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
Jason Altman, R.N., Critical Care Float Pool
Recently I was admitted for revision of a right hip arthroplasty that had begun failing a few months post-operation. My original surgery was done in another state and at a different facility. I had significant anxiety and fear related to having to go through the procedure again. I feared loss of control and independence, as well as another poor outcome. It was my strong desire to be able to go home after my surgery. My surgery was completed mid-afternoon and my spinal anesthesia was taking some time to wear off. I had surrendered hope that I might go home the same day – that’s when Jason assumed my care. I had already been in recovery for hours thinking I would be admitted. As sensory and motor function returned to my legs, Jason assessed me, coordinated with the charge nurse, the orthopedic resident and the physical therapist to confirm I could indeed go home. He helped obtain discharge orders, allowing me to finish recovery without tying up a bed. In the end, I was cleared for discharge and able to go home before 8:00 p.m. Jason accomplished all of this while skillfully helping recover other post-operation patients. I am so impressed that Jason heard my goal to go home, respected it and advocated for it on my behalf. That is what excellent nursing care looks like! As a trauma and critical care nurse myself, I admired his collaboration with the various stakeholders and his inclusive demeanor in helping accomplish this. From a management standpoint, helping to prevent unnecessary admissions and using resources wisely is also what excellent nursing looks like. Thank you for honoring this patient, Jason, and for demonstrating so beautifully what great patient care looks like!
Andrea Brust, CNA, Nursing Support Services
Andrea was assigned as a sitter for my patient who had been restless, anxious and pulling at tubes and lines. My patient was unable to speak due to his tracheostomy, and had every last tube and line attached to him. Andrea was very attentive and made sure to keep my patient safe; she went above and beyond to treat the patient as more than just a patient. She would talk and converse with him despite his occasional inability to comprehend her (due to his delirium). She would also put on movies for him and describe what was happening, which made the patient laugh and smile. Andrea held the patient’s hand when he was going through painful interventions and laughed and spoke to him as a friend or family member would do. She was so warmhearted and genuinely caring for my patient, which is something I don’t see very often when a staff member is assigned as a sitter. It’s very easy to just sit by and do the basic bits of the job, but Andrea made the patient feel comfortable and tried to keep him smiling the best that she could. I believe people like Andrea, who go out of their way to make someone feel human as they lie trapped in a medical bed, deserve to be recognized, celebrated and shown off as an example of what we should all strive to be.
Jayme Poublon, IT Technology Specialist, IT Academics and Research
I am the Associate Dean for the School of Nursing on the La Grande Campus. Working technology and equipment are critical for me to work from a distance and to keep connected. Even though we have access to tech support through ITG by phone, sometimes we truly need a person to “lay hands” on our machines or to be able to access what is actually wrong, especially when verbal explanation of what is happening is difficult. In my case, I was traveling and working remotely in the late evening and got a message that indicated that I potentially had a virus on my machine. I was told that my machine would need to be physically checked. A ticket was written up but I did not know how follow-up would happen, or how long it would take to arrange for someone to actually look at my machine. I got an email from Jayme right away offering his help. Since I was going to be traveling to Portland, Jayme reached out to me four more times, offering various times to meet me or even to come to the School of Nursing. As it worked out, Jayme and I were able to connect. He checked out my computer, provided all needed updates and was just a super helpful individual. His customer service was superb and his approach was friendly and kind. Thank you, Jayme!
Laurie Schwamb, Project Manager, Financial Supply Chain Applications
Laurie is currently the IT Project Manager for the new ID badging software rollout, which I’m responsible for maintaining. It has been a very challenging rollout for everyone, but Laurie has really gone above and beyond by crafting badly-needed solutions that are outside of her project management responsibilities. She worked after-hours and on vacations for months to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. She wrote software queries for the badge replacement project, which was happening simultaneously with our rollout, even though that wasn’t her project at all. She has written dozens of queries for me as well. The badge office staff, Public Safety and I could not have successfully rolled out this software without Laurie. She continues to go above and beyond every day as we work to implement more features of the software.
Dr. Brian Garvey, Family Medicine
I have been under the care of numerous doctors over the past 10 years. There have been a few, select number of providers who I could trust and who would listen carefully without time constraints or judgement. However, there is one truly outstanding physician at OHSU that provided me with more than just medical care. Dr. Garvey opened his door to me in the fall of 2017. He spent extra time listening to every concern, taking each of them seriously. My worries were never unnoticed and always professionally discussed. Following a few visits, Dr. Garvey could sense a decline in my mood and reminded me he would be available if I wanted or needed to talk. A few weeks later, I made an appointment, and from that day forward I have trusted Dr. Garvey with my life. He responded to every MyChart message, even when in another country. He showed empathy, kindness, compassion and dedication to his work and helped me through every obstacle I faced. Dr. Garvey went leaps and bounds beyond any typical standard of care. He researched various resources to help aid in my healing and was available to see me for urgent appointments. Dr. Garvey continued to support me as I transitioned to a new job in a new place; he was a lifeline in times of crisis. He was the only person I could talk to at the time, as I felt like I had no one else who could provide me with the support and answers I needed to keep moving forward. Dr. Garvey is an exceptional physician and deserves to be recognized for his incredible work and outstanding care.
