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CARE Individual Awards 2013

Alexia Hieber JohnsonAlexia Hieber-Johnson
Staff Nomination

I have worked with Alexia for over a year now on the immunization project and I am very impressed with her dedication, enthusiasm, integrity and hard work. Alexia shares her gifts, talents and expertise with others and makes extraordinary contributions daily in her role as a lead on the immunization project. The post implementation phase of the immunization project required us to review many cases and follow up closely with staff, physicians, IS and management. Alexia has been extremely engaged in the communication process with nursing staff and physicians.

She herself rounded all units, which did not have CNIIs at the time. She is completely dedicated to her work. Recently, I emailed her patient information on a patient that was about to be discharged without completed immunization screening. Here is what she wrote back to me: “I ran upstairs and held off the transfer until the screening was done. The nurse is giving the immunization now while the ambulance driver is getting the paperwork ready.”

This is just one of the examples of her hard work. Today’s healthcare environment calls for individuals who are capable of working in concert with others, able to collaborate in creative endeavors, innovate and inspire. It is those extraordinary skills which Alexia brings to every project she works on. Alexia possesses personal integrity and a thoughtful communication style which I believe are worthy of this award.


April SyrekApril Syrek
Patient Nomination

I would like to express to you how April Syrek from the Blood Bank improved and enhanced my procedure and stay at the hospital. April’s extra care and attention was outstanding. Not only did she help me feel at ease with my procedure at the blood bank, she also took the time and explained to me how the procedure worked, and what I could expect as I was giving plasma for my autologous bone marrow/stem cell transplant.

April also took my daughter up to 8 West and gave her a tour of where I would be staying during my time at the hospital and introduced her to some staff members assigned to that floor.

Another notable gesture that April made was that she visited me after my procedure during my hospital stay. She stopped by just to say hello, and check on my family and me. I was very touched and also impressed by her kindness. Thank you for having employees like April Syrek working at your facility. She really made an impression on my family and me.


Barry WenigBarry Wenig, MD
Patient Nomination

I was referred to Dr. Wenig by Dr. Paul Rubenfeld. I could not have been more pleased with this doctor! He was excellent! I’ve had over 3 dozen surgeries as well as numerous procedures and Dr. Wenig was helpful, informative, and compassionate. He was extremely helpful in explaining exactly what he was going to hopefully achieve, being careful not to scare me in his explanation. He was extremely compassionate not only to me but to my family as well. All doctors should follow Dr. Wenig’s approach. I would most definitely recommend him to anyone!


Booker WashingtonBooker Washington
Staff Nomination

Radiology has been doing some construction on the 2nd floor and has been cleaning out many rooms to prepare for the construction. Booker has been so helpful in keeping up with all the trash. He even keeps an eye on the paper-recycling bin to make sure it gets changed often. I have given him several assignments over the past month and he has completed everything efficiently and effectively. I know if I tell him once it will be done right away and done right. He is also very proactive in keeping up with turning over the procedure rooms for angio and cath lab. Last week we had a flood on the 2nd floor and he went into action quickly, getting the wet vac and keeping on top of the overflowing water until the plumbers could fix it. He always knows what is going on in all the areas on the 2nd floor and makes sure everyone’s needs are attended to.


Carmen VieyraCarmen Vieyra
Staff Nomination

I am nominating Carmen Vieyra for recognition. It is very difficult to describe her outstanding, selfless, sacrificial, kind, professional, and tireless efforts to make the clinic run smoothly in one or two paragraphs. Since the AKC moved to its smaller location, Carmen has spared no effort to go beyond the call of duty, to even clean, organize, decorate as well as do whatever else it takes to make the patients and physicians comfortable and at home. She carries all of her responsibilities with a spirit of service, excellence as well as a smile. She has accepted numerous additional responsibilities since the clinic has moved. She is always willing to do more, stay longer, and does it all with utmost pleasure. When I started offering epidural injections, she gladly accepted this additional and new task and has mastered the art of aiding me in carrying this additional procedure without any previous background. She carries this new task as if she has done it forever. Please assist me in extending overdue recognition to this exemplary employee. I feel honored to work with her.


