Meet your Michigan Medicine MVPs

March 31, 2023  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees, ,

This weekend, the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments play their Final Four. And in order to come out on top, contenders will lean heavily on teamwork – with a little help from their superstars and MVPs thrown in for good measure.

Michigan Medicine is home to such standouts in all areas of the organization. That much is clear after colleagues nominated their peers for the incredible work they do every day.

Over the past week and a half, more than 100 colleagues were recognized for going above and beyond in helping to advance health to serve Michigan and the world.

For instance, an Environmental Services team member was praised for making a patient feel more comfortable while in the hospital. And a team in Adult Emergency Services earned honors for helping improve patient flow and throughput.

Dozens of others stood out simply for being tremendous teammates and looking out for their colleagues each and every day.

Congratulations to the following MVP nominees, who were randomly chosen to win a prize by the Department of Communication. All other nominees are listed at the bottom of the story.

Individual winners:

D’Anthony Carroll, custodian II, Environmental Services

Recently, a patient called to request that their room be cleaned. The patient was pretty down because of the request that was needed. But later, she called back to praise D’Anthony, who went above and beyond to make her feel comfortable. D’Anthony, you’re an MVP for our team. Thank you and keep doing what you do to make sure the job is completed and you make our patients happy!

Gerald Vinuya, registered nurse, acute hemodialysis

Gerald has gone completely above and beyond for our unit in many ways. Most recently, he spearheaded a project to revamp our portable reverse osmosis systems, which he installed himself. Previously, he worked with leadership at many levels to help solve/troubleshoot a problem we are having with water pressure in the ED. Gerald’s work has not gone unnoticed and we are extremely appreciative of his efforts!

Rachel Hampton, patient services associate, Saline Health Center

Rachel is amazing! She is helpful and supportive to those around her and maintains her positive attitude even in the most stressful of situations. She is always willing to go the extra mile. Thank you, Rachel, for everything that you do for us at the Saline Health Center!

Laurie LeBouef, contract and grant specialist, Emergency Medicine Research

Laurie, we can’t thank you enough for your outstanding dedication and tremendous efforts on the challenging pre-award documentation for a recent grant. Your diligence, persistence, attention to detail, thoughtfulness and thoroughness have made it possible for us to start this important research project. We are truly grateful for you and your dedication to keeping our research mission moving forward.

Rebecca Hong, M.D., clinical assistant professor, anesthesiology

Dr. Hong demonstrates stellar work and ongoing commitment to the amazing program of acute pain relief, using intrathecal morphine, for children undergoing spinal scoliosis surgery. The addition this week, of this treatment for an extended spectrum of patients, is just the latest piece of the impressive pain program maintenance she vigilantly leads. Dr. Rebecca Hong and Dr. Ying Li’s collaborative program really makes Michigan a standout place for scoliosis surgery. I am so proud of this!

Gregory Whiten, patient transportation manager

Greg is an outstanding manager for the transportation department. He goes above and beyond for the transporters and for the lift team. He helped lead us through the COVID-19 pandemic and is always there to help us if we have any issues or problems. I love that he motivates us to be all that we can be. Thank you, Greg, for always being there.

Kiirsa Pokryfke, administrative manager, ULAM

Kiirsa rises to the top of my MVP list this year. She has been working diligently on so many different arenas of support to the research mission at the university. Recently I was overcommitted and going to be out of the country for a huge outreach event we put on each year. Without hesitation, Kiirsa volunteered to be the lead to organize the presentation on top of all her other activities. She delivers on her promises, works hard for our staff and always remains optimistic. Her calm-under-pressure attitude and over-deliver style is certainly appreciated.

Lauren Borowicz, physician assistant

Lauren is exceptional as a thoracic PA. She handles an extremely sick patient population and individually saved multiple patients from what otherwise would have been catastrophic complications during the month I rotated with her. She always goes above and beyond, while remaining fun and personable. Thank you, Lauren!

Ewelina Szewczuk, registered nurse, CVC ICU

Ewelina is a highly-valued, highly-compassionate member of our unit. She is a wealth of knowledge that she shares regularly by precepting and consistently being the first person to jump in when help is needed. Our floor is a better, funnier, safer and more beautiful place with her in it.

Ashley Hesson, M.D., Ph.D., obstetrics and gynecology

Dr. Hesson went above and beyond while taking care of a complicated patient on Labor and Delivery. She essentially stayed in-house for approximately 48 hours (but with ACGME-adherent breaks!) marshaling all the resources for a patient in labor with severe cardiac complications. She went to great lengths to explain the complex physiology to each new team at every shift, and coordinated multiple teams. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this patient will have had the best possible outcome in large part due to Dr. Hesson’s efforts. This is emblematic of the level of care Dr. Hesson provides to all of her patients. Thank you, Dr. Hesson!

Christy Barnes, administrative specialist, Department of Communication

Christy is such a joy to work with. She is careful, consistent and always ready to take on a new challenge. Every day, she helps our PR team with carefully collecting daily clips that are so crucial to our metrics and maintaining our on-call schedule. She keeps us organized and is such a fantastic colleague. I appreciate her so much!

