Making a Difference: Celebrating our core values

February 16, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees, ,

Employees across Michigan Medicine continue to make a difference and inspire colleagues through their hard work and dedication. Each month, Headlines features a set of randomly selected submissions from the Making a Difference awards program that highlight our employees’ dedication to the organization’s core values.

This is a great way to further demonstrate how our employees are living out the values of caring, integrity, innovation, inclusion and teamwork in the education, research and patient care settings.

It is also important to recognize the contributions employees make to the organization as it 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.

You matter, your work matters and we appreciate you!


Shontia Page and Toni Zamorski, DPSS, Michigan Medicine Security

Officers Toni Zamorski and Shontia Brantley recently teamed up and assisted nurses with a patient who required unwavering patience and constant one-on-one attention. They played games with her, provided camaraderie, sang with her and danced! And these two officers sure can dance!

They were amazingly kind and patient and provided validation, empathetic listening and genuine caring concern to her. Thank you, Officer Tia and Officer Toni. You’re an inspiration and a lot of fun. We are all looking forward to a repeat performance!

April Malis, administrative assistant, Department of Surgery

April is a terrific administrative assistant! She makes a difference every day with her attention to detail, anticipation, conscientiousness, timeliness, efficiency and accuracy. She has a caring, personable way about her that puts patients and coworkers at ease. My professional life is well-organized and well-run with her expert assistance. Thank you, April. You are a treasure!

Karen Senior, nurse aide, Van Voigtlander Women’s Hospital

Thank you, Karen, for being the face I remember from the births of my children. Your kindness, approachability and skill made me feel cared for and sane after having a baby, which is a huge gift. I was thrilled to see you in the elevator the other day, glad you are still here making a difference, my friend.


Alison Burke, technician, Northville Opthalmology

Alison, I am so thankful that you spoke up about a patient who could not give consent. You helped and went through all the steps necessary to get the patient consented. We appreciate you speaking up and saying something. It shows what an asset you are to this team!

David Hopkins, unit custodian, Environmental Services

Through his role in EVS, David has transformed the unit! He has made a huge impact on the cleanliness of the unit and given the staff and patients a sense of peace through his efforts. David goes above and beyond his daily rooms and never loses momentum or cuts corners. He includes isolation carts, nurse servers and the side rails in the hallways. We can’t thank him enough!

Nicole Tabatabai, R.N., UH CVC 4D

Nicole was recently the recipient of the UH/CVC Good Catch Award! She made a difference by demonstrating the high reliability skill of self-checking and STAR (Stop. Think. Act. Review.). This ensured a patient received the correct IV fluid for infusion, keeping them as safe as possible.


Douglas Adams, HITS

The opening video of the recent HITS award ceremony was extremely innovative. The care that Doug took when putting this together allowed the video to accurately highlight the trials and tribulations of the HITS staff this past year and the amazing work that has been nothing short of spectacular. Thank you, Doug, for your care, compassion and commitment to the missions of HITS.

Johanna Younghans, Department of Communication

Johanna has found new ways to promote subscriptions to our Michigan Health and Michigan Health Lab blogs when the pandemic made our traditional methods impossible. She has reached out to several agencies who have begun sharing our content through digital platforms. Johanna is passionately committed to sharing the great information we have on the blogs and is so dedicated to her job! Thank you, Johanna.

Carrie Penzien, Pharmacy

I was very proud to see Carrie present the work she has been leading about a novel hazardous drug classification system for viral vector and gene-based therapies. Carrie has developed a deepened subject matter expertise in this new facet of hazardous drug classification and safe handling. The framework she has been developing with other subject matter experts is going to increase employee safety and lead to consistent classification of biological agents in the future.


Linda Tam, research administrator, Clinical Trials Unit

Linda’s work and dedication in a recent CTS-University presentation on purpose and team was extremely well done and helpful to staff. Her continued drive to further team inclusion and cohesiveness is unmatched and we are very thankful to have her in the CTSO!

Rebecca Priest, Department of Communication

Rebecca took on an important and difficult task with the creation of the MLK symposium video. The script and scheduling was a daunting task, but Rebecca knew that this was something that was needed for our whole community. She continually does the right thing no matter how difficult the journey might be. Thank you, Rebecca!


Andrew Jarvis, Strategic Planning and Business Development

Drew, thank you for helping to support PRO and the Physician Liaison team by creating custom maps showing our incoming call locations. You went above and beyond, working quickly to create these maps for us. Any time we’ve come to you with a request or a problem to solve, you’ve delivered great solutions and results. Having you as a resource is truly invaluable and we really appreciate your willingness to help us at the drop of a hat!

Andrea Arlen, compliance/regulatory manager, Clinical Lab

Andrea, thank you for stepping up to the challenge and heading back to the laboratory bench to assist with COVID-19 testing. The can-do team attitude that you’ve displayed is what will ensure we will come out on the other side of this pandemic better than we were before.

Katherine Balzer and Nancy Kuemin, Office of Patient Experience

We are so appreciative of your patient experience support in our educational programming for nursing: Transition-to-Practice, Ambulatory Care Continuing Education and Central Nursing Orientation. You both are so very engaging, kind, knowledgeable and professional! We wanted you both recognized for all you do to make our work so wonderful. Thank you so very much!

Making a Difference awards can be submitted through the Michigan Medicine recognition site. Click here to send your colleague or a group of colleagues an award, or send an e-card to recognize a work milestone, birthday or just to send a simple “thank you.”