Carol Voda JonesCarol Voda-Jones
Patient Nomination

During my visit for Pulmonary Function Testing, I received excellent care from this employee. Before my tests, I had to have an arterial blood draw for the first time. Ms. Voda-Jones made sure that I was calm and understood the procedure and she numbed the area very well so I only felt a slight pinch. Afterwards, when I felt faint and passed out, she made sure that I was safe and comfortable before proceeding with the breathing tests. Throughout the process for the testing, Ms. Voda-Jones explained directions well, gave me encouragement to keep going, provided updates on my progress, and talked with me during waiting periods between test readings. She even got my jacket for me when I became cold. At the end of the testing, I had a reaction to the stimulant and Ms. Voda-Jones stayed over to give me several doses of albuterol and waited until I was okay before she left me. This employee definitely embodies the values of safety and service excellence.


Cheryl BrownCheryl Brown
Patient Nomination

I was in excruciating pain on a daily basis, and Cheryl would come in with the biggest smile on her face. Cheryl would ask how I was feeling with true sincerity. I would say I didn’t feel well, I’m in pain! Cheryl would say I hope you feel better and get relief from your pain. She would then ask genuinely if there was anything she could get or do for me. That made me feel secure in knowing someone cares. This nurse assistant takes her position seriously. Cheryl has demonstrated to me and others she has a real heart of gold. Cheryl is not just here for a paycheck, she’s here to help others anyway she can. That’s hard to find these days. She deserves the biggest award available!


Dawnielle RankinsDawnielle Rankins
Staff Nomination

During Ms. Dawnielle Rankin’s lunch hour I witnessed an elderly woman confused about using the change machine in the basement of EEI. Ms. Rankins began explaining to the woman how the machine worked. The elderly woman didn’t have the correct currency to put into the machine and was walking away. Ms. Rankins dug in her pockets and found change to give the elderly woman and then showed her how to use the vending machine. The woman was very pleased with Ms. Rankins and sat at her table. The elderly woman then had a hard time unwrapping the product that was dispensed out of the vending machine. Ms. Rankins helped her open it. Ms. Rankins demonstrated kindness and selflessness and excellent patient care. All of this was done on Ms. Rankins break and the whole time she was extremely friendly and very courteous. Please recognize Ms. Rankins for her kind heart! She deserves it!


Danielle TorresDaniel Torres
Visitor Nomination

Seven months ago, I brought a friend to Scheck & Siress for shoe fittings. In the process, I saw people in the halls with metal legs and flipper feet running up and down the hall. I realized that therapy was being done and my friend needed to become a part of this. He has a balance problem, a birth defect where one leg is shorter and smaller than the other, has problems standing up straight, and has a bad gait. Danny Torres went back to a therapist who watched my friend walk, asked a couple of questions, and agreed to take him for therapy. There were no open slots at first, but Danny followed through and now my friend is in therapy. I saw the evaluation and the staff is great. This is going to work.

On a separate instance, I also saw Danny interact with a lady in a wheelchair who had a speech problem. Danny’s patience was extraordinary. He is a blessing to your organization.


Devin Thomas
Staff/Patient Nomination

Devin is an awesome employee and an asset to the UI Health team. He always goes above and beyond in assisting customers. When customers are frustrated he always remains calm and tries his best to diffuse the situation. He will do whatever he can to make sure the customer is satisfied. He has gone above and beyond on more than one occasion. I have witnessed him do it not only for me, but for other customers too. There has been at least two occasions when my son and I have needed medication immediately and it was not available, yet he made it happen. He does whatever it takes including faxing, calling physicians more than once if necessary, and staying late to make sure the job gets done. I really appreciate his dedication and service. The best thing about it all is that his service is always coupled with a smile. Kudos to Devin!


Dorothy GawelDorothy Gawel (Psychiatry – Neurobehavior)
Patient Nomination

Ms. Dorothy absolutely deserves to be honored for her work here at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. She is always so helpful and caring. Dorothy goes above and beyond to help me with my medical needs. She has a great disposition even when she is doing the job of 2 employees. When Ms. Veronica is gone, Dorothy does work for both. She frequently has 2 or more phones ringing and patients at her door but she quickly and efficiently takes care of everyone! Plus she does it with a smile on her face that can even be heard in her voice. She remembers my family members and me. It shows that she not only works to help us because it’s her job, but Dorothy does it because she cares! She definitely deserves recognition for being a great UI Health employee.


