Network Stars, People

Check Out the May Employees of the Month

The Employee of the Month Award recognizes the people you love to work with. These winners show exceptional performance as defined by the network’s Standards of Behavior, live out the network’s values, and demonstrate the healing presence practices outlined in Called to Care.

You can read the nomination stories and see the photos of the May Employees of the Month below. Congratulations to all of our recipients!

Thomas Zink – IS Architecture & Program, ASB

“On numerous occasions during the pandemic, Tom was called upon by me, the HR Systems team, executive leadership, and many others to stand up dashboards, reports, etc.  Tom is calm and displays a can-do attitude.  He simply delivers repeatedly on whatever is asked of him 24/7.  Tom is very talented and makes complex data appear clean and organized in a variety of ways.  Tom’s actions kept Incident Command aware of staffing situations in real time across the entire network.  This allowed for informed decision making in the deployment of resources which directly impacted the workforce and patient safety.  Tom’s work with the vaccinations allowed for real time data migration to the Ohio Department of Health and Home Land Security.  This afforded Kettering Health the ability to secure additional COVID vaccines and continue to expand our delivery of vaccine to our communities in which we work.”

Tanner Hamblin – ICU, Fort Hamilton Hospital

“Tanner goes above and beyond to help patients, patient families, and all of our ICU staff. Tanners work ethic is amazing and our daily thanks to him doesn’t meet the gratitude he deserves. He comes in on his days off to help, and he helps our unit out even when he gets floated to other floors. We are beyond grateful for his help and support. Today, Tanner has helped a patient’s wife fax legal documents as well as provide emotional support to another patients daughter. Things like this are a daily occurrence when working with Tanner.”

Diane Adkins – Emergency & Ambulance Services – Greene Memorial Hospital

“Our department had a patient from a local extended care facility who had to be transferred to another facility. The patient stated he had left his leg braces at the extended care facility and they were new, and he was extremely concerned about not having them with him. I contacted the extended care facility and they offered to place the braces at the nurse’s station. Diane was getting off work and offered to swing by and pick them up and return them to the ER. This meant the world to the patient. He was so relieved to have his braces. Diane lifted his burden.”

Gretchen Bergman – Emergency Room, Grandview Medical Center

“Gretchen is an amazing employee. As the ED Clinical Care Coordinator, she provides leadership to our department in all situations and sets an example that is difficult to duplicate. Our employees trust her to do the very best she can to accommodate their schedules and fill in as needed to make sure they do not work short staffed. When she can work on night shift, she uses that time to also provide education and team building with fun activities like infusion races, arterial line contests, and emergency department Jeopardy. She is the go-to person in our department when someone needs help personally or professionally, and she truly cares about those that reach out to her. Her experience as an emergency department nurse is so valuable to our patients and our recent nursing graduates. She has an incredible way of connecting with patients that some would call difficult, but she is able to gain their trust and cooperation. She works with other departments daily to achieve the best possible environment for employees and our patients by negotiating and problem solving. Our department was prepared for our HFAP survey because every time we thought they might be coming, Gretchen came in on the weekend to make sure things were clean and orderly. She switched her schedule from nights to days so that she would be present during the survey. Our patients are well cared for because she spends so much time and energy making sure our staffing is balanced. Our employees feel valued because they know she will help them work through issues. She is truly trustworthy, innovative, caring, competent and collaborative… exactly what we want our employees to be.”

Stanley McDowell – Adult Psych, KBMC

“Stan comes to work every day with an infectious smile on his face. His positivity is encouraging and inspiring to patients and staff. Stan is consistently recognized by co-workers as well as patients. Here are some examples of Shooting Stars he receives from patients and staff:

· ‘Stan is very positive and his smile made me smile. His positivity rubbed off on me. His groups are encouraging, inspired me, and gave me hope.’

· ‘Stan made me feel like a person.’

· ‘Stan rocked it the other day during a very busy admission filled shift. He had six to eleven admissions and he handled tech work with ease!'”

Devon Adams – Nursing, Kettering College

“Devon aided in preparing our laboring mannequin for an ER drill. She was not asked to help or required to help, but she stepped in during a moment of need to offer assistance. She was very positive, eager, and willing to assist the Interprofessional Education team in any way possible. She even went to the ER to help carry out the drill. Devon maintains a positive attitude and helps others in any way she can. When I needed assistance utilizing a specific nursing program, Devon offered to help me learn. We sat down at the computer and she walked me through all the steps until I felt confident using the program. She consistently offers up her time to help others even with her very busy schedule. Thanks, Devon, for all you do!”

Christopher Wennerstrom – Oncology Service Line, Kettering Medical Center

“Christopher is one of the most passionate, determined, and intelligent people I have had the pleasure to work with, and I am beyond grateful that our patients have someone like him on their side fighting for them. Christopher is the best patient advocate you could ever want. However, the positive impact he has on patient’s lives is something I have witnessed firsthand. My dad was diagnosed with brain cancer last March, and up until recently had done his treatment in another state where he and my mom were fixing up a cabin to sell. Despite them not being Kettering Health patients, Topher patiently and kindly listened to my questions and helped me process what was going on with my dad, in a medical sense. I am the type of person who appreciates hard facts, and the balance of kindness and bluntness Christopher had while educating me was such a comfort. More recently, Topher has helped make a connection to a provider in the network, so my dad could get a consult. Because of that, we discovered my dad is a candidate for a treatment, Neuroblate, that is, from what I’m given to understand, something we specialize in. I understand there are no guarantees or cures with the diagnosis my dad has, but I will be forever grateful for the extra mile Topher went for us, and that I have seen and known him do for others. If anyone exemplifies what it means to be a servant leader, and frankly, an all-around excellent representative of what it means to be a part of the Kettering family, Christopher is that person.”

