Meet your Michigan Medicine gold medalists

February 20, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

In honor of the ongoing Winter Olympics, Headlines recently asked you to name the colleagues in your unit or department who are deserving of gold medals!

The response was incredible, as employees across the organization recognized dozens of coworkers who are committed to enhancing patient care, education and research on a daily basis.

Congratulations to the following nominees, who “made it to the podium” and will bring home some Michigan Medicine swag!

All other nominees are listed at the bottom of the story.

Meghann Deering, clinical social worker, Congenital Heart Center

Like those in the Olympics, Meghann works extremely hard — both individually and as a team member — to ensure that our staff succeeds in its mission of carrying out exemplary patient care, education and research.

There’s a bit of choreography to her everyday work, as she moves smoothly in and out of exam rooms and waiting areas, touching base with families, picking up on cues that others don’t see and collaborating with the team to arrive upon the individual support needed for patients with a wide range of heart conditions. She generously shares her knowledge, recommendations and resources with a team of cardiologists, fellows, nurses and support staff. She also finds time to participate in the CHC’s Patient and Family Centered Care committee and bereavement committee.

Meghann’s poise, knowledge and service excellence gives Michigan Medicine a gold-medal quality employee. Thank you, Meghann!

Mary-Jo Bishop, laboratory technician, anatomic/surgical pathology

Mary-Jo is one of our department’s longest-serving and most knowledgeable employees. She has trained nearly everyone at one point or another and is always exceedingly patient and supportive. She is the friendly face for our lab and has, hands down, the best customer service skills of all of us. She works hard every day to help physicians, pathologists, lab personnel, patients and families with a wide range of tasks, from collecting specimens to retrieving reports.

I know Mary-Jo may retire in the next few years, and honestly, I don’t know what any of us will do without her. She is invaluable and we’re incredibly lucky to have her! Mary-Jo is more than deserving of a gold medal!

Gary Gallagher, M.D., clinical assistant professor, neurology

Dr. Gallagher is a superstar and there are several reasons why. First, he consistently and enthusiastically cares for some of the most complicated neuromuscular patients at Michigan Medicine. He is a professional who demonstrates excellence in the clinical area with his intelligence, expertise, communication skills (especially listening), and approachable, caring humbleness.

He is always willing to go above and beyond for the sake of excellence in patient care. He is an asset not only to the Michigan Medicine neurology team, but to the entire medical profession. Thank you for being you, Dr. Gallagher!

Pam Fogarty, Karen Shill and Devyn Baker, coordinators, Volunteer Services

Did you know there are more than 2,600 active volunteers serving Michigan Medicine at any given time? To make that happen, the coordinators at Volunteer Services interview and process more than 450 new volunteers each semester and renew 600 of them annually so they can continue to serve.

Each and every volunteer is carefully processed and issued an ID, undergoes a health screening and background check, and is placed in a clinic or unit that meets the volunteer’s interests and availability, as well as the unit’s schedule and requirements. That’s all thanks to Pam, Karen and Devyn. Kudos to them for making the volunteer program at Michigan Medicine such a success!

Mary Jean Essenmacher, registered nurse, and Robert Fontana, M.D., pre-liver transplant, hepatology

Mary Jean practices her art with unwavering enthusiasm. She is a problem-solver extraordinaire as she cares for her large, complex patient population.

She and Dr. Fontana work together so well and form a well-respected team who have the knowledge, diligence and efficiency to handle patients from the time they are tested all the way through their liver transplant. They are both valued members of the transplant team and have the excellence of any Olympic athlete!

LaTonya Berryhill, administrative manager associate, MICHR

LaTonya deserves a gold medal in two disciplines! Not only has she worked tirelessly to transition MICHR through a large construction and move project, but she has made tremendous efforts for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative both in our unit and the larger Michigan Medicine community. Thank you, LaTonya, for your commitment to everyone around you!

Ally Heckman, Au.D., audiologist

Allie puts forth an Olympic-sized effort each and every day to be sure that patients are seen in a timely, efficient and effective manner.

She volunteers to take on new tasks in the audiology clinic and performs diagnostic audiological assessments, auditory electrophysiological measures for preoperative patients, selects and fits patients with hearing aids, evaluates and treats patients with tinnitus, teaches a monthly class for patients about tinnitus and works between the Taubman and the East Ann Arbor health centers throughout the week! She also finds time to mentor students. Well done, Allie, you are certainly deserving of a gold medal!

Harley DeLano, lead clerk, Medical Procedures Unit

Harley is the perfect example of a superstar colleague! As the lead clerk, Harley serves as a true mentor to his coworkers and displays exactly how to provide amazing customer service at all times, no matter the situation. I cannot say enough about the great work that he carries out each day. It has been, and will continue to be, an honor to work with this gold medal-worthy staff member!

Team medal: Dialysis staff, Livonia Dialysis Clinic

This team rocks. I am the new manager here, and I could not have been welcomed any better. They exhibit outstanding teamwork and get results for the patients they serve.

Everyone here frequently asks “what do you need of me?” or “what can we do to take our unit to the next level?” As I venture out to the patients, the feedback on their care is outstanding. This team is the gold standard of dialysis and I couldn’t be more proud to call them my colleagues!

Team medal: Geriatrics staff, East Ann Arbor and West Ann Arbor-Parkland Plaza

As someone who recently took on the responsibility of coordinating medical care for elderly parents, I have seen firsthand how impressive the Michigan Medicine geriatrics team is! Every encounter has been handled with kindness and professionalism starting with the first phone call to schedule a visit all the way through follow-up appointments. Thank you to a professional, courteous and outstanding staff who have gone above and beyond to help us — and every patient who comes through Michigan Medicine!

Other gold medal nominees:

  • 12 East Positive Environment Support Team committee
  • Brandon NICU staff
  • Brighton Health Center patient services associates
  • Brighton Health Center medical assistants
  • DRG Compliance Auditing Team, Health Information Management
  • East Ann Arbor breast imaging clinic
  • Graduate Medical Education Office
  • IRBMED staff
  • Neuro ICU New Solar Monitor Superuser Team
  • Occupational Lymphedema Therapy Team, Burlington Building
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Symposium team
  • Ravitz Research team
  • Jasmine Adams, patient services assistant, Medical Procedures Unit
  • Kate Balzer, Office of Patient Experience
  • Suzanne Burke, nursing supervisor, phase 1 infusion
  • Felyna Cabung-Cag, patient care technician, Surgical Short Stay Unit
  • Marilyn Cramer, internal medicine
  • Christine Cratty, nurse, phase 1 infusion
  • Crystal Curtis, nurse, infusion
  • Leah Davis, nursing director, outpatient neurology clinic
  • Cortney Dennis, nurse, Cancer Center Research Unit
  • Beth Eastwood, medical assistant specialist, phase 1 infusion
  • Lisa Evans, social worker, East Ann Arbor
  • Carol George, nurse manager, Kellogg Eye Center PACU/OR
  • Ruth Halsey, financial manager, internal medicine-cardiology
  • Chelsea Harding, B.S.N., R.N., O.N.C., education nurse coordinator
  • Rachel Kolar-Anderson, pediatric otolaryngology clinic manager
  • Judy Konye, HITS Education and Training Instructional Design Team
  • Diane Kuchan, medical assistant, MEND clinic
  • DarWeia Liao, computer systems specialist, pharmacology
  • Clarissa Love, Office for Health Equity and Inclusion
  • Chantal Martin, administrative assistant, OMS/HD
  • Michele Mason, medical assistant, pediatric orthopaedic surgery clinic
  • Haley Mastro, patient care coordinator, otology/neurotology
  • Kelsie McStockard, child life, Department of Radiology
  • Joan Meagher, nurse, heart failure team
  • Amanda Melvin, exercise physiologist, Frankel Cardiovascular Center
  • Stacey Meredith, manager, cancer registry
  • Christa Moran, ASL interpreter and Medical Interpreter Training Academy coordinator
  • Marine Penna, R.N., West Ann Arbor ADTU/infusion
  • Renea Price, ambulatory care manager associate, East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Clinic
  • Ann Marie Ramsey, nurse practitioner, pediatric vent clinic
  • Candace Rodgers, unit host, Medical Procedures Unit
  • Renee Singer, patient care technician, Surgical Short Stay Unit
  • Bryant Smith, nurse, phase 1 infusion
  • Sabrina Smith, R.N., adult emergency department
  • Angie Spence-Green, director, Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools
  • Cassie Sweidan, social worker
  • DeAnn VanSickle, Office of Patient Experience
  • Nicole Vladimerou, administrative assistant intermediate, Department of Anasthesiology
  • Rose Walton, medical assistant, phase 1 infusion