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 the recipients from our most recent virtual ROSE Award ceremony and learn why they were nominated below!
Red ROSE Award recipients
Susan Clinton, Administrative Coordinator, Parking Administration
I contacted the parking office to ask what, if any, assistance my dad could get when parking at the Center for Health and Healing (CHH) for appointments. He’s 96 and still drives himself, but can rarely find an ADA parking spot and ends up having to park far away from the elevators which is a problem because he’s physically handicapped. There was no immediately obvious solution available since valet parking is not a current option at CHH. Susan suggested I contact patient transportation. I did so, but they would not be able to assist him in the parking garage at CHH. I thanked Susan for her help and figured I’d exhausted all options. Susan, however, did not just “let it go.” She followed up with me to ask if I’d found a solution and stated she was still investigating all possibilities. A few days later, she emailed me with a viable option! I am greatly impressed by and appreciative of Susan’s tenacity in resolving my dad’s dilemma. She did not have to go to such lengths to help us…but she DID! Definitely ROSE Award-worthy!
Jackie Sharpe, Supervisor, Pharmacy Services
Jackie Sharpe has worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to prevent waste and ensure extra COVID -19 vaccines from our PDX clinic would be given to patients currently admitted to the hospital. Although there was no formal process in place, this did not stop Jackie from taking it upon herself to distribute these extra vaccines to our patients in need. After staffing shifts at the clinic, she delivers the extra vaccines to the hospital, contacts providers and patients to gain consent, and then coordinates with nursing staff to administer – all within a time crunch given the vaccine expiration time. She would often stay until 11 p.m. to ensure every vaccine made it into the arms of our patients, and then she’d come back the next night to do it again! Jackie also worked with the registration department to ensure these patients could then get an appointment for their second vaccine after discharge. These patients are extra grateful to have been given the opportunity to be vaccinated and one could be heard telling the staff for days how appreciative she was of the pharmacist who made her vaccine possible. It’s amazing to see what a difference one person can make.
Team Award: Holly Norsworthy, R.N., Pediatric ICU, Aileen Kirby, M.D., Pediatric Critical Care, and Jodi Harper, R.N., Care Management
Recently, we had a patient with a very sick heart admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). I was the charge nurse this weekend night, and unfortunately, we did not have a Health Unit Coordinator (HUC). The doctor on that night was Aileen Kirby and the bedside nurse for this patient was Holly Norsworthy. This duo quickly recognized that the best option for the patient was to transfer him to a heart transplant center as soon as possible to escalate his care. I was so impressed by the commitment these two showed to make this happen as quickly and safely as possible. Normally, a case manager would coordinate this type of complex transfer to a heart transplant center, but because it was a weekend night, our PICU case manager was not available. Holly was determined to find a case manager and successfully found one on-call in the hospital. She looped her in to assist in this process. Jodi Harper, the case manager on-call, played a very important role in expediting this process. This trio of team members spent the first two hours of the shift making sure that the transfer could happen as soon as possible. They were thorough in making sure it was safe to transport, and that the family was well supported. In general, a process like this typically takes a day or two for the transplant center to accept a patient and get all the moving parts to align. With the dedication of Dr. Kirby, Holly and Jodi, this team was able to complete the entire handoff and transfer the patient in just two hours! This never could have happened without their tireless efforts, insistence to transfer to meet the needs of the patient and communication to make sure it all happened safely. The patient arrived at the accepting hospital and was able to receive the high level of care he needed. Without the leadership of this excellent team, the patient may not have survived.
Team Award: Phil Polansky, R.N., PACU, Lori Hicks, R.N., PACU, and Jess Calvert, Child Life Specialist
I am writing to express overwhelming gratitude and sincere appreciation for the care provided to my child during his most recent OR visit. As a mom of a child on the spectrum, preparing for surgery is nerve-wracking and I felt like it was going to be an incredibly difficult day. Your team made it a day to remember because of how flawless and easy it was to get through. With a child with autism and severe sensory processing issues, I am forever thankful for every one of you. The nurse that called me to go over pre-op questions and was professional, sweet, and could tell how nervous I was. She ended the call by telling me she was going to have Jess, a Child Life specialist, reach out to go over some ways we could help my son feel prepared. Fewer than 24 hours later, Jess called and spent nearly 30 minutes on the phone with me going over every way she could think of to make sure we felt comfortable throughout the entire experience. Her knowledge and expertise for kids with autism were amazing. She knew every question to ask, she knew all the different ways to offer help and encouragement and gave me ideas for ways I could talk to my son ahead of time. I got off the phone and felt a huge sense of relief. I already knew we were in good hands, but her phone call was incredibly helpful and relieving. We arrived for surgery the next day and were greeted by an amazing CNA. She was very kind-hearted in welcoming us. We were also quickly greeted by Lori, our pre-op nurse. What an angel. She approached my son so gently and made sure to ask permission before she did anything. Since she had to do his IV, she offered several ways she could do it to try and make him most comfortable. Jess came into the room (with a toy and a smiling face) and I got to meet the amazing woman who helped me so much by phone. Together, Jess and Lori were able to make a difficult IV process happen with no tears, no fight, and on his own. Truly a miracle. He went into surgery with a smile on his face and there were no tears from separation anxiety. That is amazing! It was a true indication of how great your team is and how comfortable they made him feel. One of my greatest concerns I had was when my son would be waking up from anesthesia. He had trouble in a past surgery and woke up very tearful and upset. I had expressed that to the team and they said they would make sure I was there. They didn’t skip a beat! Enter Phil, a nurse who is another AMAZING person. I was invited back into recovery and Phil was my son’s nurse. He hadn’t woke up from surgery yet but Phil began to try and rouse him. Phil was a kind and empathetic nurse. He treated him like his own son – as a mom, I appreciated that so much. He called him “buddy” and that felt like a warm and comforting term. He offered him a popsicle and continually updated me on what was coming up next in the process and how I could best support my son. Phil had every quality of a good nurse and he was so great with kids. He talked to my son about video games and other interests. You could tell it was his true passion to work in the field he’s in. My son woke up with no tears and very little pain after a tonsillectomy, thanks to your amazing care team. Phil even followed us down to our car to bring us masks that we had forgotten. That is above and beyond! Thank you, Phil.
