#HailtotheFrontLine: Faculty and staff recognized for Making a Difference

April 16, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Over the last several weeks, the Michigan Medicine Making a Difference recognition program has received countless examples of how faculty and staff have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees continue to demonstrate the Michigan Medicine core value of teamwork, supporting one another during these unprecedented times.

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. Every employee, whether working in research, education, patient care or shared services, continue to contribute each day and help Michigan Medicine provide exceptional care and service to patients and the community.

Here are a few examples shared through the Making a Difference program:

Ann Marie Piehl, clinical nursing director, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital

I wish to recognize the extraordinary efforts, thoughtfulness and accomplishments of Ann Marie throughout her recent tenure as clinical nursing director, but especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Her dialogues with staff members evince a remarkable synthesis of vast, disparate and quickly-evolving sources of information and her desire to comprehensibly inform, learn from and support her staff members. Further, she inspires both trust and collective resolve through a communicative style that pairs a sense of urgency with resolute calm. Thank you for your exemplary leadership and dedication to the well-being of those with whom you serve.

Johntae Pittman, unit custodian, Environmental Services

Working as an RN in the new RICU, of course I am concerned about the spread of the virus to myself and coworkers. The nursing staff could not believe what an amazing job Johntae was doing cleaning the room. I have to say my fears were eased. Thank you, Johntae. We really appreciate your awesome work ethic — you are literally saving our lives!

Erin Ryan, patient flow coordinator, Admissions & Bed Coordination Center

Erin always makes an effort to work with me and my nurses and helps ease the admitting/bed management process. Now that we are a COVID unit, Erin was in constant contact with me and helped me ensure that the patients we were accepting were appropriate and that I was comfortable taking them. Even though we are all stressed out with new processes changing daily, Erin helped make that process smooth, seamless and stress-free. I appreciate her efforts so much.

Rachel Anderson, administrative manager associate, otolaryngology

Rachel, without hesitation you have been our fearless leader. You came at a time of chaos and uncertainty and that has not changed with this new challenge of COVID-19 and you have rocked it! Thank you for being kind and encouraging and helpful. Thank you for continuing to show us what you expect of us. Most importantly, thank you for coming to work every day and making a difference in our lives and the lives of our patients. You are an excellent example of the type of leader we all aspire to be!

Kevin Weatherax, administrative director, MICHR

Kevin, thank you for your extraordinary leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the beginning of this situation, you have provided critical information and made every effort to prepare and protect the MICHR team. Our well-being has been and continues to be your main priority. All of your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated.

McKenzie Modigell, pharmacy technician, pharmacy services

Due to COVID-19, the research pharmacy has experienced increased requests for shipping study medications to patient homes. Kenzie takes a lead in monitoring the in-basket and coordinating daily shipments to make sure patients get their medications on time. She has done a fantastic job. Thank you for what you do for our patients, Kenzie!

Victoria Neff-Aldrich, HITS
I would just like to say what a pleasure it was working with Victoria. She was so patient, perfectly professional and very helpful getting me online for my remote desktop. Because of Victoria, I am able to do my job remotely during the pandemic. It’s workers like Victoria who make all the difference for a great number of people. Thank you very much.

Brittany Kalmeta, patient services associate, Rogel Cancer Center

Brittany, thank you so much for helping me with our patients’ rescheduling needs. So many scheduling changes needed to be taken care of, and your efforts have been extremely helpful. I appreciate all you are doing for our teams and patients!

Maria Damron, R.N., 4D Neuro

Maria, you volunteered without hesitation to staff the RICU. You jumped right in and gave your all to those in need. In this time of panic, stress and uncertainty, you embraced it and took a leap of faith! You are an excellent nurse who is always willing to take on new challenges and you do it effortlessly. You make a difference every day!

Interpreter Services team

On short notice, Interpreter Services worked hard and accomplished setting up video equipment to provide remote interpreting for Michigan Medicine providers and their deaf patients during this unprecedented time. I am so honored to be your colleague!

David Hanauer, M.D., M.S., associate professor of pediatrics, Medical School and clinical associate professor of information, School of Information

Dr. Hanauer, your guidance, involvement, technical leadership and deep compassion for our informatics team is truly appreciated. We are grateful for your devotion to clinical research and vision for informatics solutions to even the most challenging medical crises. Thank you!

Renee Baxter, respiratory therapist

Renee went over and above to help the staff out in the RICU by organizing the stockroom, gathering and refilling stock and staging multiple ventilators. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate her efforts!

Phoebe Tsao, M.D., house officer, internal medicine

Phoebe voluntarily held a teaching session to help prepare hematology/oncology fellows for an extended role as a primary provider for inpatient services with changes made to prepare for the pandemic. As fellows, many of us have not done our residency at U-M nor used EPIC as a primary inpatient provider. In order to quickly be prepare to care for patients in extended roles, she held an online teaching session so we could learn how to admit/discharge patients using MiChart, and learn how to navigate the U-M system. Thank you, Phoebe, for helping us better care for patients!

Click here to nominate a colleague or team who makes a difference at Michigan Medicine!