Christine Cox – PC Beaver View, Kettering Physician Network

“Christine advocated on behalf of her patient when the family was showing signs of aggressive behavior and threats. Christine leaned in and asked the patient what she wanted rather than take the word of her son and daughter. The patient was alert, oriented, and coherent. Christine spent time with the patient supporting our Patient Rights policy. When the daughter became aggressive, Christine put herself in between the physician and the daughter with her hands outward to prevent the daughter from getting closer to the physician.  She potentially put herself in harm’s way to keep the daughter from coming closer.  Between the physician and the staff, almost four hours of clinic time was spent trying to help this family and patient. Two sons were using profanity and going to fight in the waiting room and Christine was able to keep the staff calm and her practice running throughout the ordeal.  We completed a Violence Debrief with our team and network Police and Security.  What Christine said at the end of our debrief meeting was that she did not want the outcome to affect the patient. She still wanted to take care of the patient moving forward and was not afraid to do so. 

To listen to Christine share about what happened that day, and subsequent days with the family continuing to call and make threats and one son showing up again at the practice, was remarkable.  She was calm, specific, outlined details of the event, and what she was thinking and observing.  She remained calm and in control of her thoughts and emotions. Christine showed true leadership skills that day and bravery above and beyond!  I am proud to work with Christine.”

Fonda Smith – Employee Health, Prestige

“Fonda is the heart and soul of our department. She makes our jobs easier by getting things organized and ready for us.  Fonda contributes to our ability to answer questions and take care of our patients in an efficient and timely manner. Fonda is a self-starter that seems to know what she can do to make our jobs easier and more efficient. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we received at times over 100 phone calls a day.  Fonda took the messages divided them up among the nurses and made sure all were taken care of. Also, during this time, she coordinated the delivery of care packages to all employees that tested positive for COVID-19. Fonda went above and beyond for her fellow employees, both in the department and throughout the network.”

Deed Hall – Cafeteria, Sycamore Medical Center

“Deed is one of those people who is positive, helpful, kind, and considerate every day, no matter the situation. February was a rough weather month. At the same time, we were having some delivery problems from our main supplier, and a couple of those deliveries happened right at the worst weather times. I swear I heard his name shouted probably ten times in about three minutes. This didn’t faze Deed. He did whatever was needed to help everyone who asked or didn’t ask. He knew what each person needed, and he made sure those needs were met. When stock showed up four hours late, he was the first one to gather as many people as he could to help our stock person get it all put away. I’m not talking 10-20 items here, I’m talking skids full of product. He just does whatever is needed, both to get the job done and to help his fellow person. Now, some might say that what he does every day is his job. Well, yes and no. The difference is that Deed does all this without ever getting flustered. He might on the inside, but I never see it on the outside. He is kind and positive to all that he comes into contact with, which is more than I can say for me. He is one of those people that inspires me to do a better job.”

Tara Latimore – Nursing Resources, Soin Medical Center

“Tara is an amazing supervisor and person.  The following example is one of many times she goes above and beyond to support the staff and assure patient safety and care are priorities at Soin.

I was covering supervision and there was no PICC nurse, so I would be covering what I could in PICC also.  It had been a long week and many hours for both of us.  Friday was her ONLY day off for the week before beginning another six days stretch of work.  I got the report from PICC and supervision and it was a very challenging report from both, as staffing and acuity levels were both a bit challenging.  At 1930, I looked up and there is Tara walking in to take over supervision so I could focus on PICC!  She simply stated, “I know there is a lot going on here tonight and there was no way I could let you to cover both departments”. This was on her only day off! Wow! Within several hours Tara had recruited over four staff members to come in to help.  This is not surprising because the rapport she builds with the staff are sincere and personable.  Staff want to help Tara when it is needed because she ALWAYS helps when they need her.  Tara will take vitals on all the patients if a floor is overwhelmed to help them get caught up.  She passes meds when needed.  This is not at all unusual or a one-time behavior.  She is consistent with the support she brings to the staff EVERY time she is supervisor.  She is well respected because she shows the staff respect in all her interactions.  Tara is a role model for those around her.  She is a giver.  She always keeps patient safety, staff safety, and morale around the center of her decisions.  Tara’s behaviors make me, and others want to be better people and want to give back or pay forward.  Her knowledge and expertise are greatly leaned upon by me and staff.  She is supportive, fair, and most of all caring.  I know that what she did to help me is appreciated more than she can know.  I will be paying it forward and paying it back.  She is exactly what makes Soin an amazing place to work!”

Barbara Manson – CMI Diagnostic, Southview Medical Center

“Barb is consistently recognized by her patients for her compassionate care.  Monthly, Barb is mentioned by name on Press Ganey surveys.  Barb gets flowers and cards from patients. Patients are so grateful for her caring attitude and the compassion she shows each patient. Barb is a role model for giving compassionate care to Kettering Health patients. Barb’s peers are always asking her, ‘How do you do it?’. She says she tells herself that she treats every patient as if they were a loved one of her family.”

Charlene Fox – Nursing Adminstration, Troy Hospital

“Charlene goes above and beyond every single time she works.  She is an advocate for our staffing here at Troy like no other.  She can think outside the box to make sure we have what is needed to best serve our patients, often times being part of that solution herself.  She is willing to be the health unit coordinator, the nursing assistant, help with blood draws, IV starts, and the many other things needed to keep things flowing.  She is truly an asset to her profession and our hospital. Our staff know when Charlene is here, everything is being done to make sure they have the resources they need to best serve our patients.”

Do you know someone who is a Kettering Health Star? Help us honor them by telling their story in the Kettering Health Stars form, located in the MyHR portal.

May 31, 2021
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