Elaine RiveraElaine Rivera
Visitor Nomination

Elaine was a very considerate and attentive nurse to my mother and she always treated the family with kindness and compassion. Elaine exudes a sense of calm, caring professionalism that really helps to put our minds at ease. She was always very gentle with my frail mother and I was so impressed with how attentive she was towards our family's needs. I never felt like I was bothering her, that she was in a hurry to leave, or that she had other things on her mind when she came into the room. She gave us her full attention and I felt like she was utterly present and dedicated to helping my mother recover. Elaine, thank you so much for caring! Thank you!


Emergency DepartmentEmergency Department
Visitor Nomination

I was so impressed with the humility, concern, and care that I received during my visit to the ER with my handicapped brother. I was nervous and upset when we came in, but when we were received so warmly from the emergency staff, especially the nurse named Mary, I knew we were in good hands. It's always refreshing to see concern, dedication, and teamwork in such an intense department. I'm glad I brought my brother to the University of Illinois Hospital ER that morning.


Erlina AbaringErlina Abaring
Staff Nomination

Not only is Erlina a great RN, she is also a great charge RN. There are numerous examples of why she deserves this class act award that I don't even know where to begin. We are privileged to have her as an asset in our unit. There have been countless times that she has had extremely difficult and busy charge days and is always the first one at the bedside to help the admission RN or any RN with a busy assignment. This exact situation occurred just a couple of days ago when I admitted a very sick baby diagnosed with multiple anomalies. Despite being busy with her own unit responsibilities as a charge RN, she was readily available to help start all of the baby's PIVs (and there were many), assist with re-intubation and hang numerous IVs/medications. She did not leave the bedside the entire time as the baby eventually coded and passed. In the words of the next oncoming RN that had the baby during the second shift, "Erlina is awesome!" This seems to be the general consensus in our unit. She always wears a smile even in the most stressful situations and does not shy away from work. She truly is the definition of a team player and genuinely listens because I know that, if needed, I will have the support of her knowledge and expertise to help me with whatever the day may bring. For me, that is the epitome of being an exceptional charge RN!


Gillian BrennanDr. Gillian Brennan, MD
Staff Nomination

Dr. Gillian Brennan is widely respected and regarded as an attending physician that NICU/ICN’s nursing staff universally welcomes working with whenever she in on call. Dr. Brennan’s clinical skills are top-notch and her professionalism in working with nursing, parents, and other ancillary staff have at times helped smooth over some potentially problematic crises on the unit. Gillian is also always willing to extend a hand with difficult clinical tasks like starting IVs and blood-draws on babies with poor IV access or really sick babies that require a higher degree of IV expertise.

In addition, Gillian’s dedication to our patients is unanimously acknowledged by nurses who have worked with her. She is one of the “hands on” attendings who is well-known to stay up all night when our babies are deteriorating/crashing or when we get sicker admissions. She will work tirelessly alongside the fellows, NNP and residents. In fact, this is why nurses recognize her as not just the leader of the care team but as an invaluable part of the overall care team whenever she is on call. There is the general sense of trust that we are in “good hands” whenever we know Gillian is at the helm.


Dr. Linda GrossmanDr. Linda Grossman
Patient Nomination

The service was excellent. Dr. Grossman took her time in asking me questions on my first time meeting her. Dr. Grossman was concerned about my safety and saw that I needed help. Dr. Grossman walked with me and took me to the hospital. She stayed there with me to make sure I got the help I needed. When the hospital admitted me, Dr. Grossman called my family. Dr. Grossman saved my life, so I am forever grateful for her. Words cannot express how I feel about her. Thank you.


Roberto MachadoRoberto Machado, MD
Patient Nomination

I credit Dr. Machado for saving my life. If it were not for him, I would no longer be alive. When I first came to see him, I had stage 4 CTEPH and was dying. I also have several autoimmune diseases. Dr. Machado correctly diagnosed my CTEPH, placed me on the correct course of medications, and along with his nurse Kami Sneed, they fought for me. They fought the state insurance to ensure I had the proper medication and to make sure I received a lifesaving surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. I had months to live when my surgery was finally approved and I owe it all to Dr. Machado, Kami, and his team for getting me there. Also, for all the follow-up care as well, as this is something I will need to deal with for the rest of this life I have been blessed with.


