Making a Difference: May 2020 highlights

June 23, 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.

Here are just a few examples of how faculty and staff helped Michigan Medicine provide exceptional care and service in May:

Peer recognition

Caty Johnson, clinical nurse director, 8C

Caty, thank you so much for organizing a triumphant clap out for an elderly patient who triumphed over COVID-19 after a six week-long hospitalization, including a long stay in the RICU. You were able to assemble nearly 100 people to line the halls of 8B and 8C units AND more in the Emergency Department to congratulate our patient all the way to the ambulance bay! Thank you for doing this for the patient and for the Michigan Medicine teams! Every person there had a big smile on their face and shared in the joy of a patient’s healing — and that made a very big difference!

Steve Williams, stockkeeper, Materiel Services

I was recently redeployed with Steve at the warehouse helping with COVID-19. Steve was kind enough to welcome me on his team to assist him with stocking. I’ve witnessed Steve’s dedication to doing his job right with each supply room inventory, stocking and maintaining a well-balanced and functioning system on his floor. On a daily basis, he sets the example for how his job can be effectively done. I would work by Steve’s side anywhere. He has made my experience as a redeployed staff member comfortable and welcoming. Thanks for your teaching and your help, Steve!

Ayobami Ward, house officer, neurosurgery

Outpatient pharmacy received a message from a concerned patient’s mother following discharge after neurosurgery; the patient was continuing to experience headaches. The most recent prescriber was unavailable, but we found a recent chart note from Dr. Ward and paged him on the off chance he might be able to suggest a contact. I received a follow up message from the patient’s mother this morning; Dr. Ward personally reached out to the patient and her mother that night. He took the time to speak with them, answer questions and explain more about the surgery and what they should expect. She stated, “The doctor who answered the page… was awesome! He was really great to talk to. Could not have been nicer or more helpful.” Thank you very much, Dr. Ward! The patient and her mother were beyond grateful for your time. Care like this makes me even prouder to be a member of the Michigan Medicine team!

Felicia Hurst, assistant administrative manager, West Ann Arbor Health Center

Felicia is always available for any issues that arise in the respiratory clinic and responds quickly and thoroughly. She communicates with the team daily, sharing information as it becomes available, listening to concerns/questions and helping resolve any issues that come up. She always makes time for all staff members in the respiratory clinic, including nursing, and when speaking with her she never rushes or gives the impression she doesn’t have time for us (though I know she has a ton on her plate). 

She is a strong advocate for the safety of staff and has gone to bat several times to ensure we have the PPE we need. She is always a positive presence and keeps her cool in every situation I’ve seen her deal with. Thank you for being there, Felicia!

Patient to staff

Drew Soderborg, R.N., Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, 9E/W

Drew made my husband and I feel some comfort on one of our hardest days. We recently had a miscarriage and Drew was our nurse for pre- and post-procedure. She was so kind and compassionate to us. She went out of her way to help my husband get some medicine for his headache so that he wouldn’t have to leave my side when I came out of the OR. She showed us the sort of kindness that really helped to make such a hard and sad day just a little bit easier. She put together a box of small tokens for us to remember our little baby boy. It really touched out hearts and made us feel like we really mattered to her. I hope that she knows just how much she helped us that day, and how important her caring, kind soul is for patients like us. She made a huge positive impact during our experience at Michigan Medicine.

Carol Buis, physical therapist, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Carol was quite literally my savior at my most vulnerable time. Not long after having my child, I developed debilitating back pain. It was so bad that simple actions like placing him in a crib were terrifying. The spasms would be so bad I feared I would drop him. When I would get out of the car to drop him off at day care, I would literally fall to my knees in the street because I could not stand up after driving.

Carol changed my life. I could safely hold my baby again and put him down in his crib. I was able to live without fear again. The specialized skills that Carol offers women and mothers are irreplaceable and so critical. Thank you for all that you do!

Danielle Hertlein, R.N., RICU

My husband came in through the emergency room. The next day, I received a phone call at 4:30 a.m. that he was being moved to the RICU and had to be intubated. Obviously, from that point I was not able to communicate with my husband, which is a scary, lonely situation to be in for me and him both. Danielle was the night nurse, and an angel, who was chosen to take care of my husband and be his rock for a week solid. 

Who would ever think that a complete stranger could turn instantly to the person you trust and truly appreciate the most? She held his hand when he was terrified to be intubated, she talked to him daily to inspire him, communicated constantly with me, FaceTimed with us and was just an overall savior!

Her “job” is to help people get back to being healthy, which she did along with going above and beyond. I felt so confident in his care and knew he was in the best hands possible. Although he could not actually speak to her, they were able to communicate and build a bond that is inspiring! What a wonderful gift Danielle was (and is!) to our family and we will be forever grateful for her kind, caring, compassionate care she gave to my husband during one of the most terrifying times in our lives. The nurses and caregivers, I am sure, are also afraid of getting this awful virus themselves, but I never heard any of that in her voice or actions. Thank you, Danielle, for being there!

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