Meet your Michigan Medicine MVPs

February 13, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Across Michigan Medicine — from University Hospital to the Northville Health Center, inpatient floors to outpatient facilities — faculty and staff amaze colleagues with their work ethic, dedication and commitment to carrying out the organization’s mission.

Over the past 10 days, employees have sent Headlines nominations of the MVPs and superstars in their unit or department.  

Among the nominees was a pharmacy tech recruiter who has overseen massive growth in his department and a physical therapy supervisor who always advocates for her colleagues. With more than 100 other nominations, it’s clear that Michigan Medicine remains a global leader in patient care, education and research due to the excellence of its employees.

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

Individual awards

Florin Timpau, research lab technician lead

Florin’s commitment to his team and the job that needs to be done is highly commendable. I am confident the word “no” is not in his vocabulary. Whenever there is a question, Florin is a full-service resource. When you are juggling duties in patient care, teaching, institutional service and research, having someone like Florin in your corner is essential for success. And he bears it all with an unwavering smile. That makes him the MVP in my playbook!

Sarah “Dollie” Jordan, technician, Unit of Lab Animal Medicine (ULAM)

Dollie consistently gives her best effort to make sure the team is taken care of. She volunteers to mentor new trainees and does an incredible job ensuring they understand the job and have all the tools they need to succeed. She is also seeking to learn more, both in her own area of expertise and in other areas so that she is ready to help anyone at any time. She is kind, outgoing, hardworking, knowledgeable, and dedicated to both her job and her fellow employees. Thank you, Dollie, for all that you do!

Stacy Jones, M.A., P.S.A., Department of Radiology, Brighton Center for Specialty Care

Stacy is a joy to work with. She goes above and beyond with each patient and makes it look effortless. She is also the first to jump in to tackle a difficult or complicated job. No matter the circumstances, Stacy is compassionate and professional — maximizing her productivity while under stress, responding positively to change and communicating to all members of the clinical team effectively and respectfully. That’s why she should be recognized for the wonderful employee, coworker and example that she is!

Chadi Abbas, CPh.T., pharmacy technician recruiter and trainer

Chadi serves several key roles that support the Department of Pharmacy Services. He is responsible for coordinating and leading onboarding activities for new employees, and organizes training for pharmacy technicians. I am always receiving positive feedback from new employees about their experience, and they routinely call out Chadi as being a resource who ensures that their first days at Michigan Medicine are successful. With more than 100 new employees joining our team in the past few years, Chadi has been willing to take on whatever is needed. He exemplifies “The Michigan Difference!” 

LaRhonda Ellison and Joycelyn Wilson, surgical techs, Women’s Birth Center

LaRhonda and Joycelyn are MVPs, both scrubbed in a case and scrubbed out of cases. Both have been here for more than 20 years and still have a sense of urgency when being at work. Not only are they knowledgeable and resourceful, but they both have a heart of gold and a sweet spirit within them. I started my career at Michigan Medicine last fall and can only speak volumes of the way I have been treated by these individuals. They know the importance of working as a team and I am grateful to call them not only coworkers, but friends.

Jun Arroyo, R.N., diagnostic radiology

Jun works tirelessly to improve the patient experience, not only in our department but throughout Michigan Medicine. He builds genuine relationships with our patients, concerned with their comfort and making them feel important. At this point, many ask for him by name. He has a quick and relatable sense of humor, which he uses to make patients and families feel at ease. Jun also goes above and beyond to help his coworkers — from difficult IV starts to helping with transport, he looks for ways to make your day better. Jun is a natural leader and we couldn’t be luckier to have him!

Ross Bryan, DevOps engineer, Health Information Technology & Services

Ross constantly goes above and beyond to improve the processes that underlie software development. He is dedicated to his work, highly-effective in his job and maintains a strong sense of purpose with many different groups. He works tirelessly to build high reliability in software and the systems that he supports. He is a real MVP!

