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
Robert Christian, Transportation, Hospital Transportation
Robert has come to 10 South on a few occasions for a particular patient that is extremely anxious. As many know, 10S is a pediatric Hematology/Oncology unit and our patients are dealing with both serious life-changing diagnoses and very emotional and sometime painful procedures. This patient was an 11-year-old boy who had to have radiation services almost daily. He would be extremely anxious when transportation picked him up, but when he sees Robert, his face lights up and the conversation begins. It starts with a high five and then he starts to talk with him regarding all sorts of things. You can physically see his anxiety melt away. As they walk down the halls, Robert will point things out and joke with him about little things. You can hear laughter and it’s such a relief not only for this young man but for his mother who is there with him. This young man even asked if he could request to have Robert daily. He was told that it wasn’t possible, so whenever Robert happens to come for him it is a happy surprise for sure! We appreciate people like Robert here on 10S and his positive caring work ethic is noticed by all of our staff and talked about whenever he leaves. As I am writing this I overheard this patient’s nurse talking to her coworker about her interaction with Robert and how amazing he was with her patient. My hope is that OHSU employees can all be as amazing as Robert is in his professional, yet compassionate nature.
Erin Corbett, Facilities Administrative Manager, Facilities Management
Erin recently took over the Facilities Admin team. The team was spread across campus and departments unhappy and siloed. Erin’s first step was to engage us and find our strengths. Then she reorganized the Admin team into an actual team that plays to our strengths, which allows us to enjoy and excel in our work. Our Admin team and Facilities are stronger because of the bold move Erin made to deconstruct and reorganize the Admin team. We are still spread across campus (mostly because Facilities has such a big footprint), but we are no longer alone in our silos. I have spent three years at OHSU in Environmental Services and Facilities. During that time, I have had the opportunity to tangentially experience nearly every department. I can firmly say that each department’s culture is different and their leaders set their culture. Erin engages her employees in a positive and productive manner that make us want to excel. Every one of us performs above our level because we know we are appreciated and trusted to make the best decision in the moment. I can personally attest to the difference Erin makes on her employees. When I was one of Erin’s new report she told us once to always go above and keep positive when we had tough days or extra work. Inevitably, hard work and a good attitude would be recognized and rewarded. That sounded like another managerial pep talk at the time, but I realize now how serious she was. Being part of Erin’s team has changed my perspective of OHSU from being just a job to place I love to work at and am proud tell my family and friends about. OHSU is a great place to be, but it is up to our leaders to set a positive example.
Jean Kolb, R.N., 10North (Medical/Surgical Intermediate Care)
Jean is wonderful person. She truly cares for her patient and it showed when my son, who is 20, was having issues with his girlfriend and was on all kinds of medications. He started confiding in Jean about problems when I wasn’t there. She listened to him for 30 minutes and was so patient with him. Letting him know he needs to think of himself first to get healthy first. I appreciated that she listened to him because he needed that – a person who wasn’t his mom. She taught him how to self-catheter, all the while making him feel comfortable. I know this is her job, but she was so caring for him. You could feel she cared. People like her truly make a difference in this world and should be acknowledged for this.
Mary Orth, Administrative Assistant, Northwest Portland Hem/Onc
Mary Orth is an amazing part of our team at Northwest Community Hematology Oncology (CHO) and is someone who contributes to keeping the clinic running smoothly. It is very difficult for me to write this down as words cannot define all that Mary has done for her team or the work she puts in every day. Mary is an administrative assistant and works in our staffing department, but this does not stop her from engaging in improving the work environment with the NW CHO team and helping her team whenever possible. When we were short on medical assistants, Mary stepped up and volunteered to help the medical assistants as the exam coordinator. She helped with the work flow, and her presence is crucial in boosting morale and spreading positivity on days we are understaffed and incredibly busy. Recently, one of our Patient Access Service (PAS) Specialists took vacation and we unfortunately had to re-route our float to a different site based on a critical need. Mary offered to help the PAS (as she had previously been in this role) and jumped in immediately by checking patients in, helping prep charts, providing outstanding customer service to our patients and helping reduce the workload of the other PAS. Regardless the day we were having (busy or not), Mary does her job with a smile. Mary is such an inspirational, hardworking employee. She handles stressful situations with positivity and helps lead the team. She is always asking question, is willing to learn new things to not only grow as a person but be able to step in to help when needed and she takes on challenges with curiosity. Mary brings ideas to our clinic to help improve work flows, help create communication and better build a team environment.