Golden ROSE Award recipients
Amanda Foggia, R.N., Cardiovascular ICU
Amanda cared many nights for a young woman who was diagnosed with cancer during her pregnancy. During her patient’s long hospitalization and decline, Amanda coordinated care to give her the greatest amount of agency and dignity possible. For example, Amanda worked with our colleagues in the NICU so that her patient could see her baby after a traumatic emergency cesarean section. Over time, Amanda and her patient collaborated to safely minimize sedation so that the vented patient could even hold her baby. Amanda also advocated for her patient to see her husband, her mother and other two young children. Ultimately, Amanda’s patient chose to go home on hospice. She expressed that she was scared to undergo her terminal extubation with a nurse she wasn’t familiar with. Amanda volunteered to stay until 10:45 am (more than three extra hours after her 12-hour shift) to assist with the extubation and help her to the ambulance that would take her home. Amanda deserves a ROSE award for three reasons. The first is simply that she did everything in her power to do right by her patient. Secondly, Amanda worked with this patient to support her dignity and fulfill her wishes to see her family. She was able to accomplish this while maintaining appropriate emotional boundaries with her. Finally, Amanda supported this patient with poise and grace that was an inspiration to us as a unit. Her exceptional service was done without hope of recognition, yet deserves to be valued publicly. Although she has only been practicing for a year, she went out of her way to make sure that her patient had the end of life and death that she wanted.
Team Award: Jessica Robinson, R.N., and Suzette Kennedy, R.N., Trauma
We have a patient who has been at OHSU since the end of November. He has a terrible brain injury and would likely have died outside if he had not been hit by a car and brought to OHSU. While we work on placement, the nurses of 13A have been true heroes, providing care and support day in and day out. I want to highlight two nurses in particular: Jessica and Suzette. They came together to ensure that this patient had a good birthday. The patient is frustrated by being at OHSU and can often be belligerent and difficult to deal with. I wouldn’t have blamed the nurses if they had let his birthday go by or simply arranged for a cake from the cafeteria and moved on. Instead, Suzette and Jesse made his birthday special. They got clothes from the clothing closet and wrapped them all individually. Someone found him a leather jacket (he has been talking about leather jackets for months) and they got him waffles because he was asking about them the day before. The patient was so overwhelmed he cried; I’m tearing up as I write this. The compassion and care that these nurses have put into caring for this patient is incredible. I also learned that Suzette took his laundry home to wash so that he can wear normal clothes while he in the hospital. Please join me in recognizing the incredible work of these nurses who go above and beyond daily – but especially so in this case.
Team Award: Amber Streifel, Pharm.D., Home Infusion Pharmacy Service, and Monica Sikka, M.D., Infectious Disease
OHSU has been treating a young patient with an unusually complicated invasive fungal infection for several weeks. This patient has been receiving treatment with two broad-spectrum antifungals and while he is no longer clinically deteriorating, his clinical status remains poor and improvement, if occurring, is painfully slow. Drs. Monica Sikka and Amber Streifel were aware of a new Phase 2 antifungal currently in clinical trials that has been highly recommended by experts who have treated these types of patients. They reached out to the drug company to request the medication for compassionate use. Unfortunately, the company said no due to its Phase 2 status and requested OHSU start a clinical trial if they wanted access to the medication. Rather than give up, Amber and Monica took on the roles of Principle Investigator and Study Coordinator, something they had minimal experience with or knowledge of, and OHSU became a clinical trial site for this patient. Within just a few weeks, they have obtained IRB approval and started to receive study supplies. The amount of work and time put in for this patient is remarkable and a wonderful example of their dedication to patient care.
Team Award: Karli Del Biondo, R.N., Cardiac and Vascular Intermediate Care Unit, and Catherine VanGinkel, R.N., Cardiovascular ICU
On a recent Saturday night, a group of nurses went above and beyond despite being done with their shift and on their way home. It all began around 7:45 p.m., when Karli, a nurse on the Cardiovascular Intermediate Care Unit, was walking to her car in the Kohler Pavilion Parking Garage after a long 12-hour shift. As she described it, “I was walking out the main Kohler lobby and noticed a couple in distress walking up from parking level 1. I put my stuff in the car and then looked back to make sure they were okay. By that point I noticed them running into the lobby.” When Karli saw this, she immediately got out of her car and ran to them to ask if they needed help. Upon reaching them, she realized that the woman had just given birth to a baby boy. Karli quickly asked the father for his jacket and helped wrap the baby boy in the jacket while also using the packed bath robe that they had packed to cover the mother. After doing that, the elevator doors opened and Karli called out to the elevator, which was full of nurses heading home, to call for help. Catherin, a CVICU nurse, called the Labor and Delivery floor directly to let them know what was happening and to send help. She also ensured the Rapid Response Team was activated. Soon after, Department of Public Safety, the adult Rapid Response Team and the OB Rapid Response Team arrived to assist. It was truly a team effort. After stabilizing both the mom and the baby boy, Karli left them to be taken care of by that excellent team of healthcare providers who took her up to the ward. Despite this being an unexpected event, all team members were calm, worked together seamlessly and helped ensure that the baby and mom were well taken care of. All of these team members should be celebrated for their dedication to patient care and for responding quickly in an emergency.