Janice Green – 2013 Recipient
Janice, says that from the day she started working here, she felt at home living the Lourdes value of Commitment to Those in Need. After being with LIFE a couple of years, Janice noticed the passing of participants profoundly impacted the remaining participants. She wanted to find a way to help support the other participants who suffered grief at the loss of their friends. She and another member of the LIFE staff organized the LIFE staff choir to sing at the LIFE memorial services. The choir sang at multiple memorial services. Participants were so appreciative they too formed their own choir. The LIFE choir was even recognized in a video at the National PACE Association conference showing the outstanding work of PACE staff.
So often Janice quietly notices the needs of others and acts on them. There was a LIFE participant, terminally ill, who was extremely lonely. Her family was in Texas and she had no way to get to church. Every Sunday, Janice would go out of her way to pick up Ms. Ruth, take her to church and then bring her to her home for dinner. Janice maintained her commitment until Ms. Ruth, as her dying wish, reunited with her daughter in Texas.
When Rich lived alone he had no one to talk to. Janice noticed he was lonely and getting thinner. She quietly would take food to his home and sit and talk with him while he enjoyed her home cooked meal. Janice can also be tenacious…some of the LIFE participants get a small check. Janice learned that when they went to the bank, they were being charged a not so small fee to cash their check since they didn’t have an account. Janice visited a number of banks until she found one that would cash checks without a fee. Janice lives the commitment to those in need at every moment.
DARRYL BACON – COB – FINANCE
Darrell demonstrates strong leadership values and is very giving and concerned for others. An example is that a new associate had transportation issues preventing them to get to work so Darrell back tracked 20 minutes to pick the associate up for a week and would not accept any money. Another example is on my first day of work he invited me to the café to get breakfast with him as well as bringing another associate so that my nerves would relax. He bought my breakfast. I thought that maybe he was only like this because it was my first day but his commitment to helping make my job easier and enjoyable continues. A third example is after super Storm Sandy, Darryl would reach out to us updating us on whether or not the building was open and went out of his way to find other locations for us to work. He has his own family but has made an internal commitment to make us a family at the office. He guides us both spiritually and professionally and makes the darkest day your brightest.
BEVERLY BAUERS – RN
RN constantly demonstrates the value of “commitment to those in need” and is our unanimous choice for this award. Beverly is the first one to give to any cause, not just financially, but more so her time, effort and compassion. Although she always tries to downplay it and remain anonymous, she sponsors families in need, always, and during the holidays, as her holiday list keeps growing. Beverly is always the first to arrange donations when an event such as Care and Share opens up. She is the dept cheerleader for all things for those in need.
What really strikes us about Beverly is the ever present kindness she shows to her patients and their families. She is generous of spirit, and truly represents a Christian selflessness that is rare. We all agree that it’s about time that she is acknowledged, and rewarded, for her complete devotion to providing to all around her who are in need.
DIONNE BUDEMOSI – CC2/CTR
Dionne is a Registered Nurse on CC2 and she has an amazing way of treating all persons as unique individuals providing compassionate care not only to her patients but their families as well.
While caring for a critical unstable patient Dionne found out it was the birthday of a patient’s wife. The wife was very depressed and communicated with Dionne that when she realized her husband’s chances of surviving were not in his favor but she hoped he would not die on her birthday. She wanted to have one last birthday with him at her side. Dionne not only worked very hard to stabilize and maintain the patient she found time to put together a little birthday celebration for the wife. She obtained a cake, balloons and even a little birthday gift for the wife. She coordinated with the other staff members to join in on the celebration singing happy birthday and sending off good wishes to the wife. She made a big difference to this wife in need.
Dionne never loses site of the fact that it is important to care for all that are in need. In this case it was the wife of a dying patient who spent her birthday like she wished, at the side of her husband of 5 years.
AWILDA CARDONES – CHHA
Awilda, a Certified Home Health Aide, is not someone that you would notice. She doesn’t stand out in a crowd-but she quietly accomplishes things that no one else can. She is committed to those in need by her very person:
One of her patients, a man who lives alone in a tiny apartment, was someone who pushed everyone else away. Awilda wouldn’t take no for an answer, calmly returning time after time until she won her way into his heart. No one else could get him to eat or change in to clean clothes or bathe, Awilda could and did.