Dr. Alma Bicknese and Wendy GoetterDr. Alma Bicknese and Wendy Goetter
Visitor

I would like to nominate Dr. Alma Bicknese and nurse Wendy Goetter from Pediatric Neurology. I am the parent of a little boy with a rare brain malformation. When we walked into the ER and met Dr. Bicknese my then 1 year old weighed 31 pounds and had developed and passed kidney stones from a failed Ketogenic diet initiation, he was drastically under medicated and in status epileptics. Within a week of his PICU stay with Dr. Bicknese he was controlled to the point that he has enjoyed many long stretches (weeks) of seizure-free neuro development. In my opinion we had FANTASTIC seizure control. Dr. Bicknese has taken a calm and logical approach with an eye on the long term as well.

Currently my son is two and a half and he’s not dead! He’s robust and healthy actually. He has been enjoying weeks without any seizures and keeping the breakthrough short and partial. Having Wendy and Dr. Bicknese answer my calls and respond to his needs and keep him stable has saved both our lives. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Bicknese and Wendy for all they have done for my son’s well being and also for giving me the tools to advocate for my little guy so that we can make the very most of our time together. I am certain this year with him and those to come are due to the loving care they have given him. This is why they deserve a whole lot of recognition.


Elena EspirituElena Espiritu
Staff Nomination

Elena Espiritu embodies what the UI Health organization wants from its employees. When the previous Coordinator left the system over 4 years ago, Elena stepped in and took over those duties without formal recognition until this past month. As a Coordinator, she has worked on establishing and enforcing high standards for her staff related to job expectations with an emphasis on the patient experience.

In addition to her work duties, Elena has 3 children 5 and under, and completed her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy last year. Her calm personality is appreciated by all. Additionally, she has taken advanced courses in how to teach patients to manage chronic health conditions. She has provided multiple in-services to other departments related to this topic as well as implemented a 6 week pilot program with patients, visitors, and staff aimed at Chronic Disease Self-Management with outcomes and demonstrated good success. And, she did this while being a leader in the department and apparent ease. This kind of innovation and dedication aligns with the mission of UI Health and should be recognized.


Erin TobinErin Tobin
Staff Nomination

We had a psychiatric patient who was here from another state. Erin worked with that patient’s treatment team out of state, but they were unable to arrange transportation for the patient. Erin worked hard to make arrangements for the patient to get back home. She then went above and beyond by riding the EL with the patient to the bus station and making sure the patient got onto the correct bus safely. We are truly proud to have Erin as a part of our team.


Evon StewartEvon Stewart
Visitor Nomination

My father was a patient for over a week at UI Health. His stay began in the ICU and was transferred to Stepdown where I was delighted by the outstanding staff there. Evon took his vitals and blood pressure as well as lifted his spirits. She made him feel special and like family. She introduced herself to each of us and began by letting my father know he was very special to the hospital and that she would do everything to ensure his experience was a positive one.

My dad had a lot going on and could barely even carry on a conversation. Evon made a point to not only do her job, but to take a special couple of minutes to stand by his bedside and engage in conversation. When my dad heard her say she was from Alabama he smiled and told her “Me too!”

My dad didn’t like needles, blood draws or even blood pressure checks. Evon would take time each day to express how special he was not only to our family at home but how special he was to the UI Health family. She explained that we really wanted him to get well and back 100% so we really need that blood sugar test. He would tell her, “Ok, because I’m special right?” She would always reply, “Yes!”

Every day Evon made it a point to take a moment to uplift, care for, and treat my father special. It is all any family member could ask for. We can never repay her for all she did for my dad. I’m hoping this letter will let her know just how much she means to us even now. Thank you Evon!


Felipe HerreraFelipe Herrera
Nominated by Staff

I just wanted to inform you of the wonderful work that Felipe Herrera is doing in Materials Management. He is a breath of fresh air. Felipe is here every morning and takes the time to greet the people as he performs his daily duties. Our floors, conference room and washrooms have never been cleaner. I have a couple of people in our office who used to constantly sneeze due to the amount of dust, but thanks to Felipe’s wonderful work the sneezing has been cut down dramatically! The one thing I like about Felipe is he asks when a good time would be to perform certain duties like vacuuming, trash removal, sweeping, etc. He has been cleaning our department for about two months and has already reported an issue with a slow draining sink and nonfunctioning urinal. I am not sure if that was part of his job function, but if not great job for taking the time to report it to us. He even cleans our dry erase boards and leaves them looking like new. My director made a comment on the great work he is doing and he never knew what a real cleaning was like, until Felipe showed up. Housekeeping is an incredibly important job. When you have a clean environment, you feel better knowing your area is clean and motivates you to want to work. Housekeeping is a job that often goes unappreciated, but I wanted Felipe to know that we appreciate the wonderful work and effort he gives.