Deidra Weinert, R.N., 9North (Pediatric Acute Care: Medical)
Deidra is a tremendous asset to the 9N team and is always going above and beyond, whether it is advocating for her patients as a bedside nurse, supporting and advocating for her nurses as the charge nurse or advocating for patient and family involvement in quality improvement projects and at UBNPC (unit-based nursing practice committee). Deidra recently cared for a patient admitted for an eating disorder. These patients can often be challenging as they have strict care guidelines and often have little control over things that can trigger a lot of anxiety for them. Deidra took the time to sit down, listen, and address these concerns. Afterwards, Deidra shared this letter to me that was written to her from this patient: “Thank you so much. At my lowest, you gave me hope, faith and love. You didn’t even know me, yet you knew all the words to say. You taught me that I have so much power within. You reminded me that God still had work for me to do and that I should never give up. You inspired to go a little bit longer so that one day I would be able to help all the people God intended for me to help. With your words, I am beginning to try and understand trust. Trusting that people only want to help me, they aren’t trying to make me ‘fat.’ You helped me begin to identify when my eating disorder speaks and when I speak. You gave me so much support when I didn’t think I wanted to give anything more. Thank you sooo much. I will always remember you and what you did to help me begin my recovery.’ This is one small example of the huge impact Deidra makes for the patients, families and staff on 9N. She has a way of lifting people up and her energy and passion for nursing and excellence are contagious!
Team Award: Amy Do, Criselda Felix, Elise Ulmer and Wendy Gleason, Executive Assistants, Hospital Administration
While we know in theory that engaging the heart (and stomach) of people is foundational to high morale and high performance, it is easy to prioritize responding to the hectic day-to-day demands over taking the time to live these ideals. Our nursing administration department has the gift of four talented executive assistants who have dedicated themselves to attracting nursing executives to follow their vision about the importance of celebrating and relating to each other as people. We recently added four new directors to our team – these were both new roles and people new to their role so there were plenty of unknowns and some nervousness all around. The executive assistants made a specific point of including these new leaders in all of the team events and celebrations to create a true “warm welcome.” They also have adapted to the additional workload and assignments that come with both the onboarding and support of four additional team members, and did it all without blinking an eye. This powerful group of four recently serviced two major nursing-wide events that had to be implemented in the same week: Nurses Week and the Nursing Shared Governance Day activities. They participated in planning, communicating, coordinating and implementing variety of tasks that include popcorn delivery, handouts, speakers, presentations for over 125 nurses and weekly marketing posts around campus. All of this work had to come together and be executed in the same week in May. While overseeing these huge organizational events that have broad team benefit with efficiency and a clear drive for excellence, these four are mindful to contributing their special touches to make sure the experiences engage the hearts (and stomachs) of all who are lucky enough be the recipient of their generous spirits.
Golden ROSE Award recipients
Jade Cheldelin, Patient Access Service Resource Specialist, Dermatology
Jade is a referral coordinator in our clinic and recently she went way above and beyond to assist in getting a patient the care they needed. When calling out on a referral that we had received from surgical oncology the patient had informed us that they had refused both treatment there as well as here with us due to the fact they were not able to financially afford to have it done. Jade initially just referred the patient over to financial assistance and assumed her job was done, but the patient called back shortly after to tell Jade that financial assistance had stated she was ineligible and referred her over to the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), who had also told her she was ineligible. Jade took it upon herself to call OHP on the patient’s behalf and figure out the reason was for the denial. It turned out there was an issue on their side of things. Jade spent the next three weeks on the phone over various days with both Medicaid and Medicare, acting as this patient’s champion until she was finally able get it corrected within the Medicare system. After three weeks of fighting with the insurance companies, Jade was finally able to get this patient full Medicare coverage for her visit. The patient had given up and never asked Jade to reach out on her behalf and Jade took it upon herself to go above and beyond to get the patient the care she needed. During her visit, the patient asked our provider if she could meet Jade to express her immense gratification. This patient ended up having a 6 cm scalp tumor – she was able to be treated for it and covered through insurance thanks to Jade’s efforts.
