UH Achieves

Welcome to UH Achieves

UH Achieves recognizes and rewards our employees in non-management positions who go beyond what is expected and make UH special. The program is designed to encourage and incentivize the kinds of behaviors that promote patient satisfaction, quality and innovation.

We have our most recent award winners highlighted in this section. Please click HERE to view the photo gallery. Read the detailed descriptions about each winner below.

President’s Team Award –

Heidi McClure (Lab), Jennette Crumrine (Lab), Rita Donelson (Lab), Julie Davis (Patient Access Services), Woodie Robinson (Health Information Management), Tara Thayer (Patient Financial Services)

Nominator: Mark Switzer

In July 2016, a team of UH Samaritan Medical Center employees from various departments met to discuss and develop a new service for providing 24 hour laboratory services to nursing homes in Ashland. Brethren Care was selected as our first nursing home to pilot this new service line. The team came together several times to work out the details on what was required on the order, the registration process, the collection process, the testing process, the coding process and finally, the billing process. All these details were drafted and shared with everyone for approval. August 1st was the go-live date.

Heidi McClure, phlebotomist, was selected to take charge of the collections and be the coordinator for laboratory services at the nursing home. During the first month, Heidi worked closely with the nurse managers at the 5 locations on the Brethren Care campus and made sure that their needs were being met. She was given the responsibility and freedom to adapt the process and work flow with the objective of making sure that the collections were done accurately. The other members of the team monitored the accuracy of the orders as well as the registration, coding and billing processes to make sure the new service was a success. All members of the team worked together with the common goal of providing quality service and patient care to the patients we serve in the local nursing homes.

In the first month, we collected and processed 225 orders. This equated to 570 tests for a total of $41,197 of net charges. The year-end totals for the 5 months of laboratory services to the nursing home facility was 1,141 collections and 2,837 completed tests for a total of $211,841 in net charges.

President’s Team Award –

The ACM team of Patti Garn, Kathy Grassman, Sarah Henthorn, Jenny McQuate, Pam Mencl, Heather Sullivan

Nominator: Karin Schwan

The team on Ambulatory Care Medicine (ACM) had a whirlwind 7 months beginning in July 2016. They previously had an Oncology Clinic when Dr. Lun was coming to Samaritan. However, it had been years since the Oncology Clinic was in operation here. Starting in July 2016 all the nurses on ACM attended training at Sharon Center in Wadsworth to begin to learn the UN protocols. The new Oncology Clinic was implemented with Dr. Teston in September 2016. The nurses are currently working towards their certification. In addition to learning a new set of skills and protocols, the staff brought up 2 telehealth clinics; something totally new to this staff and relatively new to Samaritan. Teleneurology started in August 2016 and Teleneurosurgery started January 2017. Additionally, the staff set up a neurology “on site” clinic in August 2016. To say it has been overwhelming is an understatement, and yet, the staff has done this with great professionalism and with attention to being excellent in the care given to patients. I have heard positive comments from the staff on being excited to learn new things, from physicians involved, and from the patients. It has been impressive to watch this team come together and offer new services to our community.

President’s Individual Award – Shannon Graves, BWU

Nominator: Lisa Bushong

On December 1st, 2016 Shannon was on duty when a critical situation occurred on the Birthing and Women’s Unit. This situation involved a patient who Samaritan staff knew, making the situation even more emotional for staff.

In this case, Shannon went above and beyond by staying beyond her shift and personally remaining with this patient until she was through surgery and stabilized.

I recently received this note of thanks from the patient describing her feelings regarding how Shannon cared for her and her family during this event.

“I recently was a patient in the OB in December. A few weeks prior to giving birth, Shannon Graves met with me to calm my fears of having a child without an epidural as I was not medically able to have an epidural. On delivery day, I went in thinking everything would go ‘normal’ like my previous deliveries. This one ended up being anything but normal. I hemorrhaged after the birth and then went into emergency surgery. I really cannot say enough praises for the entire OB team that day. The level of care I received was excellent, but Shannon really stood out to me and my family.

After the birth, Shannon sensed that something wasn’t completely right before anything ever happened. When things started going south, she took charge while maintaining a sense of calmness that helped keep my husband as calm as could be. She also followed and stayed with me during the surgery. I don’t recall some parts of that day, but my husband still talks about how grateful he was for Shannon’s care of his wife, saying ‘she was phenomenal’. I really feel that Shannon showed a very high level of compassion and went above and beyond. I will be forever grateful for the care that I received those days!”