Jaclyn SiegelJaclyn Siegel
Patient & Visitor Nomination

Jaclyn has been a lot of help with my son. He has no way of coming to the hospital for dialysis, so Jaclyn arranged for first choice medical to pick him up. Not only that, she has a great smile and has patience telling us how important it is for us to be here on time. She is an angel. Thank you for having her in this hospital.


Jean ChenJean Chen, MD
Visitor Nomination

It’s difficult to put into words the gratitude and positive regard we feel towards Dr. Chen. Dr. Chen was the first person I met when seeing that my mother had been moved to the ICU. I wasn’t able to contain my emotions and she very patiently and with compassion helped me to understand my mother’s condition. Ever since then, throughout our 13-day stay in the ICU, Dr. Chen regularly checked in with us, answered questions patiently, and as thoroughly as possible, and always tried to be helpful. Her genuine care and regard served to sustain us during a difficult time for our family. Dr. Chen’s ability to interact with us as fellow human beings and people with feelings truly sets her apart from many of the experiences we’ve had with medical professionals.


Jose SaezJose Saez
Staff Nomination

I would like to recognize Jose “Paul” for all of his contributions to our department. Given staffing issues, he has been the sole aide for our department for months. He was able to manage all the needs of the department including patient care, assisting therapists, and administrative duties, which can sometimes be overwhelming. He eagerly assists with these multitudes of tasks. He has provided excellent patient care and one patient commented that he is “the sunlight of her day”. Thank you!


Julie WelshJulie Welsh
Staff Nomination

Julie is an outstanding APN who as gone out of her way to help facilitate a truly amazing clinical rotation experience for the UIC graduate entry program students. She took several of them under her wing during the rotation and helped to orient them to many aspects of the APN role. She regularly took the initiative to involve herself in the education of the next generation of nurses, and has even gone so far as to invite the students to contact her for shadowing opportunities in the future. Julie deserves to be commended for everything she does for the UIC nursing students.


Kimberly CrainKimberly Crain
Staff Nomination

Kimberly took it upon herself to work with a patient that had become extremely aggressive by attacking staff members physically. This patient continuously caused chaos in the milieu and made it difficult for other patients to receive efficient treatment and 1:1 time from staff. Kim worked 12-hour shifts educating and building coping skills that will assist the patient into integrating back into the milieu. Kim was able to challenge the patient to get to the root of her triggering issues but balanced it out with support and positive affirmations. Kim deserves special recognition and is highly celebrated by her colleagues of the CATU Program.


Kyle BenoitKyle Benoit
Staff Nomination

In February one of our long term patients from the PICU passed away in surgery. This patient was a special patient to the PICU and we had been caring for her since she was an infant. She was 7 years old when she passed. Since this patient died in surgery, Kyle went out of his way to allow myself and the staff to visit the patient shortly after she died. We were allowed to go into the OR to see her and say our goodbyes. The OR staff that were in the room and others in the unit we also very supportive and many cried with us as we said our goodbyes. Kyle also made sure that other staff could come down and say their goodbyes with the family. Kyle went above and beyond and we are forever grateful.


Latonya YoungLatonya Young
Patient Nomination

Latonya was very attentive to my needs today in spite of a busy schedule. I dropped off paperwork that needed to be completed by my physician who was extremely busy today. Latonya, however, took time to speak with the physician and let him know the urgency of which the paperwork needed to be completed. I appreciate that she went above and beyond when assisting me. She is a great example of serving patients and showing them that she cares. My financial situation would have been on hold without these papers being completed. Thanks for helping me.


Luara Tipre-KingLaura Tipre-King
Patient Nomination

I have been a patient at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System for about 4 years. While I can honestly say I have never had a bad experience with any of the staff members at UI Health, I would like to share my experience with you related to Laura Tipre-King. WOW! Her professionalism, courteousness and her tenacious spirit, coupled with her patience from the beginning of our telephone call to the end, the email message she sent and the follow-up call that I receive stands far and beyond what I expected. I felt like coming through the phone and giving her a bear hug. She cared about scheduling my appointments, she cared about my having to get in sooner than later and she cared about the wait time since I will be attending therapy during my lunch hour. I hope I have said something that would help you see that Ms. Tipre-King is better than the best!