Joel Sheridan, Construction Project Manager, Design & Construction Reimbursable Project
Joel began his tenure with us as a Construction Safety Officer in January 2012. He is tasked with making construction as invisible as possible in OHSU’s patient care environments and protecting people, property and healthcare operations from the potential risks presented by our construction, demolition and renovation work. He is a devout advocate of ensuring our construction work stays in compliance with OHSU and DNV requirements, and he stays quite busy as a primary interface between project managers, contractors, Infection Prevention & Control, Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities and many other involved stakeholders. Joel consistently goes way beyond expectations in order to support OHSU staff and project teams and make sure the environment of healing is preserved and protected throughout our renovation activities. Projects do not move forward without a thorough plan in place to minimize potential risks. It is Joel that we should all thank the most for ensuring our construction work stays consistent with OHSU’s mission of protecting the health and well-being of everyone whose lives are touched by what we do. Joel is well known for his ever helpful disposition and absolute dedication to our healthcare mission. He is extremely knowledgeable and highly respected among our project teams and stakeholders. Without a doubt he contributes to more positive outcomes than anyone can count. Those who work with Joel know him as a talented teacher, coach, technical expert and coordinator whose efforts are consistently above and beyond.
Susan Stubbs, Telemetry Monitor Technician, 11K Cardiac & Vascular Intermediate Care Unit (CVICU)
Susan is an exceptional HUC, telemetry tech, co-worker and human being. She is always willing to do extra work to assist patients, and to ensure our unit operates as smoothly as possible. Susan really went above the call of duty last night when a patient we transferred to a skilled nursing facility left their dentures behind in their room. She immediately offered to take them their dentures because she didn’t want them to be without them over night. We had a plan to get them to the individual the following day, but Susan said something along the lines of “I don’t want them to be without their dentures tonight. I want to ensure they can eat well, and I can relate!” Susan lives out toward the facility, but it was quite a way beyond her home and required her husband to pick her up, drive there, and then drive home. Susan had worked 12 hours and was back the next morning. Susan has such a big heart, and she truly felt she couldn’t rest knowing they did not have their dentures. We are grateful to have such a kind-hearted, conscientious, determined co-worker on 11K/7C. Thank you, Susan!
Team Award: Albert Chi, M.D., Mackenzie Cook, M.D., Surgical Trauma/Critical Care
Drs. Cook and Chi went above and beyond for a seriously injured young woman who had been hospitalized for weeks. She was going to miss seeing Ice Cube in concert as a result of her injuries so they reached out to Ice Cube’s manager with hope of arranging a visit. They together were able to surprise her and substantially improve her outlook. Drs. Cook and Chi regularly go out of their way to find ways they can comfort injured patients and deserve a ROSE Award to recognize their unique compassion.
Team Award: Donna Abell, R.N., Post Anesthesia Recovery Unit, Matthew Kieselhorst, Surgical Services Technician, Surgery, and Eugene Neilson, Perioperative Supply Coordinator, Materials Management Administration
On a Monday morning around 6:30, Donna, Matt and Eugene (members of the CHH Surgery Center) were the first members of the public to respond to a very serious automobile accident, where a car with one occupant tumbled more than 40 feet down an embankment and landed on its side at the courtyard of a children’s playground. This playground belonged to the daycare center located at the South Waterfront area that’s used by many families in the CHH community. Each one of these OHSU members played a critical role in the support and aid of the victim inside the vehicle. Gene was able to improvise on the spot a method to gain access to the vehicle by breaking the window with a metal tricycle parked in the area. Donna, who is a nurse, was then able to gain access to the vehicle, approached the victim and provided first aid. Matt was able to quickly acquire a fire extinguisher to deal with the small fire on the back of the vehicle. Both Gene and Matt remained at the scene and continued to support Donna in providing care to the victim until further advanced medical care teams arrived at the scene. The quick decision and resolve by Donna, Gene and Matt to put themselves at risk to aid a car accident victim during a terrible car accident is what sets these amazing OHSU staff members apart. I highly recommend these three staff members for a ROSE Award by OHSU as they exemplified the best in all of us.