Meet your Michigan Medicine MVPs

April 6, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,
You named your superstar MVP

Last night, Baylor captured the men’s basketball national championship, while Stanford took home the title in women’s basketball on Sunday.

Both champions were carried by a sense of teamwork and dedication — and yes, a few superstars who shined along the way.

That is exactly how Michigan Medicine succeeds. Whether you work in patient care, education or research, your team thrives thanks to a commitment to the organization’s core values — caring, innovation, integrity, inclusion and teamwork. Of course, the contributions of some standout colleagues don’t hurt either.

Recently, Headlines asked readers to let the newsletter know who they consider to be their superstar coworkers — and the response was overwhelming.

From a staff member who has helped ensure adequate supplies for COVID-19 vaccinations to a reading room coordinator who focuses on helping train the next generation of experts, here’s a closer look at just a few of the incredible nominees.

All those listed under “individual awards” will receive a gift card courtesy of Michigan Medicine Human Resources. The rest of the nominees are listed at the bottom of the story.

Thank you for all you do to make Michigan Medicine a world-class organization!

Individual awards

Bernadine Irby-Cobb, inventory control, Warehouse Operations

Bernadine has been a vital resource in supporting the COVID-19 vaccination efforts for the health system. She and her team have made sure to receive and document the ancillary supplies that come with the vaccine. Additionally, she makes sure all the supplies have been pulled, packed and delivered to the various vaccination sites. These clinics could not function without all the behind-the-scenes work she and her team does every day!

Haley Haddad, senior project manager, Virtual Health Department

Haley has been the catalyst behind the Virtual Urgent Care and e-Visit program. She has built a respectful rapport with our department leads and brings tremendous energy and insight to our team.  She is efficient and organized and is a great communicator. Thank you for all you have done to promote patient access, both during the pandemic and at all times. You are valued and appreciated!

Jonathan Poisson, technical support manager, computational medicine and bioinformatics

Jonathan is a tremendous asset to our department. He is a very hard worker and does an incredible job keeping our IT systems up and running so that our researchers can continue their important work.  Recently, a lot of IT issues were dropped on him all at once. But he got everything done efficiently and effectively. His dedication to doing a great job is very much appreciated and we wanted him to know that! 

Jaclyn Jirasek, registered nurse

Jaclyn is the MVP for the Bone Marrow Transplant Department. Jaclyn can face the day-to-day challenges because she’s always here, providing supreme care to our patients. But she looks out for her colleagues too. Jaclyn sends out the daily nursing schedule and when she does, she always includes an uplifting picture. Everyone deserves a Jaclyn on their team!

Joe LaVigne, research coordinator, hematology/oncology

Joe is a very pleasant research coordinator who works with our department. He has always shown kindness to us and his patients. I appreciate all his hard work and commitment to doing the job right and doing the job well. Thank you, Joe, for all you do!

Angela Haley, administrative manager, general surgery

Angela has been putting in countless hours going above and beyond to ensure the surgery ACUs function at the highest level. She has never once dropped the ball — even while simultaneously leading countless meetings to move the Department of Surgery through the Practice Optimization Initiative. Her dedication to her job and her teams is unmatched at U-M.

Curtis Bergquist, M.D., cardiac surgery

Curtis has gone to incredible lengths to care for patients in the CVICU since he began his residency. He always offers his assistance where applicable and has never shied away from doing what he can to help patients even when it’s not a patient he is covering. From the little things like placing a stitch to placing multiple lines in acutely-sick patients, Curtis has always been willing and able to help whenever he is here.

Seong-Hee Yoon, rehab engineer, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Seong-Hee, thank you so much for always being willing to collaborate with our team. You are always flexible and work with us to get the job done. Our patients benefit every time we work with you because of your genius technological abilities!

DeAndre Nedd, medical assistant. Briarwood Building 5

DeAndre boosts the morale and connectivity of our clinic just through his presence. Patients and coworkers are happier when he is around. He is a respected leader and relatable colleague. DeAndre makes the people around him better workers and better people. Thank you for being part of this team!

Ekaterini Karagiannis, Department of Learning Health Sciences

Thank you, Kathie, for always being so conscientious, professional and customer-service focused. You are a true DLHS MVP, as you have gone above and beyond this past year to fill in work gaps caused by the pandemic. In addition to your current responsibilities, you took it upon yourself to volunteer to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities in support of key departmental initiatives. Thanks!

Sonja Girouard, reading room coordinator, Northville Health Center

Sonja, you are an MVP in our department because you take great care in training our new staff members, especially in reading room duties and uploading processes. You worked diligently with our new RRC on her training; in addition, you offered to go to another clinic outside of radiology to review the uploading processes with staff. Thank you for everything you do!

Jesse Damon, clinic lead, Rogel Cancer Center gold

As the clinic lead of the Gold team, Jesse has helped to cultivate an environment where it is acceptable to ask questions, be honest and be yourself. He is always available to confide in, crack a joke with or help out whenever needed. It is evident that Jesse is a strong leader and a kind human being. Thank you, Jesse, for all you do!