Another patient is a man addicted to drink. He recently moved to a different apartment, to be further away from his sources of alcohol, and it was Awilda who took him by the hand to introduce him to his new neighbors and new friends. It was Awilda who made certain that he ate something every day. And it was Awilda who searched the streets of Camden when he didn’t come home—each time he goes missing, she finds him, and she brings him home to warmth and safety. Awilda truly exemplifies a commitment to those in need.
SHANE CARR – LIFE AT LOURDES
Shane is quiet, unassuming almost shy. But ask any participant who rides his bus about him and the glowing responses could fill a book. Miss J’s family was thinking of having her disenroll from LIFE. But they kept hearing how Ms. J loved coming to the center with her boyfriend. He was kind, doting and thoughtful. The family was perplexed, they had never heard of this romance and when staff was questioned, they too had not seen Ms. J interact with other participants in such a way as to describe it as romantic. When staff asked Ms. J. to identify her beau, she proudly pointed to Shane. He was the one who took the time to wish her a good day, comment on her hair and gently escort her off the bus to the center. The funny thing is, all the passengers on his bus feel that same level of commitment from Shane. In another instance, when Shane knew of Ms. A’s birthday, he knew she was without family, so he bought her a hat and scarf to remember her. He makes all who ride with him feel special and protected.
Shanes’ special concern goes beyond those he drives on a daily basis. One day Mr. X did not attend the center. Staff were concerned and sent Shane and a social worker to the home. No answer to the knocks on the door. No answer on the phone. Shane, relying on his firefighter training, climbed through a first floor window, over a cabinet to find Mr. X in trouble on the floor. Without Shane’s quick response, Mr. X may have languished hours longer.
Shane may not be loud and boisterous, but his commitment to those in need is unwavering. He lives his values every day.
LYNNE CHESSHIRE – INTEGRATED CARE MANAGEMENT
Lynne’s dedication and compassion that she shows to the patients and their families has extremely moved me. She is tireless in her efforts to secure resources and assistance for those in need, especially for our associates as she is a wealth of information. Lynne is constantly giving of herself professionally and personally by providing transportation, food, clothing and compassion to those in need. Her commitment is displayed in every aspect of her life.
KATHLEEN DESTREMPS – CBO – REVENUE MANAGEMENT
It is second nature for Kathy to live the value of “Commitment to those in Need” by being a reliable worker and a warm hearted person to her family and friends. She is non-judgemental and someone you can always go to for help at work without making you feel that your question is too simple or too complex. Kathy has a positive outlook in life. She always sees the good in every person. She is a true person that is always ready to lend you a hand or to listen to you when you just need someone with whom to talk. I am proud to call her my friend.
HERMALINDA (NANA) FIGUEROA – CHHA
Nana is a Certified Home Health Aide with a personality that no one can ignore. When you see Nana, you see a smile and you hear a laugh. The participants who she sees in the home want no one other than Nana to provide the needed care. To them, she’s the best.
One of her patients had new flooring put into his apartment, but the workmen couldn’t be bothered to clean up after themselves. Nana didn’t wait for an invitation; knowing that her patient would be at risk for a fall on the slippery surface, she dove right in and cleaned not only the floor but all of the dust that had been left behind.
Another participant is a frequently admitted patient to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Nana is her constant visitor after the workday is done. The patient’s family is too overwhelmed to visit, so Nana makes up for what they cannot provide. When her patient goes home, Nana is there waiting to make her feel special in these last days of her life. Nana is a true team player as she will always pitch in when there is a need. If you would ask someone to define what it means to care for the poor and vulnerable and have a commitment to the poor, they would answer “Nana”.
A Social worker is truly committed to our Mission which is reflected in her care for our patients. The person who nominated Pauline writes: I had a difficult situation where the patient was about to make a terrible decision. I used all my skills to try and calm the situation but still knew that I needed Pauline. It only took me going to Pauline saying “I need you” for her to drop what she was doing and listen to my concerns for this patient. Pauline sprung into action and immediately spoke at length with the patient to explain what she was going to put in place for her. Pauline set up an outpatient health plan and also provided resources for financial help. Pauline’s quiet unassuming manner made a tremendous difference to this person in need. There are stories from each day Pauline encounters our patients but we would be here all day- thank you Pauline for your commitment to those in need.
Diane Gomolka was the first colleague I met at LIFE at Lourdes. She was very gracious and accommodating as she familiarized me with our PACE program. Her loyalty to our mission was evident then, as it is now.