Superior Achievement Award – Heather Flinner, ED

Nominator: Kathy Witmer

UH Samaritan Medical Center’s Emergency Department staff, led by Heather Flinner, RN, collect donations each month for ED’s Pay It Forward initiative. Pay It Forward is a group of 10 ED employees who organize monthly donations to local organizations. One month, the group collected children’s books that were distributed to children cared for in the ED. Another month, dollars went toward purchasing camera equipment for the Ashland Police Department.

“Through our work in the ED, we feel that we are in a position to see where the needs are in our community,” said Heather. “Our ED staff naturally has giving hearts, so we made it our mission to help those that are in need beyond what we do in the workplace. We hope to become infectious with our giving. We like to promote the positive and encourage others to do so as well.”

Other organizations that have been the recipient of Pay It Forward collections include the Ashland Food Bank, Crystal Care Center of Ashland, and the Ethiopia Medical Mission Trip. The recipient of the month provides a list of needed items, which is distributed to some 60 ED employees who then purchase the items, or provide a monetary donation.

Superior Achievement Award – Laura Rafeld, Communications and Development

Nominator: Kathy Witmer

In October 2016, a UH Samaritan Medical Center employee suffered a medical emergency at East Main Street. Laura was summoned to assist. She did so immediately and provided extraordinary care and compassion to the employee, the employee’s family, as well as to other employees witnessing the event and during the “after” event. Laura was calm and professional while competently assessing the situation, ensured 911 was called, and cared for the patient until EMS arrived. Her air of confidence projected an air of calm on the entire scene. The employee, unfortunately, passed away. As a result of this event, Laura felt East Main Street needed an emergency care kit as well as a readily available list of employees in the building who are nurses and/or who have BLS or higher certifications. She put together a task force to research and accomplish this. East Main Street now has a cupboard in the hallway by the cafeteria with a stock of emergency supplies. Employees were informed of the “why” and “where”. It also includes a list of names of individuals within the building who could be called upon in the case of a medical emergency to provide nursing and/or BLS skills. While this does not replace the need for employees to know and understand the system’s safety codes and respective responsibilities, it does provide a “security blanket” for the employees at East Main Street, the majority of whom are non-clinical staff. It is reassuring to know there are on-site resources and skilled professionals – accessible, able and willing to assist in emergencies – proactively. Laura was the catalyst who made this happen.

Superior Achievement Award – AJ Sockwell, Patient Care Services

Nominator: Dr. James Mooney

A.J. started a nursing recognition program. The idea stemmed from her role as a float nurse in multiple different departments. She wanted the program to serve multiple purposes. While the primary goal was to recognize her colleagues for the exceptional work done in our system, the program intended to build teamwork as well. A.J. put together a nominating process, developed a selection team, and coordinated a recognition dinner. Winners of the recognition came from nominations provided by members of the staff and the community. All departments were included in the process including outpatient services. Now in its sixth year, the annual dinner has grown each year. A.J. also found a place in the hospital to post the award recipients for the community to see. I think that her wiliness to recognize her colleagues and promote teamwork across multiple disciplines in the system represents going above and beyond her daily work activities. The process validates the hard work of her colleagues in the nursing profession. In so doing, she is encouraging the nursing staff to continue to provide exceptional care to the patients we serve.

Superior Achievement Award – Jill Hartson, Communications and Development

Nominators: Kathy Witmer and Bev Iceman

The Family Care Bag project originated from an employee whose husband was being treated at James Cancer. On the third day of their stay, staff at James Cancer presented the caregiver with a bag containing comfort items. An idea was born…the idea was presented to the Customer Service Council and ultimately, Jill with the help of others began spearheading the project in June 2016. They developed criteria for distribution, coordinated funding with the volunteers and Samaritan Hospital Foundation, identified items for inclusion, assessed numbers needed, determined location for bag assembly and storage, and developed tracking methods. It was determined 60 bags per month would be needed to meet the criteria of patients who had a minimum LOS of three days. Bags cost $15.73 each with an annual estimated cost of $11,325/year. Funding was secured through the Samaritan Hospital Foundation. Items included a string back pack, blanket, notebook with pen, hand sanitizer, large word search book, and lip balm. Jill shared progress throughout the process with the Customer Service Council. In addition, a log was developed to explain distribution to Nursing Supervisors and to track recipients to avoid duplication. “Because We Care” cards were created and included in the bag which explain the purpose to recipients and allows them the opportunity to provide feedback. Communication was sent to hospital staff, physicians and volunteers. Distribution began January 2017. Forty two bags were distributed in January and four response cards were returned. Response has been extremely positive with high praise to staff for care during their stay. This was a huge undertaking for Jill who researched, developed and implemented the entire project in a short six months.