Medical Center.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

Linda Wessic remembers when Ruthie Schoentrup was working in the emergency room at what was then Major Hospital.

Wessic, the vice president at MHP Medical Center, called Wessic “patient-focused,” “team-oriented,” and a “tremendous nurse” during last week’s presentation of the Monna Linne Award for Nursing Excellence.

Schoentrup was one of six nurses named “Nurses of the Year” at MHP Medical Center. She received the Monna Linne Award after starting her career at Major Hospital in 1982 and staying for the past 36 years.

Originally from Franklin, Schoentrup went to Florida after her mom passed away to attend nursing school. She came back to Indiana after graduating and took a job on the surgery floor in 1982 at Major Hospital.

“This is where I call home,” she said when asked why she has stayed at MHP all these years.

Her presence has been appreciated by those who work with her.

Dr. Gregory Howard, who is the medical director of SportWorks Rehabilitation Center at ReNovo in Shelbyville, said during last week’s ceremony that she deserves all the accolades she’s received.

“She’s one of my favorite people in the entire world,” he said during the ceremony. “I do love her. I love her profoundly.”

She’s been known to stay on the phone for hours to get a prescription filled for a patient who otherwise wouldn’t receive it because the insurance companies would otherwise decline it.

“And it doesn’t stop her,” he said. “It has never stopped her. She drives me.”

“Crazy,” she interjected, drawing laughter from the crowd.

“No, not at all,” he responded. “She drives me. She’s there because we are a team. She is as integral as any part of Major Sports or MHP because she believes in picking everyone up and holding them all to account. You have to expect the best of people in order to get the best of people, and she does that each and every day.”

Schoentrup found out about being named one of the six Nurses of the Year recipients last week in an e-mail. She found out she was the Monna Linne Award winner the day of the ceremony.

She said she was “honored” and “humbled” by the award, having worked with Linne in the 1990s. She was able to get to know Linne’s three children, one of whom attended the ceremony.

“She was a great mentor,” she said of Linne. “She was a great teacher, who took you under her wing.”

Schoentrup has worked in the emergency room and Hospice care and has been working in sports medicine the past 15 years.

Following the ceremony, the six award winners and two guests each were invited to a luncheon at Highpoint Orchard in Greensburg.

Howard had plenty of compliments at the ceremony, calling her the “best nurse I know.”

“She is smart, she is loving, she cares for people from a deep and profound perspective,” Howard said. “She respects people. She empathizes with them, she sympathizes with them. She is fierce. She cares and so she fights. She fights for people.”