Diane is a “Jack or better yet, “Jill” of all Trades.” Initially hired as a driver, she now works in the capacity of enrollment navigator where she schedules, coordinates and greets all new participants during the assessment process. She has also become very knowledgeable in the Medicaid, Medicare process and is able to steer family members in the right direction when they seek assistance in what to do next. Diane’s style is very warm and welcoming; prospective participants and their families are embraced with dignity regardless of their race, financial status or medical condition.
I especially admire Diane’s commitment to our participants’ needs whether it’s sitting talking with them when they wander back to her work area or at Thanksgiving when she volunteers to deliver food baskets to the less fortunate ensuring they are blessed on the holiday.
Diane’s respect and compassion for our loved ones who suffer exemplifies the value of “Commitment to Those in Need.” I am delighted and proud to nominate her for this award.
ELIZABETH HUDA – EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT, DEBORAH
In today’s world, a person of Liz Huda’s caliber emulates our Christian values in how she tends to the people with whom she comes in contact. Liz is compassionate, loving and caring to the poor by feeding and clothing them and referring them to the appropriate agencies to further their assistance. She also shows her concern to our military, who seek both physical and emotional help. She takes into consideration that they are far from home and all they need is just someone with whom to talk. Liz’s nursing zeal is not a job but a vocation.
THERESA JAWORSKI – CTR/CC2
Theresa is truly a special kind of nurse. There was a patient who had open heart surgery and was having a rough post op period compounded with depression and weakness. She had very few visitors and her only child whom she cared for was disabled. On rounding I asked her about her care and she raved about Theresa who cared for her. The patient stated that Theresa provided her with exceptional care not only physical care but compassionate and emotional care. She was always there to cheer her up and became her company. She spent time with the patient which made her feel better knowing someone cared. Whenever Theresa needed to change the tape on her chest tube site she made sure another nurse was there to lift up her arms since this makes it less painful. Theresa’s care touched her heart and made her feel special. She provided the compassion to this patient who was suffering both physically and emotionally. This is just one example of the type of care that Theresa provides to all her patients. It is a privilege and honor to work with such an amazing nurse.
CAROL KOPIL – RN
“You care enough to come see me on the weekend?”
Her patient couldn’t believe it – after seeing him every day in the clinic, Carol went out of her way on the weekend to visit him – because he needed her. Carol talks his language, just as she talks the talk of all of her patients. She tells it like it is, and her patients listen. They trust her to tell them the truth, no fluff. Straight talk. They growl at her, and she growls back. They laugh at her, and she laughs back. Above all, they connect. Carol gets through to them.
An old woman with crippling arthritis and a nasty red would on her leg: “Don’t worry about that wound,” she says. “Carol’s looking after me. It’ll do just fine.” She was right; Carol looked after it and it healed up the way it was supposed to. In addition to her very busy clinic schedule, Carol gets things done for patients who have very little to work with. Someone with no family gets help with cooking and cleaning and, more importantly, a lot of love to brighten the day. Someone with no food gets an extra bag of healthy groceries. Someone who spills their medications onto the floor gets a visit to straighten out the situation so that the right meds are taken at the right time. She teaches them what to do to stay healthy.
Does Carol care enough to go the extra mile? You bet she does! If there is a name which goes with “commitment to those in need” the name is Carol!
TONDRA LAWSON – CARDIAC CATH LAB
After several years of passing Tondra throughout the medical center we had the chance to introduce ourselves to each other. I learned of Tondra’s deep involvement and commitments to those in need. She exemplifies “Commitment to the Needs of Others” every day and she lives that value in her heart, on her sleeve and in her daily deed. She is an associate who has shown a quiet and humble commitment to helping others and spreading joy to all she meets.
Stacy Lee exemplifies the Mission Value of “Commitment to Those in Need” on a daily basis through her actions. As a social worker at LIFE at Lourdes, she is constantly on the move, advocating, counseling, offering some humor and demonstrating compassion to the participants – many who are suffering emotional, psychological, physical and economic poverty. With LIFE’s diverse population, some days can be challenging but Stacey treats each participant with the utmost respect and dignity. Stacey is constantly inquiring about resources that can better assist the LIFE participants. She is the “go-to” person in not only the Social Work Department, but for multiple issues in the program. Stacey is an advocate for her participants and will go above and beyond for them. A clear example of this was when several participants were not receiving their monthly food stamps. Stacey contacted Congressman Robert Andrews and explained the situation. As a result, Congressman Andrews’ office was able to expedite the process for these participants to obtain their food stamps. Stacey also is not afraid to do things that are outside of her job description if it will benefit her clients. Some LIFE participants do not have any family support, but Stacey will step in and become their support, sometimes their only support. She is known to visit her participants on the weekends, when she is off the clock. Stacey will also go on her free time to buy participants clothes and needed toiletries.