Sawim Osman, registered nurse, C&W 8E

Sawim offered to interpret for a patient’s family during an escalated situation. She remained composed and facilitated a quick diffusion of the tension with her calm demeanor. She was a pivotal member of the team and worked quickly and effectively with the physicians. Thank you for your efforts!

Team winner:

Adult Emergency Services Throughput Team (Kate Balzer, Justin Bosonetto, Caryn Boyd, Stephanie Brooks, Lindsey Foulke, Renee Havey, Benjamin Heilner, Jennifer Holmes, Rebecca Jarvi, Sarah Ketelhut, Katie Konson, Steven Kronick, Mark Lowell, Roger Lupton, Brittney McCormack, Jennifer Moro, Diana O’Leary, Chanda Perry, Faith Ponder)

Thanks for all of the hard work you have done to focus on patient throughput and flow through the Adult Emergency Department. From the roll-out of the ATP and PFN roles, to the work on consults and radiology, you are making our patients’ experience better and improving their safety. Thank you for all you do!

Other nominees:

  • New Michigan Medicine website team, Department of Communication
  • Brian Adams, solutions architect, HITS BusIT
  • Houssein Alshehmani, unit custodian, Environmental Services
  • Sara Andryc, patient services senior, adult BMT
  • Shrikant Bhagwat, app programmer, HITS
  • Craig Brown, M.D., M.Sc., general surgery resident
  • Niesha Cardwell, patient services associate, Taubman Medical Specialties
  • Natashia Caruso Keinath, custodian II, Environmental Services
  • Hari Conjeevaram, M.D., professor, gastroenterology
  • Roger Cornprobst, electrophysio technician
  • Sharyn Dagher, allied health senior supervisor, pediatric pulmonology
  • Patricia Devost, senior project manager, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Judith Dingeldey, dental assistant senior
  • Michelle English, compliance auditor, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Ryan Eton, M.D., general surgery resident
  • Heather Fox, physician assistant, adult BMT
  • Noah Fromson, public relations rep senior, Department of Communication
  • Kiara Garrett, patient services senior, radiology
  • Stephanie Gatica, administrative manager, internal medicine
  • Nathan Haley, network architect senior, HITS
  • Joe Hallisy, creative services manager, Department of Communication
  • Philisa Harris, call center representative senior, family medicine
  • Benjamin Havens, IS security director
  • Jennifer Hayes, administrative assistant, clinical lab administration
  • Michelle Henderson, nurse, C&W 12W
  • Matthew Heyman, perfusionist
  • Sara Hoatlin, registered nurse and educational nurse coordinator, 10E
  • Cassie Holman, clinical care coordinator, cardiac procedures unit
  • Ashley Jentz, program manager, care management
  • Catherine Joynt, senior project manager, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Jodi Kay, IS auditor lead, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Brenda Keele, patient services associate, radiology, Canton Health Center
  • Zeana Khodor, Pharm.D., clinical pharmacist
  • Janet Knapp, registered nurse, CVC4
  • Norma Kovacik, adult BMT and leukemia infusion
  • Matthew Kress, Physician Relations & Outreach
  • John Lyons, physical security design engineer, DPSS
  • Becky Mammel, registered nurse, internal medicine clinic
  • Susan Meredith, registered nurse, C&W 10E
  • Kathleen Michael, registered nurse, West Ann Arbor-Parkland Plaza
  • Amy Miller, compliance auditor, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Tracey Moat, administrative assistant, Canton Health Center
  • Renae Montri, registered nurse, CVC CPU
  • Beata Mostafavi, public relations manager, Department of Communication
  • Charlene Nicolai, call center representative
  • Olivia Orlando, events assistant, Michigan Medicine Development
  • Ginalyn Paderan, compliance specialist, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Kirsten Parr-Matthews, patient services associate, Taubman Medical Specialties
  • Shantosh Patel, app systems analyst/programmer, HITS
  • Susanne Pryce, compliance director, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Karen Pryor, executive secretary to the chief compliance officer
  • Diane Rebottaro, administrative assistant senior, CSR
  • Stephanie Reinsmith, medical assistant, pediatric specialties
  • Cheryl Rocker, clinical information analyst, transplant surgery
  • John Roebuck, nurse anesthetist
  • Andrea Romanuk, scheduling operations supervisor, PM&R
  • Deanna Rooney, compliance auditor, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Jina Sawani, public relations rep senior, Department of Communication
  • Laura Sewell, compliance auditor, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Lauren Shellenberger, compliance officer, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Lauren Stancato, patient services associate, PACU
  • Colton Sykes, endoscopy technician
  • Katelyn Sypniewski, compliance intake specialist, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Molly Thielker, compliance auditor, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Natalie Toth, pathologist assistant
  • Thomas Vassas, Pharm.D., pharmacist generalist, C&W
  • Matthew Wezner, administrative specialist, clinical risk
  • Maria White, education communication strategist, Department of Communication
  • Cheryl Willcocks, compliance auditor, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Anna Wilson, administrative assistant, operations
  • Karen Wutke, administrative specialist, Michigan Medicine Compliance
  • Kristin Zade, registered nurse, pediatric hematology oncology-infusion
  • Melissa Zanotti, patient services associate, radiology