Making a difference: October 2016 highlights

November 15, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Employees across UMHS continue to make a difference through their hard work and dedication. Recognizing the contributions employees make to UMHS helps our team to become more motivated, drives better teamwork, and gives each individual a sense that they are an integral part of achieving our organizational goals.

You may not always realize the impact you make during each customer interaction (both internal and external), but it’s a vital part of the relationship-building process that the UMHS team uses to engage with patients and each other. Here are a few examples of team members who made a difference last month:

Patient/Family Member to Staff

Brock Talman, Clinical Nurse I – 4DNI Neuro ICU

Brock cared for my husband during a very difficult time for us both. Brock was extremely patient, funny and inventive. He used common sense and also had exceptional knowledge of his job and what was needed to care for my husband. For three days he worked with him, always keeping a positive attitude and also finding ways to do things that individually fit my husband’s needs that may have been different from other patients. My husband has frequent hospital stays and nurses that make the time to do these things are hard to find. He was simply amazing. Brock also took time to help me with learning how I could better care for my husband as he recovers. I will always be grateful for having him as our RN for those three very difficult days.

Kirsten Barrett, RN – Ophthalmology (Kellogg Eye Center) – Surgery

Kirsten Barrett is an exemplary advocate for the Kellogg Eye Center. She is the epitome of caring! Recently, my father was scheduled for cornea surgery. He had a wonderful surgical experience, however when he was brought back to recovery, the healing procedure of lying flat for 24 hours became problematic. He couldn’t breathe well at all, so he was placed on oxygen, which seemed to help resolve the issue, but his breathing was still labored. Kirsten asked a lot of caring and thoughtful questions to try and determine why he might be having problems. She treated him as if he were her own father. She thought he should be observed overnight and worked with the surgeon and anesthesiologist to ensure he was admitted. We haven’t had a productive experience regarding my father’s shortness of breath in the small town that we’re from, so now we are only allowing him to see the best of the best and will be driving to Ann Arbor for all of his appointments moving forward! We feel like we owe it to Kirsten and her caring ways. Kirsten deserves this recognition and we want everyone to know what a wonderful ambassador she is!

Pediatric Surgery Team

I want to deeply thank the pediatric surgery team. My son recently had a hernia repair and his care could not have been better. He was seven weeks old when he had the surgery and as a mom, I was overwhelmed with worry about my baby being put under anesthesia so young. As much as I tried to be strong, I could not hide my tears and cried almost throughout the entire stay. The team at U-M could not have been more compassionate and kindly reassured me that he was in good hands. Dr. Bruch and his team took excellent care of our son, both clinically and emotionally. In fact, when the surgery was over, I was happy to see that he was being held closely by one of the team members. I was afraid that my son would be scared and alone without me, but seeing him being cradled so closely made me feel like they really cared about him. We had a choice of where to go for this surgery and I’m so glad we chose U-M. Thank you for treating our son like your son!

Staff to Staff

Stephanie Vongphachanh, Unit Custodian – Environmental Services

My teammates and I would like to show our appreciation for the work that Stephanie does. She is the unit custodian assigned to our area and has been cleaning in the Radiology department for almost a year now. We have seen different people in her position over the years, however, none have been as thorough, patient, kind, diligent with spot-checking or faithful in answering the emergency pages for clean up as Stephanie! She is an exemplary employee who is always pleasant. We hope she knows that her hard work is noticed and that she is appreciated!

Gary McDaniel, Patient Equipment Attendant – Materiel Services

Since Gary has been assigned to the Clean Bed Room, Clinical Engineering has seen a significant drop in the daily broken bed count from the high to mid-thirties down to the low twenties. This is due to Gary checking for operator type errors on the beds located in the (B2) tunnel with notes that say they are broken. Additionally, the organization in the Clean Bed Room and in the tunnel is the best I’ve ever seen. Please keep Gary on this job!

Erin Karr, Guest Service Specialist – Entrance Services

Erin is what U-M is all about: providing service with a smile. Recently, one of our patients made arrangements with a friend to be dropped off near the stop on E. Medical Center Drive. The patient walked with care to the front entrance and was transported to his appointment on the 2nd level of Taubman at check-in, at which time he noticed his (eyeglass) case was missing. After searching the hallway with no results, Erin retraced his route to search for his case. The patient eventually found his glasses in his friend’s truck. I appreciate Erin going above and beyond to assist in the search for this patient’s personal belongings. Thank you, Erin!

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