Margaret GrumlyMargaret Grumley
Staff Nomination

Margaret went above and beyond to make sure the Hospital Week Event was GREAT. She demonstrated Accountability and Service Excellence through countless hours coordinating the formal posters for each area, coordinating all of the communications including a Top 10 list from Dr. Becker, and managing much of the audio visual content as well. That sounds like it should be part of her job but she did way more than that, and she did it with a positive, professional attitude. She met deadlines and kept the rest of the team engaged and informed. By the way, the 3 business days before the event, she also took time off to move, all the while keeping on top of activities and deadlines. To me, she went above and beyond what anyone could expect.


Mathew AjjarapuMat Ajjarapu
Staff Nomination

Mathew has for many years exemplified the values that the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System hold to high esteem. Most recently his dedication to service excellence has been a shining example for other to follow. Recently, the operational systems that our pharmacy staff rely on when down. Mathew, without ever being asked, canceled his dinner plans and stayed an extra eight hours until he knew that all the missing medications had been taken care of, and his co-workers were completely caught up. No less than one week later I received even more praise for Mathew from a Gift of Hope nurse who said when they were struggling to navigate a certain order set. Mathew went above and beyond to help them through the process. In truth what these represent are a small percentage of the instances where Mathew has set his own needs aside in favor of those of his coworkers, and the patients we all serve. For that reason I think this note of recognition is long overdue.


Monica VelazquezMonica Velazquez
Staff Nomination

I wanted to express my appreciation for Monica Velazquez in the Mother-Baby Department at UI Health. I am a nursing student, and Monica was my preceptor for my leadership rotation this spring semester. Monica is an excellent preceptor for many reasons. She takes the time to make sure her student knows why things are done. She provides feedback on a continuous basis, whether it is praise or to strengthen skills that need refining. She is fair, challenging, and looks for learning opportunities. She sets a high standard with her own work that makes her a role model who inspires those around her to do their best.

Several times throughout this semester, Monica went above and beyond expectations by taking additional students during their rotations as well as me, her leadership student. Monica works really hard to provide personal, compassionate, safe nursing care. On top of all her skills, she maintains a positive outlook and is very enjoyable to work with. Thanks for everything Monica!


Nick HaubachNick Haubach
Staff Nomination

Nick Haubach is a miracle worker. He makes things that are seemingly impossible to be possible in facilitating and simplifying the hiring process. He is always available to help out new leaders like me and explain HR processes in a language that I can understand and apply. He communicates in a very timely manner and makes sure that he follows up on issues and resolves them as necessary. It has been a big pleasure working with Nick because he delivers results and he always presents himself in a very relaxed and approachable disposition. He is very knowledgeable and always goes out of his way to help and assist. He is one person that needs to be recognized and applauded.


Patricia McDanielPatricia McDaniel
Patient Nomination

Pat McDaniel’s unique personality shines with each and every visit. Her personality shines with politeness, patience, kindness, and consideration toward others. Pat shows concern for others regarding their circumstances, health, and needs. She would also assist you in any way possible. Pat McDaniel demonstrates exceptional competence and compassion. She always conducts her daily performance and job responsibilities with a smile, without fail, with each and every appointment visit


Paul EdwardsPaul Edwards
Staff Nomination

One Sunday I was asked to assist with a patient crisis in the adult unit. Paul had just received a new admission. Paul, being the very prudent nurse that he is, was making frequent safety checks and walked into the room just as the patient was trying to hang himself. When I saw the way the sheet was tied it was clear that Paul had indeed prevented a sentinel event. Paul should be recognized for these heroic efforts.


Raquel BetucciRaquel Bertucci
Staff Nomination

An emergency C-section was performed on the unit. The baby was in respiratory distress. The ambu mask was not working to properly ventilate the baby Raquel stepped in and performed rescue breathes on the newly delivered baby before it was even cleaned off.