Mollie McDermott, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Neurology

Mollie oversees our stroke and telestroke programs and is a phenomenal asset to the neurology department and stroke division. Day in and day out, Mollie ensures phenomenal care of patients with her attention to quality improvement and quality assurance. She is loved by her patients, while house officers rave about her teaching ability. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient in our department!

Jill Quarles, acute care physical therapy supervisor

Jill is amazing. She has an open door policy and uses it to support her staff — as she is easy to approach and always willing to discuss concerns or questions. She strives to assist staff with work/life balance, keeps her team informed about things that affect them and serves as an advocate with management whenever it is needed. Thank you, Jill!

Brian Woods, R.N., 9C 

We recently had a patient who had no warm clothing or family to bring him anything to wear once he was discharged from our unit. Brian went out of his way to pack a bag full of warm clothes and a coat and brought them in for the patient. Thank you, Brian, for such a display of compassion and caring!

Wendy Merillat, lead technologist, Northville Health Center Radiology General Imaging 

Wendy took on the lead role here at NHC in September 2019, and has since flourished in her duties and leadership tasks. She looks to improve work-flow processes whenever possible and assists managers with multiple tasks. She works with the team in a respectful manner and exhibits an encouraging, upbeat attitude. Wendy is a positive role model for our entire team and definitely an MVP!

Chris Shoemaker, senior director of development

Not a week goes by where I don’t hear someone on the surgery, internal medicine, clinical departments or Kellogg team say how lucky they are to have Chris as a leader. Chris embodies every aspect of what it means to be a Wolverine — he is passionate, loyal, honest and truly cares for the people he works with. He firmly believes in helping everyone succeed and thrive. He takes the word “development” literally and is always working to advance Michigan’s mission and to help the people around him grow professionally and personally. Thank you, Chris!

Team award

Rogel Cancer Center phlebotomy team

The entire Rogel Cancer Center blood draw team works hard and tries to make all patients feel at home and laugh when they are here. Cancer is a difficult diagnosis, no matter what, when or who is dealing with it. This team strives to make each person feel welcome, while always doing the job right and well. Thank you, Rogel Cancer Center phlebotomy!

Other nominees:

