OHSU’s ROSE (Recognizing Outstanding Service Excellence) Award program celebrates employees, students and volunteers who provide outstanding service beyond the normal scope of their jobs.
Meet this month’s recipients and learn why they were nominated below!
Red ROSE Award recipients
Tom Clark, Electrophysiology Technician, Cardiac Cath Lab
Since the first of the year, Tom has implemented an improvement process to identify near expiry supplies and advocates for use rather than wasting surplus stock. Savings from his work totals $38,663 and will exceed $40,000 by the end of the month. These supplies would typically expire and be discarded unnoticed. Tom is committed to using down time to optimize our unit systems and processes contributing to a culture of inquiry and continuous improvement.
Shawna Williams, R.N., OHSU Doernbecher Hematology/Oncology
My 9-year-old daughter is being treated at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for osteosarcoma of her left leg. Her nurse, Shawna, consistently goes beyond our expectations. Shawna’s extreme competence and personality have made it obvious that our trust in her has always been well placed. One occasion in particular demonstrates this dedication: having had several MRI scans the day before, my daughter became anxious and fearful for her follow-up. To overcome this distress, Shawna and I made a plan on how to medicate her before and during the procedure. Unfortunately, the test was rescheduled for a time after Shawna’s shift. This never became an issue as Shawna let us know she was going to stay with my daughter until the procedure was done. This was amazing for us as it reaffirmed our trust in Shawna and her presence provided great comfort. Four hours after the end of Shawna’s shift, they came and got us for the MRI. Not only did Shawna stay with us on the way to the procedure, but she waited until the MRI was finished and even transported us back to our room. I have no doubt her involvement and dedication made the test possible.
Joey Peizner, Catering Specialist, Hospital Food Services
Joey was bringing catering to our event over in the Old Library Auditorium building. We did not receive the correct number of tables and cloths that had been requested. Joey located more tables, brought them to the correct rooms and even arranged them how I wanted. He then went back to the catering department and brought us a ton of tablecloths and helped with those as well. Joey always has a wonderful attitude and is happy to help.
Danny Eduardo, OHSU School of Medicine student
Danny had been caring for a particularly difficult patient who struggled with addiction, homelessness, mental illness, trauma history and painful chronic wounds. We were able to obtain placement for the patient in a transitional housing program that would help with wound care and hopefully secure him more permanent housing. Unfortunately, on the morning of discharge, the patient became extremely anxious and agitated, throwing things in the room and screaming at the nurses. When Danny and I arrived, security was present and the representative from the housing program was unsure if he would be able to accept the patient. Danny had developed a relationship with the patient over the course of his stay and had earned his trust. He asked if he could help and found out that the patient had soiled himself and did not have any other clothing. Danny went to another unit where he knew there was a stash of donated clothing, brought it back and de-escalated the entire situation. Had Danny not intervened, the patient not only might have lost his chance at continued wound care but also would have lost a chance at supportive housing. It was a huge deal and Danny did not make a big fuss about it. Absolutely phenomenal work.
Kyle Lenz, OHSU School of Medicine student
Earlier this year, Kyle, a fourth-year medical student, arrived at the OHSU Student Center gym to play his usual basketball game. While waiting for his game to start, Kyle heard someone yelling, “Help! We need help over here!” across the gym. He ran toward the yelling to find several people standing around a collapsed OHSU employee. The man had blood in his mouth and was initially shaking. Kyle assumed the man was seizing and quickly turned him onto his side. The man then stopped moving altogether. Kyle was unable to find a pulse and yelled for a bystander to call 911 and for another bystander to go find the AED. Kyle had started chest compressions on the man when the bystander returned with the AED. Kyle instructed him to use the mask to give the man breaths and chest compressions while another bystander applied the AED pads. After about a minute of chest compressions, the AED picked up a shockable rhythm and advised a shock. Kyle cleared the scene and administered the shock. Sinus rhythm was regained and the man slowly began regaining consciousness as the paramedics arrived on scene. He was taken to OHSU and survived the cardiac arrest with less than one minute of down time because of Kyle’s quick thinking and brave actions.
