The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


April 12, 2013

Meet the 2013 YWCA Women of Achievement



Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Winn moved to Clinton in 1948. She was a music teacher at Jefferson Elementary for 26 years and since has volunteered at Jefferson and Eagle Heights Elementary for the past 29 years, focusing on the enrichment subjects requested by the teaching staff. “This 91 year-old exudes giving, enthusiasm, resourcefulness, creativeness, love of teaching, love of music, love of family and friends, love of life.” wrote nominator Alice Srp.

She has given presentations to scouting groups on Native Americans, U.S. Presidents, musical instruments and her travels throughout the United States, national parks and other countries. Mary has made many costumes and instruments so the children may participate in hands-on learning. At Bickelhaupt Arboretum, she has also presented outdoor education programs.

She is an active member of the First Congregational Church and has participated in the Bell Choir at First United Methodist Church for 29 years. Her love of music is evident as a long-time member of the singing group, Clintones, serving as director for the past six years. Mary and her husband, Jim, had two children, Nancy and David, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


“She is passionate about the quality of care given to all patients and under her able leadership, the hospital has made great strides and improvements. She empowers people to make wise and right decisions and does everything she can to remove obstacles and barriers so that the difficult work of caring for the sick and vulnerable in our society is made easier.” wrote Kamalini Kumar when nominating Berentes for the Professional Woman of Achievement award.

Berentes is the vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for Mercy Medical Center – Clinton. She is responsible for creating the structure and environment that cultivates professional practice, elevates the quality of care and improves patient outcomes. Prior to working in Clinton, she worked at Mercy-Dubuque and FHN as the Director of Clinical and Professional Development/Magnet Coordinator. She received her Associates in Applied Science from Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Ill., and both her undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees from Clarke College in Dubuque.

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