Stacey demonstrates the Value of Commitment to Those in Need by her very presence to each participant and staff. We are proud to nominate Stacey for this award.
ANGEL LORENZO – LAB
Angel is always ready to help others and goes out of his way to assist other people in any way that he can. He is a kind-hearted individual who treats everyone with respect. He inspires you to do well and motivates you to be a better person. Helping others is an act that comes naturally to him always thinking about others before himself. Angel is full of compassion and his name says it all, “He is everyone’s Angel!”
DAWN MACGIBENY – SCHOOL OF NURSING
Dawn is a person whose consistent commitment is to helping out. If we’re gathered at a meeting and find the need for a volunteer, Dawn volunteers even if her work load is extremely heavy. She handles Share and Care for our department and manages several outreach initiatives. She truly wants to make life better for those in need and willingly invests her time/energy to make it happen. Dawn walks the talk that is the value of “Commitment to Those in Need.”
THE MEDICAL RECORDS DEPARTMENT OF LOURDES CARDIOLOGY
Anthony Cutillo, Hope Karr, Colleen Olive, Lynn Painter, Kathie Pierman, Donna Rogers
There are five women and one gentleman who are the “heart” of the Lourdes Cardiology Medical Records Department who exemplify the value of “Commitment to Those in Need.” These employees are the hum and “heart” of the facility. They go the extra mile in seeing that all patients, fellow co-workers and supervisors are given the top notch service at all times. Without these fine people, many would not be serviced. There is a song called “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. However, we would like you to think of us as “Lean on Us” by the Medical Records Department – Anthony, Hope, Colleen, Lynn, Kathie and Donna.
BARRIE PAWLOSKI- PATIENT RELATIONS
One doesn’t have to look too far to see how Barrie shows a genuine interest in our patients by her response to their needs and complaints.
It is not an easy “job” to channel the negative statements/complaints and such, by patients, during the work day, but it is not a “job” for Barrie, it is a mission. Her genuine concern for the patients she meets each day is very obvious no matter what the need may be. Barrie uses all her skills and talents to search out information in order to help a patient or family member get the help they need. When a rapid response/code is called she is there to make sure that family members of the patient are looked after in a way that shows how Lourdes cares for not only the patient in need, but also the family.
When Barrie finds out that it is a patient’s birthday or another occasion she take the time to present them with a balloon, a flower or a small gift.
I have accompanied Barrie many times when following up on a patient in need and have also been with her when she consoled a grieving family. It is at those times that one truly knows how the Mission is lived out through Barrie. Not to be left out is Barrie’s sense of humor which often times lessens the stress and anger of the complainant. (And Barrie thought being a flight attendant on US Air was tough??) I am proud to nominate Barrie for this award.
DR. DONALD PETROSKI – LMA GASTROENTEROLOGY
Dr. Donald Petroski has the most heart, dedication and caring demeanor and has always gone beyond just being a Physician. He is the patient’s friend, confidant and shoulder to cry on. He cares so much for his patients that he will squeeze them in on any given day even if his schedule is booked solid. He is consistent in helping the military, elderly and the very ill patients to the best of his ability and beyond. His patients would follow him to heaven just to be able to see him. God has given Dr. Petroski a great purpose on this earth to help take care of every person who walks through the doors at LMCBC and LMA.
As an aide in the transportation department, Angie sees it all. All the pain, all the suffering, all the sadness. Every day her motto is to fix something that is wrong. “It is not my job”, never crosses her mind. Her goal is to make someone, a participant, staff member or caregiver, happy. Angie pays close attention to her participants and will listen to them and assess the complete situation. Ms. M., a brittle diabetic and new to the program told Angie she had not had her morning meds. Angie asked clinic staff to give medications on the bus before going to an appointment and she also prepared a sandwich and brought it along just in case. She made sure the participant was cared for and made sure Ms. M arrived at her appointment on time and happy.
Angie’s philosophy is she would rather spend her own money, or take the extra time to solve a problem and help the needy participant than having that same participant end up in the emergency room or unhappy. She always says, “Whatever it takes, I will do it.”
She is a woman with an extraordinary amount of compassion and love for those in need. Angie epitomizes the value of Commitment to Those in Need.
