Congratulations to the November 2019 ROSE Award recipients

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

Mary Ames, R.N., 11K Cardiovascular Intermediate Care Unit (CVICU)
There are few nurses who are as caring, committed and compassionate as Mary Ames. Not only is she the sunniest person you will ever know, she’s tough as nails and always has your back. This applies to her fellow nurses as well as her patients. Her heart overflows with kindness and will always go the extra mile to help her patients in any way she can. The most perfect example of this is when she helped a patient on our floor with a mental deficit. This patient has a learning disability and struggled with being able to verbalize his pain after a CT placement. After attempting multiple ways to help this patient manage his pain adequately and to help them come to understand the process, Mary decided to be completely creative and tailored a plan perfect for this patient. She made a special chest tube using straws from the OHSU water bottles, a tele halter and a tissue box, so the patient now had a matching chest tube as his companion. The patient was unbelievably thrilled with having a little buddy that looked just like him – it was a turning point in the patient’s care. I’ve never seen a better instance of a nurse who deserves to be recognized for caring so much and going above and beyond. I can’t think of anyone who better embodies the OHSU nursing vision to ‘be the leader for professional nurses, recognized for innovation, compassion and excellence in patient care.’

Teberih Medhanie, Custodian, Environmental Services
I was a surgery patient here not long ago. I was feeling upset because my son couldn’t come visit. Teberih overheard my conversation while she was quietly cleaning. She spoke to me about it and was so kind and understanding that I felt so much better! Well, I am back, she came in and we started talking again. About how I was, why I was back, how my son is – she even remembered which room number I was in last time. Teberih is obviously great at her job; she is quick, efficient and very thorough – but even more than that, she went so far past the extra mile both times I have encountered her. She really is special.

Deborah Smith, Payroll Specialist 
This nomination is long overdue. I have relied on Deborah for years now to save the day and troubleshoot all of my payroll-related issues and discrepancies. Deborah is consistently responsive and helpful with any issue I bring to her. And, no matter how messy and complicated the issue I bring to Deborah is, she will tackle it head-on. From avoiding over-payments and under-payments, answering tax questions and dealing with retroactive pay issues, Deborah usually comes up with the solution or an answer. One would think with some of the issues I’ve taken to Deborah, she’d stop answering my calls/emails/messages. But that’s not the case at all, she’s always friendly, knowledgeable and willing to help. Deborah exemplifies outstanding customer service and we’re fortunate to have her here at OHSU. Thank you Deborah for being a consistent OHSU Rock star!!!”

Talia Christensen, R.N., 13K Adult Oncology 
Talia is an exceptional nurse but this story in particular sticks out: We had a long-term patient with a very sad and complex history who had been on our floor for multiple months. And although many resources were involved, Talia took it upon herself to ensure no stone was left unturned to ensure a safe and comfortable discharge to a homeless shelter for this patient. Talia performed a feat that went above and beyond her daily required assigned work: She spent numerous hours personally coordinating and contacting homeless shelters, managing medication delivery and preparing this patient for discharge. This patient would be discharging early the next day and would have very tight time constraints; they were extremely anxious and required extensive amounts of education in self-management. Every interaction with this patient was time consuming due to the complexity as well as the fact that the patient was lonely and longed for conversation and interaction. It was very evident the amount of additional education and work that went into caring for and preparing this patient for discharge. All of this prep work made the day of discharge so much easier for not only the patient but myself as well. The patient was very grateful and numerous times commented on the extra work and time Talia had given in preparation for discharge. Talia deserves so much more than mere words for the giving generosity of herself for this patient.

Isaac Fishler, R.N., 13K Adult Oncology
Nurses were great, food was surprisingly good. Chemo, though terrifying, was fine. Determined to stay healthy, I walked the halls a lot the next day. I had been fearful the chemo would preclude my exercise, but it was a wonderful surprise to remain unaffected. However, I had not understood nor been informed that I would have to have the drip pole with me for seven days. I felt a bit overwhelmed and underprepared and the pole was probably the symbol for me of my “incarceration.” In any event, luckily for me, Isaac (normally a night nurse) was working the morning shift. He was personable, humorous and clearly knowledgeable. He understood how frustrating the pole was for me, as I am a power walker. He said he would find out if there was a way to be off the drip when walking. And he made it happen! In a busy ward where there are consistent demands, he listened to and responded to a special case. I felt cared for and respected. And I resumed walking with great elation. In fact, I did so well, the drip pole was only used during treatments. Later that same day, having spent humorous moments with Isaac, who made the most mundane and odd practices here almost fun, I mentioned the incredible view on the other side of the ward. I told him if/when I come back for treatment, I was going to put a reservation for a room on that side. Without my knowledge, Isaac went to work to see if there would be an opening on that side during this one-month stay. Later in the afternoon, miraculously, he came into my room and said, “How would you feel about a change of scenery?” He brought a cart, helped me pack up, and now I am enjoying sunrises, boats, birds, helicopters, trams and even a warehouse fire. The difference that view and connection makes is immeasurable. I cannot describe to you what a difference it makes when real people make real connections in this crazy medical universe in which we unexpectedly find ourselves. I cannot thank him enough for making that difference. His personal skills, confidence, strength, and interest are exceptional and I know he will make a big difference in the experience and healing here at OHSU.

Golden ROSE Award recipients

Aaron Carlton, Public Officer, Public Safety, Child Life Specialist
Officer Aaron Carlton not only responded to a code green promptly but he successfully de-escalated the situation. He helped calm the patient by listening for over one hour and coloring with her. He was so patient and kind to our patient; he saved the day! The patient would not respond to the nurse, doctor and other individuals attempting to de-escalate but this officer’s calm demeanor was enough to have this patient stop crying and listen. Officer Carter showed extreme patience, compassion, and professionalism during a very stressful encounter. He went above and beyond to create a rapport and de-escalate this patient. In doing so, he prevented the team from having to use more aggressive measurements and causing the patient more stress, trauma and prolonged hospital stay. We were all lucky to have him as a part of our team tonight.

Tammi Cloutier, Administrative Coordinator, Patient Advocate
An individual with a unique companion animal was admitted to the hospital for treatment of a life threatening illness. Spot’s presence posed an infection risk in the hospital. When health care personnel were unable to identify an option for Spot’s care outside the hospital, Tammi volunteered to provide foster care in her home through the patient’s hospitalization. She interviewed the patient to learn Spot’s food and comfort preferences and regularly brought pictures of Spot to our patient. She provided a safe, comforting environment for Spot, and reassurance to our patient for more than three weeks. Although she became very attached to Spot, Tammi was true to her word and reunited Spot with their owner at discharge. Tammi went above and beyond to comfort our patient through his illness by caring for and returning his companion animal. She deserves a Golden ROSE Award.

Dawn Ryan, Ophthalmic Photographer, Casey Eye Institute
We had a prominent imaging device go down in our Vancouver satellite clinic for Casey Eye Institute right before several busy retina clinics. This would mean re-scheduling 50 or more patients a day. Dawn volunteered to come in on the 4th of July and, along with the vendor, set up a loaner device. The clinic was saved for the next week and rescheduling impacts were minimal. She went above and beyond to keep our clinics running smoothly and help our patients. Great job, Dawn!”


Know someone at OHSU who deserves recognition? Nominate them for a ROSE Award!