Jason Mannion, M.D., Internal Medicine
Dr. Jason Mannion was outstanding with a challenging psychiatric patient who has history of violence and a syndrome that resulted in the patient needing immediate surgery. The patient was briefly assigned to another department that didn’t receive pre-operation notes. When the department nurse arrived, Dr. Mannion was in the patient’s room, sitting with them until his surgery moved up in priority. Dr. Mannion also walked the patient to transportation and stayed and chatted as the nurse became familiar with the patient and their needs. Dr. Mannion was informative, compassionate and realistic about the time expectation for his patient. He then checked in several times throughout his night shift to make sure both the nurse and patient were OK and see if they needed anything. Dr. Mannion was thoughtful, funny, concerned and, simply put, kind to another human being who clearly needed help for something he couldn’t do for himself. Beyond patient care, Dr. Mannion also made the nurse feel supported, heard and proud of the care they were able to provide as a team.
Cathryn Sause, Social Worker, Ambulatory Care Operations
Cathryn’s expertise was essential in navigating the system for a vulnerable patient living with cerebral palsy. Due to concerns for patient safety and safe in-home mobility, the patient’s care-home placement became at risk. Cathryn immediately responded late in the afternoon and came to the clinic to intervene with the caregivers, interact with them and the facility and directly assist in resolving the situation. During the process, she had multiple interactions with the facility administration and eventually with the Mid-County Seniors and Persons with Disability Office to eventually connect with the patient’s Developmental Disabilities caseworker to elevate the concern, perform a site visit and seek resolution. She also interacted with the social worker at Richmond Clinic and with the patient’s primary care provider. Through all these efforts, an agreement was made, the patient was no longer at risk of losing his placement and the facility was developing a plan to train all the members of their care team on safe transfers for this patient. Cathryn demonstrated above-and-beyond actions in her responsiveness, attentive follow up and persistence in navigating the complexity of the situation involving state regulatory agencies and multiple individuals from the facility. Cathryn truly is our cherished “phone-a-friend” and we are so grateful for her contributions to this person and to vulnerable patients in similar situations.
Golden ROSE Award recipients
Gary Takahashi, M.D., OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Beaverton Clinic
Dr. Takashashi was nominated for a Golden ROSE Award on Valentine’s Day, of all days, because of how Dr. Takashashi stepped outside the scope of his role to provide service excellence. Every year on Valentine’s Day, Dr. Takahashi hires a barbershop quartet to come out and sing to our patients. When the day finally came, the barbershop quartert came in full regalia. They sang beautifully harmonized traditional quartet songs and even handed out roses to all of our patients! Staff and patients were both in tears. Dr. Takashashi takes time out of his very busy practice to call and arrange all this himself and provides payment for it out of his own pocket – what an amazing example of the many ways in which our providers go above and beyond to show love and compassion to our patients!
David Oleson, Physical Therapist, CDRC
Dave is a recipient of the Golden ROSE Award in acknowledgement of going above and beyond his expected duties to facilitate a safe discharge for a patient. A request was made to help acquire (or recommend) a new specialty wheelchair for a patient with muscular dystrophy who was ready for discharge. Due to the nature of the patient’s progressive disease, his stature was of pediatric size, which further complicated the specifics of the type of wheelchair he would need. Typically, acquiring a specialized wheelchair of this type would take weeks or even months with the assistance of a physical therapist who specializes in wheelchair fitting. The pediatric rehab team was contacted for help and Dave answered the call promptly and enthusiastically. Fortunately, he has a stock of specialty charity chairs and was able to locate a chair that would best fit the patient’s size and needs. Not only did Dave assist with locating the chair, he also came to the patient’s room after his Friday night shift had ended and spent a significant amount of time making sure the chair was the right fit. Dave transferred the patient into the chair and made adjustments and recommendations that best suited the patient’s comfort. Because of Dave’s help, this patient was able to head home the next day with a specialty chair that he would not have received otherwise. Dave is an excellent role model of the employee who goes above and beyond and whose priority is the patient and their needs.