Team award

Rogel Cancer Center phlebotomy

I feel very honored, gratified and blessed to work with every one of these special team members for so many different reasons. First, they understand their role and responsibilities. Second, they embrace collaboration. Third, they hold themselves accountable and responsible. Fourth, they are committed to the team. Fifth, they are flexible, optimistic and focused in their job at all times. Finally, this team is compassionate, loving, respectful, admirable and empathic toward patients and each other. My colleagues are a great asset to the Rogel Cancer Center!

Internal Medicine Quality Improvement team (Katie Grzyb, Linda Bashaw, Liz Spranger)

This team has shown an incredible dedication to helping faculty and staff improve quality, patient safety and operations. The team provides valuable leadership, improvement tools and data for projects across our 13 specialties, and they do it with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Our leadership team is also outstanding. Thank you to everyone for what you do!

Other nominees:

  • COPD research team
  • Linda Bangert, project manager, HITS
  • Dana Barnhart, administrative assistant, ophthalmology and visual sciences
  • Tiffanie Barnhizer, clinical care coordinator, Rogel Cancer Center Maize
  • Linda Bashaw, BI analyst, HITS
  • Anne Bayes, respiratory therapist
  • Robert Birdsall, systems architect, HITS
  • James Brady, guest services specialist
  • Rachel Brown, patient services associate
  • Jerry Carlock, guest services specialist
  • Steven Carr, pharmacy technician
  • Lindsey Clark, Pharm.D., pharmacy manager
  • Ellen Copeland-Brown, training manager, revenue cycle
  • Jessie DeVito, operations director, virtual care
  • Linda Fletcher, project manager, virtual health
  • Laura Gerker, administrative specialist, hospital medicine
  • James Goebel, M-Support representative, revenue cycle
  • Irina Gridean, patient care technician, CVC PACU
  • Jennifer Grybas, clinical care coordinator, Chelsea Surgical Services
  • Katie Grzyb, continuous improvement specialist, internal medicine
  • Leland Heath, clerk, revenue cycle
  • Margaret Holtschneider, R.N., C&W orthopaedics
  • Michael Jacobs, business process consultant, HITS
  • Stacey Jenkins, administrative manager, neurology
  • Neeraj Kaplish, M.D., director, Sleep Laboratories
  • Jodi Kennedy-Stanfield, allied health intermediate, phlebotomy
  • Brandy Knudson, telehealth project manager, Virtual Health Department
  • Kara Kwiatkowski, D.O., gastroenterology
  • D’Anna Lammers, virtual care business analyst
  • Vincent LaRocca, clinical pharmacist
  • Alicia Layman, surgical tech specialist, UH operating rooms
  • Maureen Luck, compensation analyst lead, Human Resources
  • Joanna Maki, receptionist, HITS Business Management
  • Andrew Marsh, physical therapist, spine therapy
  • Chuck Marshall, HITS and Revenue Cycle
  • Jason Matuszkiewicz, business systems analyst
  • Rebecca Miller, telehealth project manager
  • Kelly Morawski, nuclear medicine technologist, radiology
  • James Munn, clinical care coordinator, hemophilia
  • Angelenne Nagy, business systems analyst, HITS
  • Mee-Sook Oliver, clinical care coordinator, wound clinic
  • Amanda Paskell, patient services assistant
  • Emily Plave, R.N., Rogel Cancer Center Blue
  • Jamie Price, R.N., C&W intestinal failure
  • Lauren Puroll, R.N., Rogel Cancer Center Blue
  • Ashley Raidl, surgical tech, UH operating rooms
  • Heather Revels, administrative assistant, image-guided surgery
  • Fonda Richard, patient services associate
  • Michelle Robinson, M.S.W., social worker
  • Virginia Rogers, applications systems analyst, radiology
  • Linda Rowell, compensation analyst lead, Human Resources
  • Jacob Roy, virtual care business analyst
  • Kathleen Ryan, telestroke and telespecialty program manager
  • Kelly Rysso, clinical resident coordinator, pulmonary/critical care
  • Shannan Saltz, administrative specialist, ophthalmology and visual science
  • Shelly Schoen, panel manager, care management
  • Lorea Shala, physician assistant, hospitalists
  • Melanie Sink, HITS
  • Justin Sivils, technical writer, HITS
  • Thomas Smith, biomedical engineering technician
  • Heather St. Amour, patient services assistant, psych clinic
  • Melissa Steller, administrative manager, Rogel Cancer Center Gold
  • Jessica Sylvester, patient care technician, PACU
  • Nicholas Tacconelli, business systems analyst, virtual health
  • Stephen Tryban, clinical subjects coordinator, CTSU
  • Thomas White, pharmacy technician
  • Kelly Williams, clinical informatics pharmacist
  • Kristina Wines, project manager, ambulatory care
  • Claire Wolniewicz, administrative assistant, internal medicine
  • Liujian Zhao, research technician, internal medicine, pulmonary/critical care

You can recognize your colleagues all year long on the Michigan Medicine Recognition website!