When I think of “Commitment to Those in Need,” the first person I think of is Suzanne Ross. Suzanne has been an associate in this hospital for about 30 years. Most of her years were in Radiology, but now is the Lead Mammo Tech in the Women’s Center. Suzanne is extremely caring and supportive to our patients!
Suzanne is always wearing a big smile for every patient and does her best to make the patient feel comfortable at a time that might otherwise be very stressful for them. Patients love having Suzanne help them, and they will come back to Lourdes for their mammograms specifically because of Suzanne – whether it’s her great sense of humor or her ability to keep the patient calm. She is able to relate to the patient in a way that not everybody can. She is also a great mentor to her colleagues. She goes out of her way to make sure her co-workers have a good understanding of any new equipment and that they feel comfortable in their jobs. For example, LMCBC has obtained a new stereotactic biopsy machine that Suzanne has trained on. She then in turn helped to train her co-workers and repeatedly helped them practice until they felt comfortable with the machine. Her attitude is always positive. She gives 110% every day to meet the needs of our patients. She truly responds with a great gentleness and compassion to those patients who come for care. I think we should recognize Suzanne for doing her part to help those in need and at the same time creating a patient centered care environment.
PATTI SMITH – HOME CARE NURSE FOR LIFE AT LOURDES
Cold and dark: this is the world of one of Patti Smith’s patients. He is blind and without family. When Patti found him, he was living in filth. He didn’t know it—he couldn’t see the dirt. He was slowly dwindling away, unable to prepare healthy meals for himself. Patti helped him to turn his life around. Now he has gained weight, eats properly—and clings to Patti every time she sees him in the home. Patti is his lifeline.
Patti is the lifeline for many participants from LIFE at Lourdes. She is the one who sits beside them on the threadbare sofa with the springs sticking out—then finds a way to get a donated replacement. She’s the one who listens to their tale of woe, then counsels her patients on how to try and make their lives better. She empowers the ones who can better themselves, and supports the ones who can’t. Patti is the Home Care Nurse who will wash patients, feed them and care for their personal needs while she’s in their home. She can’t solve every problem, but she works diligently at improving her patient’s quality of life. Patti is not daunted by the worst neighborhoods and will travel into any section of the city in order to care for her patients -however if her husband should call when she is in a dangerous neighborhood, she is always in Audubon. In every encounter Patti exemplifies the values of Lourdes Health system and clearly lives the value of Commitment to Those in Need.
KATHY VONDRAN – LIVING SPRINGS
On a daily basis Kathy shows compassion and empathy to all the patients she encounters showing sincere interest in their emotional, physical and spiritual needs. She is equally compassionate and empathetic to her coworkers and everyone around her always having time to listen and give council and wisdom. She takes the time out to meet with patients individually to discuss any concerns. Kathy truly exemplifies sincerity and would “give the shirt off her back” to anyone in need. Kathy is truly a gem and is a valuable asset to the Lourdes Family. I am honored to work so closely with one of God’s angels and to know her on a personal level.
I first met Suzy more than four years ago when she came to provide music for LIFE’s opening blessing and ceremony. I can remember thinking “what energy and commitment” she brings to the gathering. Little did I know that our paths would cross again when Suzy joined the LIFE family in the recreational therapy department. What a great gift to have someone who is a graduate of the Curtiss School of music engaging and interacting with our participants.
Suzy’s commitment to those in need is constant and joyful. Every morning she greets each participant by name and asks about something unique to them. Suzy takes time to hear what they are saying and if they have a question or concern, Suzie is tenacious in finding the answer for them.
Many of our participants have a history of isolation and mental health issues thus they may not be the easiest people to interact with. Suzy found a way to go beyond words and “unusual” behavior and invited them to join “Voices of LIFE”. This is a choir composed of participants who, prior to joining the choir, seemed not to be heard but now are singing before groups and receiving applause for a job well done. The choir has given these folks a new sense of dignity and pride and Suzie has done it through music. Suzie is truly reflective of the value “commitment to those in need”.
MARIA XENAKIS – CORPORATE REVENUE MANAGEMENT
Maria is an associate who embodies the Lourdes Health System mission more than anyone with whom I have worked. She takes so seriously the value of Commitment to those in Need in terms of working so closely with her associates by making sure that they grow in their various job duties. Maria goes out of her way to help other associates outside her department with any questions regarding revenue management and compliance. She goes out of her way to make sure that Lourdes Health System associates have the right answers, and she does it in a most professional manner.