Golden ROSE Award recipients
Benjamin Mencher, Respiratory Care Practitioner, Respiratory Care Services
Early into my shift, one of my patients had a near syncopal episode in the bathroom after showering. I called Rapid Response and Benjamin was the respiratory therapist assigned to come with the rapid response nurse to the bedside. I informed Benjamin that the patient was stable from a respiratory standpoint, and his expertise was not necessary at this time as the patient was breathing well and the complication appeared to be cardiovascular. Oftentimes during a rapid response call, respiratory therapy will check in to see if they are needed or not, then go about their shift. Benjamin offered to stay at the bedside despite this and stayed through the whole episode. When the patient was incontinent of stool, Benjamin helped clean up both the patient and the bathroom floor without hesitation. He helped move the patient’s bed closer to the bathroom, helped clothe the patient and helped him ambulate back to bed. This dedication to the patient, to make sure he was clean, safe and in bed and not just medically stable, was above and beyond Benjamin’s scope and role. Benjamin had not met this patient previously, but his rapport with both the patient and the patient’s father was warm and soothing in this urgent situation. In the years that I have worked with Benjamin, he has shown an unfailing compassion for patients and constant willingness to help however he can, be it a respiratory issue or, in this case, something completely different.
Randy Edmundson, EVS Tech, Environmental Sciences
Randy does an amazing job in regards to his housekeeping skills, however, he goes above and beyond to help out staff on 10 South and our patients and families. We had a patient who was having neurological issues and didn’t remember much during that time, but he remembered Randy coming in and cleaning his room. Randy always made a point to stop by and give him a high five. Another day we didn’t have any CNAs to help us out so Randy took it upon himself to set up linen for us outside of each room so we could have it ready and waiting for us to change the patients’ beds. We love working with him and we are a better (and cleaner) unit with him on our team!
Ashley Larkin, Physical Therapist, Rehabilitation Services
Ashley is a physical therapist who has been working with 11K and 7C patient populations for many years. She has always been a role model for excellent patient care, but in this specific situation she went above and beyond. We had a young bariatric patient on our unit for an extended period of time. This patient’s living conditions at home were such that he needed to be discharged to adult foster care. When Ashley worked with this patient, she discovered that he did not have any clothes that fit him, or any he could take with him to his new home. Ashley reached out to her manager and medical director, who helped by giving her funds to purchase specialty clothes for this patient. Ashley measured the patient, and found clothes online that she could purchase for him. She also found another therapist with a spouse who had the same shoe size as the patient to donate a pair of shoes. Ashley created a plan of care for this patient that will extend long beyond his time here at OHSU. She assisted in his transition to an improved state of being and I’m certain that this patient is grateful for her care.
Dr. Melissa Logan, Family Medicine
Dr. Logan was caring for a patient with sickle cell disease who was feeling very down and hopeless. The patient mentioned that he would be interested in sharing his story of sickle cell disease with others and that this would help him feel that he had some importance in his life. Dr. Logan emailed the medical school to see if he could be a speaker during the Hematology block, and she also spoke with the Family Medicine faculty to see if he could be part of the resident walk rounds. Further, she sought medical students on service to see if they would be interested in listening to this patient’s story. The patient was extremely upbeat when he found out that he would be able to share his story and expressed that he felt hope for the first time in a significant time. Dr. Logan is an amazing physician and should be recognized for how she goes the extra distance to make her patients feel cared for – not only from a medical standpoint but from their mental wellbeing standpoint.
Douglas Morales, Emergency Department Technician, Emergency Department
We had a very challenging patient, both medically and behaviorally, who was in desperate need of primary care. This patient had been bouncing in and out of emergency rooms for several months. After we confirmed that his outside primary care provider was unwilling to see the patient, we attempted to schedule him with our Internal Medicine clinic prior to discharge from our Emergency Department. The sticking point was that the patient needed to call his insurer and request to change his primary care provider. With the above challenges, we knew the patient would be unable to do this himself. Douglas spent more than two hours with multiple 30-minute (or longer) phone calls to assist this patient in contacting his insurer and requesting this change so that we could help him establish primary care. This act alone has advanced this patient’s care far more than any medical intervention his care team could have provided. Way to go, Douglas! Thank you!
Dr. Jackie Wirz, Assistant Dean, OHSU School of Medicine Graduate Studies
I had an asthma exacerbation due to the wildfires last fall and had to go to the Emergency Department. One of the physicians knew me and called Jackie since she is the dean of students. Jackie showed up in the ED and sat with me. She stuck with me through a transfer to another unit and waited until I had received definitive care and was breathing more comfortably – staying until nearly midnight. She checked on me daily – including the weekend – bringing books for me and keeping me company. On the day of discharge, I was hoping to get out for lunch so I could eat something other than hospital food, but due to a nebulizer treatment in the afternoon, I was stranded. Jackie went to the farmer’s market and returned with my planned lunch of tamales and horchata. We ate lunch together and celebrated my freedom from being in the hospital for six days. My family is on the east coast, so they weren’t able to fly out. Having someone checking on me and genuinely concerned about how I was doing meant more than I can express. Jackie epitomizes what it means to be a dean for student affairs. She is approachable, supportive, knowledgeable, empathetic and willing to share her own stories. She supports me when I am at my worst and she celebrates with me when I have a success. I am grateful for her.