Making a Difference: February 2020 highlights

March 3, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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

During Recognition Month, here are just a few examples of how faculty and staff helped Michigan Medicine provide exceptional care and service last month:

Peer recognition

Michele Derheim, clinical nursing director, 10E

There are so many wonderful things to say about Michele. She comes in first thing in the morning upbeat, smiling and always has time to ask about how I am doing and if I need anything. She will always make time for any of my concerns and is full of positive constructive ideas in the workplace. I can’t express enough how much she makes a difference in my attitude as I come to work knowing that I am well appreciated and supported by my manager. Thank you, Michele!

Nathaniel Friedman, speech language pathologist

Nathanial, thanks for your constant willingness to fill in for others. Your creativity and ability to turn every therapeutic moment into something valuable for families cannot be overstated. Watching how well you can help both a child and their family turn challenges into proud successes that they continue to carry with them is inspiring. Keep up the amazing work!

Marielle Menke, dietitian assistant, Patient Food & Nutrition Services

Recently, Marielle went above and beyond to help me figure out details of the room service menu. She was extremely patient, tremendously helpful and overall delightful. In the end, she filled out the protein content for every menu item, which is beyond useful for nursing and patients. Everyone on our unit is thankful for her. Thanks, Marielle!

Tom Herwick, network planning analyst, HITS

Tom made a huge difference in implementing networking equipment for the SIGHT program, which is a research project that helps with glaucoma screening and ophthalmology care in underserved areas. The first location was the Hope Clinic which provides free medical, dental, food and care to those in the Ypsilanti area. The research project placed diagnostic equipment at the clinic — which needed access to the Michigan Medicine network. Tom helped keep the project from being delayed and lent his expertise to make it a rousing success!

Patient to staff

Cassie Baisch, R.N., Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital

Cassie is an exceptional nurse. The whole labor and delivery process can cause a lot of anxiety, especially for a first-time mom, but Cassie made me feel calm and comfortable from the beginning. She was so attentive and knowledgeable. She went out of her way to make sure I had everything I needed and was such a wonderful support. I will be forever grateful for the amazing care I received from her. Thank you, Cassie!

Leon Williams, unit custodian, Environmental Services

Leon, you are friendly and polite. You make a difference, not only because of your outstanding attitude toward patients, but also because you take pride in doing a great job. You leave everything thoroughly clean and sanitized and truly contribute to the patient experience and a patient’s healing at Michigan Medicine. You are appreciated!

Sarah Johnson, occupational therapy clinical specialist

I have been at other occupational therapy facilities, never with the success I have had in recent months. That is because Sarah is giving me the necessary tools for continuous healing and improvement. She gives me manageable expectations and attainable goals while making the injury rehab a lot of fun. Her ability to engage me in the process has maximized our time together and her compassion and commitment are what make her an exceptional OT. I wouldn’t be where I am without her!

Family to staff

Kat Abbatoy, patient care tech associate, Mott Operating Room/PACU

Kat made our experience in pre-op so comforting from the very start. I can tell she genuinely enjoys her job and cares for all the kids coming in for surgery. She could tell our girl, and us as parents, were a bit anxious and she created a calm and safe environment for our daughter. She knew exactly how to talk to her, was able to help calm her nerves and explained everything she did before she did it. We’re so thankful she was there and worked with us to help set the tone for the rest of our visit. We came in with a scared anxious little girl who she quickly had giggling. THANK YOU!

David J. Garcia, D.O., M.S., cardiac surgery

When our husband and father was in the ICU after open-heart surgery, Dr. Garcia provided incredible care and leadership as the attending physician. He made it a point to have us as family members included in the daily rounds/reporting, and every day he made it a point to ask us if we had any questions. We were so impressed by his level of professionalism and attention to detail. He showed compassion and kindness, and because of him we felt more at ease during such a stressful time. Dr. Garcia is so gifted and we are enormously grateful for his attentive care!

Ann Marie Kochanek, patient business associate, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Ann Marie is amazing. I had a major struggle with my daughter’s insurer and Ann Marie took on my issues like they were her own. She made calls, wrote letters and kept me informed the whole way. I cannot overstate how amazing it was to talk to Ann Marie and know that she cared, she was working on the issues, and she was fighting for my daughter. She is a shining example of exceptional care and service. I live an hour away from Ann Arbor, yet I get all of my care at Michigan Medicine for many reasons, but a major one is because of people like Ann Marie!

In honor of Recognition Month, click here to nominate a colleague or team who makes a difference at Michigan Medicine!