Marla Richardson was Fort Hamilton Hospital’s nominee for the Ohio Hospital Association’s 2017 Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year Award. One employee from each campus is nominated for this award, which is presented annually to one Ohio hospital caregiver who personifies a leader, gives back to the community, reflects the mission and values of his or her organization, and routinely goes beyond the call of duty. You can read Marla’s nomination below:
Marla Richardson, case manager at Fort Hamilton Hospital, seeks to live every day to the fullest, which means serving others in the process. As a breast cancer survivor, Marla believes she was given a second chance to improve people’s lives. At work, she is a trusted expert who plans social events for her department and offers to work beyond her scheduled hours. Her improvement initiatives, which draw together a diverse audience of clinical professionals, have led to the development of a care coordination program. She and a group of women, the Soul Sisters, meet weekly to pray for patients, caregivers, and administrators. In her own time, she organizes many service activities, including Operation Christmas Child, an annual mission trip to Mexico, volunteering at an animal shelter, and helping at a humanitarian relief organization.
Marla has been a team member of Fort Hamilton Hospital since 1984 and as a result of her experience, she is a natural leader to the Case Management and Clinical Quality team. For all new employees to the quality area, Marla serves as their primary preceptor. While she is not a formal supervisor, Marla is the go-to person for questions on challenging or unique cases from everyone in the department due to her extensive expertise. Marla is the expert regarding insurance payer reviews and case management due to her experience and cross-training. From a case management perspective, she is able to perform in every unit in the hospital, from Maternity to Psychiatric Care, which makes her a strong team player. She excels in her work with clinicians from multiple disciplines, leading daily huddles on the units. Marla led improvement initiatives in the department by offering her feedback on revisions to the case management orientation checklist and participating in the development of the care coordination program, which helps outline the scope of services between case management and care coordination.
Goes Beyond the Call of Duty
Marla goes beyond the call of duty in many ways in her role as a Case Manager. She consistently works longer than her scheduled shift and alters her schedule to assist when patient volumes fluctuate and staffing needs emerge in the dpeartment. In addition to planning department events such as holiday potluck lunches, Marla regularly volunteers to participate in various hospital-sponsored fundraisers, including serving as a department team leader for Relay for Life. Marla also went beyond her job description to help execute the Infection Control Spooktacular Bootcamp, an infection control educational program focused on handwashing, infection control policy and processes, sterile technique, and various isolation aspects. During this event, Marla educated staff throughout the hospital on infection control guidelines. Her knowledge sets her apart, and she goes above and beyond to support others by answering questions when they need help. Marla consistently reviews charts for adherence to our core measures and opportunities in documentation, all to improve the quality of patient care and performance, and then offers feedback to the interdisciplinary team.
Reflects the Mission and Values of Kettering Health Network
While Marla reflects all the values of Kettering Health Network, the value of collaboration is what stands out the most in her role and her personality. Working with a diverse group of people, including doctors, patients, families, nurses, and community services, can be complex. However, Marla has the ability to keep these parties working as a team and focusing on the needs of the patient in order to create a quality experience. In fact, Marla and her team collaborated with physicians on reducing the length of stay for patients and were awarded the 2017 Kettering Health Network Quality Innovation Award for their success. Being a breast cancer survivor herself, Marla seeks to live every day to the fullest and serve others in the process. Marla teamed up with a few other women to care for Fort Hamilton Hospital through the act of prayer. The “Soul Sisters” meet weekly to pray at the hospital for patients, employees, and general needs of the Hamilton community. Marla says she’s been given a second chance, and she wants to do everything she can to improve the lives of those around her.
Gives Back to the Community
Marla’s leaders often have a hard time keeping up with all of her service activities. One of Marla’s biggest projects is coordinating Operation Christmas Child, which filled over 400 shoeboxes with gifts for children in need in 2016. This project also involves paying for postage to have the shoeboxes shipped to kids around the world. Marla raises funds for this by walking the roads of Hamilton, seeking aluminum cans to turn in for cash. For the past 10 years, Marla has also gone on an annual mission trip to Mexico where she teaches Vacation Bible School and assists in the medical clinic. She also collects bibles and children’s books to give out during her trip. In Hamilton, Marla serves at the local animal shelter and a humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization called Matthew 25 Ministries in Cincinnati. She collects personal care items for a homeless shelter, volunteers at the Kiwanis booth at the Butler County Fair, and visits local Skilled Nursing Facilities to do interactive activities with residents. In recognition of all of the hard work that she does to serve others, Marla was the recipient of the 2015 Kettering Health Network Quality Living the Mission Award.