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  • Shining Stars August 2011

    This program rewards individuals that go above and beyond their job responsibilities in exemplifying one of the five supporting commitments. These commitments are Safety, Clinical Excellence, Courtesy & Caring, Healing Environment and Efficiency.


    AWARDED TO:  Bueno Coz
    RECOGNIZED BY: Lynda Lewis

    SITUATION/TASK:  Bueno was leaving work in the late evening. While walking to the employee parking lot he heard a man yelling for help. Bueno found him in the parking lot next to the employee parking lot laying partially outside his car asking for help to the ER.

    ACTION: Bueno assured the man he would be right back and to lay still. He ran to the ED gathering Security and an RN. They all ran back to the vehicle where the man was now laying outside his car.

    RESULT:  The man was assessed and taken to the ED to be treated. There is no telling how long it would have been until someone would have found the gentleman. Thanks to Bueno for being aware of his surroundings.  The man received the treatment he needed.


    AWARDED TO:   Linda Simons
    RECOGNIZED BY:  Georgia Demarbiex, RN CCM
    SITUATION/TASK: I was called by Roxie Steele, RN Case Manager, for 4 North. She was assigned to a patient that was admitted with a dissecting aortic aneurysm. The EMC Physician had contacted USC and obtained an accepting physician for emergent surgical intervention. When Roxie phoned the transfer center, she was told by admissions that they had accepted the patient clinically and would have a bed but could not accept until financials were worked out. When USC had contacted the IPA they had stated they were not responsible, to contact the health plan. When USC had called the health plan they were told they had not been notified of the admission to EMC and therefore could not authorize the transfer. Roxie left a voice message for the financial counselor assigned to her area but had not received a return reply. She phoned me asking for assistance with this emergency transfer authorization.

    ACTION: I phoned Linda Simons in financial counseling and even though this was not her account, she recognized, based on my voice message, the urgency of the transfer to USC. She immediately addressed the issue that the insurance had not been notified of the admission. She e-mailed me the authorization number for the EMC admission and the contact nurse phone # at the health plan. I relayed this information to Roxie and she was able to facilitate with the nurse at the Health Plan for the emergent transfer to USC.

    RESULT: Within an hour the ambulance was arranged and the patient was transferred to USC for the emergent surgery that could save his life.


    AWARDED TO: Darren Parada, Phaul Burgos, and Chris Prusinski

    SITUATION/TASK: Darren, Phaul and Chris were all busy doing their normal duties when an employee who was working on the Acute Rehabilitation Unit unexpectedly began having a seizure.

    ACTION: All three of these individuals immediately kicked into action. Phaul (Unit Secretary): Initially recognized that this individual was going into seizure, assisted with the (now) patients transfer into a safe position, immediately called the rapid response team, then attended to the other acute rehabilitation patients’ needs while the nursing staff were busy with this new emergency. Darren (RN): Took immediate charge of the situation, transferring the seizing individual to an empty room, getting him onto a bed, placing him in a safe position, removing any potentially dangerous items (badge, pens, glasses, etc) from the patient, and getting oxygen, etc. to ensure the safe care of the patient. Darren was very direct in his instructions to each individual to ensure the team functioned appropriately to this situation. