Meet your Michigan Medicine MVPs

September 17, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Over the past few weeks, employees across the organization have made it very clear why Michigan Medicine remains the top hospital in the state of Michigan and among the best in the nation. It’s because of you — the exceptional faculty, staff and learners who go above and beyond to advance health and serve patients, families and colleagues.

From a physical therapist who has taken the lead on a number of new healthy-lifestyle initiatives to a team of dedicated staff members who brave the Texas heat to carry out research studies, hundreds of colleagues were recognized by their peers as superstars and MVPs.

Congratulations to the following nominees, who were randomly selected by Headlines to win Michigan Medicine swag or another fantastic prize. All other nominations are listed at the bottom of the story.

Individual awards

Liz Martin, nurse, 7E

My son was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma in May 2018. He was admitted 10 times for side effects and Liz became our lifeline. She treated our son as if he were her own. We felt like she was part of our family (and always will). She was there for us during some scary times and always made sure our son was cared for. She should be recognized for her exceptional care!

Ed Mannlein, unit host, 4D

Ed is an integral part of our team and goes above and beyond his duties on a daily basis. He is diligent about forming bonds with patients and families and providing support and resources for them to ensure that they have the best possible stay. He has also been a co-lead with nursing leadership in a process to transition to a two-bin system on the unit. We couldn’t pull this off without Ed!

Paula Bryanch-Garrett, executive assistant, U-M Medical School

Paula is responsible for supporting the medical student elective “Physicians as Leaders and Problem Solvers.” Virtually every student comments about what a stellar job she does and how helpful she is. She continuously looks for high-value experiences to add to the students’ schedule, as well as for opportunities to improve processes. She is indeed an MVP and valued member of the team!

Saddquia (Haliama) Robertson, medical assistant, West Ann Arbor-Parkland Plaza

Haliama and I have worked together for 18 years. She is the glue that holds our ob/gyn team together, working with other MAs, front office staff, nurses and physicians to provide safe, efficient and quality care to our patients. She has served as a mentor to innumerable MAs and connects with our patients, who ask for her by name when they come in. Thank you, Haliama, for being a leader and best!

Heather Fazio, R.D.N., senior project manager, clinical quality

Heather can best be described as a utility player. She plays multiple positions, all with effortless style and grace. She provides project management support and leadership for six of Michigan Medicine’s quality improvement committees and does so with a continuous improvement mindset, an ability to organize people and resources, and a willingness to pitch in and help her teammates!

Shaun Maki, manager, Central Staffing Resource Department

Shaun recently took over the Specialty Temp program and expanded it from supporting three departments to more than 22! His dedication to service excellence and quality has made this into a very successful and important initiative, directly supporting patient care at Michigan Medicine. Shaun has a superior work ethic, a great attitude and deserves to be recognized as an exemplary U-M manager!

Shahid Ahmad, M.D., fellow, 4D ICU

Dr. Ahmad is always helping us when it comes to approaching and caring for patients in the ICU. He is also always ready to provide any assistance we might need. He spreads a lot of positive energy whenever he is working and makes this a brighter place to learn, work and heal. He deserves kudos!

Mary Roberts, physical therapist, Canton Health Center

Mary not only cares about her patients, but about her colleagues as well. She has become a mentor for neurological rehabilitation and other specialties. She has also collaborated with Michigan Medicine’s pelvic floor team, developing diagnosis- specific health initiatives and a healthy lifestyle initiative, along with taking on the responsibility of being the primary investigator on a research project. Mary is a star!

Nicholas English, revenue cycle

Nick is always there to help anyone when it comes to billing. He has the patience to help anyone who needs it, whether he has worked with a specific insurance before or not — and he never makes you feel silly or self-conscious for asking a question more than once. Nick is one of the best coworkers to have around!

Najae Bolden and Kirsten Oard, clinical subjects coordinators, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Najae and Kirsten meet with families in the neonatal ICU to inform potential participants about a PediaTrac study. Although their responsibilities are not clinical in nature, they each interact with vulnerable NICU families with sensitivity and professionalism and try to brighten their days. Not only do they display excellence in interactions with families, they also adhere to the highest of standards of data collection and management. I am proud to call them members of our team!

Mee-Sook Oliver, B.S.N., R.N., wound/ostomy

Mee-Sook has been a constant joy to work with and is always willing to help her fellow coworkers, not to mention the excellent patient care she provides daily. In addition to her regular responsibilities, she serves as our department’s workload committee chair and organizes team newsletters. Her hard work does not go unnoticed!

Nick Wilt, guest services specialist

Nick is one of our best field training officers. Everyone holds him in high regard due to his focus on security issues and customer care — his awareness of all Michigan Medicine security/safety issues is second-to-none. Nick is also the platinum standard role model. He identifies areas of vulnerability and finds resolutions. He is certainly our superstar MVP!

Team award

Texas-based Michigan Medicine neurology team

I’d like to nominate our Texas-based neurology crew who works in the field recruiting participants for an NIH-funded research study called BASIC Cognitive. Our team braves the elements knocking on the doors of randomly-selected households, inviting residents to participate in a memory screening. We live in South Texas and August is typically the hottest month (100-degree daily temperatures), but we have recruited more than 900 participants since our study started. Our team is full of MVPs!

Other nominees:

  • Adult BMT clinic/infusion/ECP nursing team
  • Brighton Health Center nursing staff
  • Cancer Center blood draw team
  • Clean room pharmacy team
  • Clinical research coordinators, Department of Radiation Oncology
  • CVC 3 cardiac surgery nurse practitioners and physician assistants
  • Domino’s Farms wound care team
  • Front staff, adult neurology clinic
  • GME Office
  • HIM Inpatient Coding DRG Compliance Auditing team
  • Inpatient rehabilitation day shift nurse aides
  • Inpatient rehabilitation PT/OT transportation aides
  • Livonia Center for Specialty Care Dialysis Center
  • MiChart infrastructure team
  • Mott Pre-op/PACU charge nurse team
  • Otolaryngology team, UH OR
  • Outpatient coding team
  • Peritoneal dialysis nurses, Michigan Dialysis Services
  • Quality Department surveys group
  • Rogel Cancer Center Infusion Pharmacy technician team
  • Urology Department, Brighton Center for Specialty Care
  • Rob Adwere-Boamah, training specialist, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital
  • Susan Atkins, intake and resource coordinator, Housing Bureau for Seniors
  • Donna Bashara, Rogel Cancer Center business services
  • Linda Bashaw, Quality and Continuous Improvement Team, Internal Medicine
  • Dawn Bednarski, associate director, events, Michigan Medicine Office of Development
  • Portia Bonner, administrative assistant, GI & Hepatology
  • Stephanie Bowens, rheumatology call center
  • Shawna Brenner, patient services associate, Med Inn Sleep Clinic
  • Samantha Brewer, staff nurse, 4D
  • Natalie Burke, nurse, emergency department
  • Suzanne Burke, nurse manager, Rogel Cancer Center infusion
  • Carmen Calkin, clinic manager, neuropsychology
  • Donna Camp, respiratory therapy technician, sleep clinic
  • Sarah Caves, administrator, INU/dialysis
  • Erika Chick, patient services associate, Rogel Cancer Center
  • Amy Chisolm, supervisor, patient financial experience call center
  • Rita Claxton, nurse, emergency department
  • Corey Denoncourt, HITS clinical IT support team
  • Kim Derby, medical assistant, adult neurology
  • Amani Elder, nurse, emergency department
  • Kathy Ficaj, activity therapy department supervisor
  • Kelsey Flanagan, nurse, 8B
  • Kimberly Foxworthy, MADC
  • Kelly Francis, certified pedorthist, BCSC
  • Angela Fronczak, R.N., Brighton Center for Specialty Care
  • Brynn Gaal, medical assistant
  • Tanya Garay-Marroquin, administrative assistant, 4D
  • Taylor Green, telemetry technician, Remote Central Monitoring Unit
  • Kate Gutierrez, call center lead, MedSport
  • Joe Hallisy, Department of Communication
  • Sinan Hanna, clinical research coordinator, ACCST CTSU
  • Michelle Harrell, R.N., birth center
  • Richard Herran, R.N., CVC ICU
  • Denise Hill, medical assistant, CVC 3
  • Lois Hunter, administrative assistant, Kidney Translational Research Care
  • Alita Indrei, nurse, 8B
  • Ksenia Ivanov, Program Management division, Quality Department
  • Brian Kelly, D.O., medical director, orthotics and prosthetics
  • Erin Khang, M.S.W., administrative manager, social work
  • Teresa Kidder, manager, MiChart integration team, SANS team
  • Brian Killbarger, medical assistant, adult otolaryngology
  • Joanne Kimata, M.P.H., CQI administrator
  • Laura Klahn-Davenport, medical assistant, Taubman Center adult neurology
  • Katie Koehler, nurse, CVC 5
  • Sarah Lally, nurse, 8B
  • Ann Larry, patient services associate, MCRU
  • Chris Maloney, patient services associate, orthotics and prosthetics, BCSC
  • Cameron Martin, patient services intermediate
  • Bryan McCullough, Department of Communication
  • Christine Meldrum, MLABS client services supervisor
  • Andrea Merlotti, nurse, 8D
  • Brian Mikuski, HITS clinical IT support team
  • Carrie Miller, CQI coordinator
  • Lisa Miller, administrative manager, internal medicine
  • Marci Mulligan, administrative assistant, Central Staffing Resource Department
  • Donna Navarre, call center coordinator, registration and insurance verification
  • Sarah Nedham, nurse, 8B
  • Sandy Neesam, patient services associate, Domino’s Farms Dermatology
  • Leta Nikulshina, rehab tech, PM&R
  • Amy Oliver, finance lead, Ambulatory and Chronic Disease Clinical Trial Support Unit
  • Ellen Patrick, M.A., administrative specialist, clinical quality
  • Diane Perry, M.S., coordinator, PFCC program, Domino’s Farms Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Johnathon Phillips, research process coordinator, ACCST CTSU
  • Megan Pichla, pharmacy technician, Michigan Medicine Specialty Pharmacy
  • Michelle Reinhold, fellowship coordinator, hematology/oncology
  • Kristen Schuyten, physical therapist, MedSport
  • Amanda Sikorski, GME program administrator, internal medicine
  • Dawn Skvarce, administrative specialist, clinical quality
  • Sarah Stasiak, nurse, 8B
  • Andrew Swartout, physical therapist, MedSport
  • Michelle Taylor, sleep clinic
  • Stephanie Thompson, LLMSW, project manager, Zero to Thrive team, psychiatry
  • Ivana Tullett, Office of Corporate Compliance
  • Megan Wallace, staff nurse, 4D
  • Jennifer Williamson, athletic trainer, MedSport
  • Megan Wind, social work, neurosurgery
  • Valerie Woloszyn, senior administrative assistant, CQI
  • Angela Yee, nurse, 8D
  • Li Zhe, MiChart database administrator