  • ABCD Study Research Team
  • Clinical Simulation Center team
  • Core Measures Quality Analytics Department
  • East Ann Arbor Surgery Center staff
  • GME team
  • HITS radiation oncology IT team
  • Hospital Medicine team
  • Livonia Surgery Center staff
  • MEND/Podiatry team, Domino’s Farms
  • PM&R physical therapy specialty team clinics, Burlington Building
  • Radiology research team led by Tamara Harper
  • Virtual Care team
  • 2nd shift sterile processing team, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
  • Amy Allen, M.S.N., R.N., clinical nursing director, 5B
  • Portia Allen, D.V.M., M.S., DACLAM, assistant professor of laboratory animal medicine
  • Julie Arnold, clinical risk consultant, Patient Relations & Clinical Risk
  • Kristina Bell, N.I.S., training specialist, nursing information services
  • Cris Bench, administrative manager, West Shore Urology
  • Devon Berryman, clinical service desk analyst, HITS Service Desk
  • Ashley Billings, patient services associate, Northville Health Center
  • Jessica Birman, telemetry monitor technician, UMH Nursing Central Monitoring
  • Angela Bladecki, radiologic technologist, outpatient radiology
  • Linda Bower, cybersecurity risk manager, Information Assurance
  • Greta Branford, M.D., assistant professor, internal medicine and pediatrics
  • Sherica Bruton, L.P.N., MEND Clinic, Domino’s Farms
  • Brett Byler, preventative maintenance planner, Hospital Maintenance
  • Jain Carver, administrative assistant, Department of General Surgery
  • Lindsay Clark, R.N., Trauma Burn Unit
  • Lynsey Clark, R.N., 5B
  • Sally Clark, insurance representative, Briarwood Center for Women, Children and Young Adults
  • Krystal Cline, R.N., 5B
  • Marti Cotner, administrative assistant, neurosurgery
  • Brittany Curtis, patient services associate, Rogel Cancer Center maize team
  • Gary Cyphers, patient services intermediate, Psychiatric Emergency Department
  • Jessie DeVito, virtual care operations director
  • Megan DeBruyne, radiologic technologist, outpatient radiology
  • Jennifer Dixon, clinical research coordinator, gastroenterology
  • Rachel Dixon, physical therapist, Mott OR
  • Dan Eady, patient services associate, Briarwood MedRehab, Building 4
  • Courtney Fields, clinical technologist, pathology
  • Loretha Freeman, nuclear technologist, nuclear medicine
  • Shauna Goble, administrative specialist, Rogel Cancer Center
  • Mandy Gonzalez-Herrera, phlebotomist specialist, West Ann Arbor Satellite Lab
  • Chandra Handley, patient services intermediate, MEND Clinic, Domino’s Farms
  • Sinan Hanna, clinical research coordinator
  • Maryann Hansen, administrative specialist, vascular surgery
  • Lauren Harrison, nursing supervisor, Mott operating rooms
  • Erin Himrod, rodent health associate, ULAM
  • Victor Hola, R.N., radiation oncology
  • Clara Jackson, call center representative, Northville Health Center
  • Niyah Jernigan, patient services intermediate, pediatric surgery
  • Megan Kellepourey, senior administrative assistant, ULAM
  • Ann Marie Kochanek, pediatric referral coordinator
  • Meredith Philyaw Kotov, research coordinator, Department of Psychiatry
  • Kate Lebowsky, administrative specialist, ULAM
  • Leshawn Lefluer, ambulatory care manager, Taubman Neurology
  • Karen Lehnert, revenue integrity director
  • Herman Love, lead clerk, otolaryngology
  • Olivia Lyons, patient services associate, Northville Health Center
  • Iwancia Middleton, clinical nursing director, Livonia Dialysis Center
  • Jason Mishka, app systems analysis/programming manager, HITS
  • Mardie Mosley, M.A., Taubman GI Clinic  
  • Angie Nagy, business systems analyst, HITS
  • Maureen Naszradi, quality administrative director, Office of Clinical Affairs
  • Alison Neff, ambulatory care administrator
  • Helen Noack, LVT, ULAM
  • Nancy Palmer, patient services associate, MEND Clinic, Domino’s Farms
  • Yusuf Peaks, data entry operator and patient care technician, histocompatibility lab
  • Melanie Pierce, R.R.T., clinical specialist, pediatric home ventilator team
  • Sandy Puckett, recovery, PACU nurse, Livonia Surgical Center
  • Margaret Punch, M.D., associate chief medical information officer, associate medical director for virtual care
  • Kim Redic, Pharm.D., BCPS, manager, research pharmacy services
  • Carmen Reisinger, referral coordinator, Cochlear Implant Department
  • Shelia Reynolds, patient services associate, MEND Clinic, Domino’s Farms
  • Kelly Ridenour, neuromonitorist, UH neurology
  • Gail Rising, animal surgery operating room coordinator, ULAM
  • Johnny Robinson, pharmacy technician, UH pharmacy
  • Heather Rye, LMSW, program supervisor and care manager, Complex Care Management Program
  • Brandon Smith, M.D., M.S., resident, neurosurgery
  • Preston Smith, senior manager, Medical School Facilities
  • Kaitlin Starosta, Pharm.D., BCPS, pharmacy residency coordinator, clinical pharmacist specialst
  • Ashley Stirsman, patient services associate, Northville Health Center
  • Catherine Thompson, radiologic technologist, outpatient radiology
  • Ann Wallen, ultrasound technologist, Mott radiology
  • Robbin Ward, husbandry supervisor, ULAM
  • Celia Williams, program coordinator, pediatric surgery
  • Ericka Williams, patient services associate, Northville Health Center
  • Dyonna Wilson, L.P.N., East Ann Arbor Health Center
  • Kasey Zadorozny, EKC technician