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 She doesn’t look like a hero – her uniform is nurse’s scrubs, there is no cape and she wears glasses, instead of a mask. But, RN Beth Miles won California Casualty’s “Nominate A Hero” contest, besting seven other nominees in a nationwide vote.

“Being named ‘America’s Hero’ is very exciting, but very humbling,” she said.

Miles, who works in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit of Passavant Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, was top vote getter in the “Nominate a Hero” contest. People from around the nation nominated their heroes each month in 2013. The monthly winners were determined by on-line voting, and the finalist won a $250 gift certificate. “Just winning the gift certificate was the thanks I was looking for,” Miles said.

But, Miles obviously touched many co-workers and patient’s lives. They turned out in force, giving her more than 15,000 votes, three times more than any of the other seven finalists. “It’s amazing what people say about you that you didn’t know they felt,” she said. “Everybody should enter because I am proof that anybody can win.” Miles says this makes her feel like she has been vindicated for all the times she was called to the director of nursing’s office, or to the CEO’s office, “For being myself – loud, loving; not the image of the perfect nurse in the white starched dress, white shoes and white hat. It shows nursing and hospitals have changed over the years since I first began almost 37 years ago.”

Miles had tough competition from the other seven “Nominate A Hero” finalists. She was up against a Dallas area deputy who noticed automobile lights in a lake as he was on patrol. He was able to swim out and rescue two young women who were trapped in the sinking vehicle.

Another was a volunteer firefighter/paramedic in Iowa, who saw a fire truck moving at a patient being loaded into an ambulance. The fire truck’s transmission failed and it was rolling down an incline at him and the victim. He was able to push her to safety, taking the brunt of the impact and was pinned between the fire truck and the ambulance, sustaining serious injuries.

Miles got letters of support from co-workers, past patients and even Andy Ezard, the mayor of her hometown of Jacksonville, wrote, “I have experienced firsthand… that she is an extremely caring and dedicated nurse always going above and beyond the call of duty in all aspects of her professions. Beth contributes significantly her knowledge and experience to nursing colleagues and other care givers and is well-respected by all members of the healthcare team. She is a great people person and shares laughter throughout the working day, all while maintaining a professional atmosphere and putting the patient first.”

Miles wins a vacation valued at $10,000. “I have always wanted to go to Hawaii, and my birthday is December, 7, the same as Pearl Harbor Day, so I think that is where my husband, Michael, and I are headed. Besides, this is our 35th wedding anniversary,” she said.

California Casualty will continue taking names for the “Nominate a Hero” program each month in 2014. The public is invited to show the world that “good men and women” still exist. Monthly winners receive a $250 gift card and qualify for the 2014, $10,000 grand prize. Anyone can make a nomination and get all the details at

California Casualty provides auto and home insurance to America’s heroes:  law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators and nurses – professionals who don’t always get the thanks they deserve for the hard work they do improving our communities.  In an era where Hollywood stars and sports icons are looked up to as heroes, California Casualty is honored to help identify and award everyday heroes who give so much, every day.

“We hear the stories about struggling teachers paying for resources out of their own pockets, exhausted nurses sacrificing to provide the best possible care, selfless firefighters risking everything to protect our lives and homes, and peace officers laying their lives on the line to protect total strangers,” says Scott Randolph, California Casualty’s Social Media Manager. “We felt compelled to pass these stories of heroism along and honor the men and women who do extraordinary things every day.”

Miles has four grown children, Lucas, 32; Sara, 31; Emily, 29 and Molly 25.

Miles’ story, video, and letters of support can be found at


California Casualty

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