Leo Eskola, R.N., OHSU Doernbecher Pediatric ICU
Leo always goes above and beyond to provide the best care possible for all of the patients on the unit – not just her own. Leo is known to go around to all the nurses and offer to help with baths for their patients as well as washing their hair and sticking around for an extra ten minutes to braid girls’ hair and make them look nice. Her motto is “You look good, you feel good,” and she truly lives by that with her patient care. She stocks blankets, hair bands, stickers and clothes in her locker for patients to help give them a little sense of normalcy while in the hospital. Leo is the nurse who everyone on the unit aspires to be. Recently, she took on a primary patient with a complicated diagnosis who required involved care for many months. Leo’s patient, with a terminal illness, spent months in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with little to look forward to each day. This 6-year-old child was afraid to open up to any hospital staff after being poked and prodded so many times during his stay. Leo, though, was able to gain his trust. She made a sticker reward board for the things he hated to do; he looked forward to selecting stickers out for his board each time. The patient was unable to go outside for months, so Leo made him a sun and moon for days and nights to help with delirium. She worked hard to get him on a schedule to make each day meaningful and new. When able, Leo went out of her way to make sure that the patient got to go on a wagon ride around the unit for a change in scenery. Leo nicknamed him Oso Pequeno, which means “little bear” in Spanish because every time she asked him to smile, he growled at her! It turned into a game where she would say his nickname and he would growl for her. She brought light into his life in such a sad time for him. Leo sat at his bedside when he couldn’t calm down and read books to him. In his last few days alive, the patient asked Leo to read to him at night. He found comfort in having Leo with him. She made the biggest difference in this little boy’s daily life, and she also attended care conferences on her days off to speak up for him when ethical dilemmas arose. Leo stuck with her patient in the most difficult of times, even when others became burnt out from the emotional fatigue and moral distress of caring for him. In addition, Leo has taken on the responsibility of improving the bereavement process for families by leading the bereavement committee and creating a formalized bereavement toolkit. She also recognized an increase in the nurse turnover rate and is now working on a nursing fellowship project for nurse retention in the PICU and pediatric float pool. She has boosted the morale of the unit by creating a “PICU Positivity Plaza” board where staff members post pictures of themselves and their interests outside of work. Leo is a true leader in the PICU.
Pam Hays, Department Purchasing Agent
Pam plays a critical behind-the-scenes role in the pharmacy department as a purchasing specialist. This past week she prevented what would have been a disastrous patient care mishap. In short, a patient was admitted for treatment of advanced cancer and started on a five day regimen of aldesleukin treatment. On a Friday night (after the patient was three days into their treatment), it was realized that the pharmacy was almost out of stock and would not have enough supply to finish the patient’s planned course. This is not a common medication and has to be ordered via special procedures and “drop shipped” to the pharmacy. This is usually done well in advance of a patient admitting for treatment as it can take several days to receive the drug. Unfortunately, the usual procedures were not followed in this case. Pharmacy members contacted every hospital in the area to try to borrow the drug, but none had any available. We were starting to worry that the patient would not be able to complete the cycle as doses have to be received every eight hours without interruption. Pam was off work and not on call, but when contacted at home, she was very willing to help. She spent her Friday evening reaching out to suppliers and was able to arrange for the aldesleukin to be delivered with our early morning delivery! The patient was able to complete the cycle as planned. I cannot emphasize enough how Pam saved the day. She has worked at the department for more than 30 years and is excellent at what she does. In this particular case, she truly contributed to the best outcome for the patient.
Team Award: David Bigelow, Pharmacist, and Shulian King, Pharmacy Technician, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Beaverton Clinic
I cannot even begin to describe how many patients have personally commended Dave and Shulian for their excellent service at OHSU Beaverton Pharmacy. They again recently exemplified OHSU’s vision of going above and beyond for each patient who had an expensive oral chemotherapy prescribed to them by their oncologist and the prescription was sent to OHSU Beaverton Pharmacy. The copay after insurance coverage was thousands of dollars, which was not affordable for the patient – despite this being a potentially life-saving medication. To make this a more critical situation, the oncologist wanted the patient to start the medication as soon as possible. Shulian jumped into action and searched for cancer foundations that could help provide copay assistance for the patient, eventually finding one that was able to provide financial coverage. The next challenge was getting the prescription to the patient as soon as possible, despite the fact that the courier had already left for the day. Dave went out of his way to bring the medication package to a local parcel shipment office to make sure it would be sent overnight. He then called the patient to educate him on the medication and even helped the patient coordinate with the delivery service to deliver it at a time that works best for the patient. This story is one of hundreds of similar examples that showcase why Dave and Shulian are praised by patients and appreciated by coworkers. They truly exemplify OHSU’s visions and mission.