Richard BanchsRichard Banchs, MD
Patient Nomination

Dr. Banchs was wonderful! I’ve had 36 surgeries due to a congenital problem, cystic hygroma / lymphangioma, and have always had to have an awake intubation or an awake tracheostomy! Dr. Banchs really took his time with me and my family in the pre-op area and told us he could do the intubation procedure while I was asleep! This was the first time in 45 years! The outcome was superb! Not only did I not suffer or have a lot of pain but he showed above and beyond the call of competence and compassion for me and my family.


Sonya Ramos
Patient Nomination

There is not enough space to explain why she deserves recognition. I will say that every time I am admitted to 7 East, she says hi and greets me with a smile. I know people write these nominations all the time, but I hope you really understand the joy I get from Sonya saying hi, getting me coffee, blankets, etc. This is not even her job. She is good from the heart, she makes sure my admission is ok, and everything is in place. I have cystic fibrosis. It is a lot to deal with so when I say Sonya is a breath of fresh air I truly mean it. Every time I come in I will write a nomination on her behalf. When she is retired she will be missed. I have been at this hospital for 40 years. Wow, thank you Sonya.


Terrance ThomasTerrance Thomas
Visitor Nomination

My mother was admitted on the 8th floor. When Terrance entered her room he introduced himself and made sure to identify my mom by name and birthday. He went above and beyond his way to assist her with a cup of water and helped to clean up a small spill with no hesitation. Genuine qualities were portrayed at this time. I would like to say that he is a star player for the team at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. I cannot thank him enough. Thanks for letting him be a part of my mom’s care.


Theressa TaylorTheressa Taylor
Visitor Nomination

I can honestly say that I was privileged to come in contact with Theressa Taylor. I was trying to locate a patient who had an appointment with the Heart Center. I called looking for him because his transportation was ready to pick him up. I called the Heart Center and found out it was closed. From that point I didn’t know who to talk to or how to find him. I was really concerned about where he was so I used another number provided to me by the automated system. This is the part where I really got lucky.

Theressa answered the phone and I explained my problem to her. The first thing she said was “Let me see if I can help you locate him.” She asked what he was wearing and I described his clothing. She asked me to give her my phone number and she would check with someone in the Heart Center to see if he was still there, then call me back. Shortly thereafter, she called me back to say she had found him. He was waiting for transport to bring him down to the lobby. She told me he was on his way down.

I couldn’t thank her enough. It was such a relief to know that everything was okay. I could stop worrying. I told her to tell her boss that I said to give her a raise. She deserves some kind of recognition. In closing I would like to say if you had more staff like Theressa, your hospital would become one of a kind.


Tom KernanTom Kernan
Nominated by Staff

Every section of this organization is dependent on individuals who provide services to their sections so that the day-to-day operations can run smoothly and efficiently. Tom Kernan is our individual here in the Pathology Laboratories. Tom has taken over many responsibilities, and through his accountability and organizational skills ensures us that the day to day operations and needs of the laboratories are met. His dedication and perseverance have been noted through his actions within all sections of the laboratory. His input and keen sense of the needs of the labs continues to keep us on the right track with our ordering of supplies. Recently the storage area lost its air conditioning, placing many reagents in danger of exposure to excessive heat. Tom took the initiative to move all these reagents to areas of the lab where the temperature was more stable until the air conditioning was fixed. Tom does “whatever it takes” to ensure quality for us here, and this should be highly acknowledged.


Vanessa RoweVanessa Rowe
Patient Nomination

Vanessa performed her duties in a timely fashion and was pleasant while doing so. As a patient I felt she cared about me as a human being with feelings. I had surgery for a PEG insertion and Vanessa was extremely helpful in taking care of my needs. Where she especially shined was in the training of me and my wife in the PEG tube feeding technique. Her detailed instructions were easy to understand as she highlighted each step. Finally, she has a sunny disposition and I found her easy to listen to and obey. A good nurse means a happy patient – and Vanessa is a very good nurse.


Victor AgooVictor Agoo
Staff Nomination

Victor has been an absolute pleasure to work with. He welcomed the UIC Graduate Entry Program nursing students to 5 East and facilitated an amazing clinical rotation experience for them. He demonstrates the kind of leadership that engenders the admiration of his staff and motivates them to excel in their work. He also leads a team of nurses who are dedicated to teaching the next generation of nurses, and to providing outstanding patient care. My students and I could not have imagined a better environment in which to learn. Victor deserves to be commended for his leadership in creating such an environment.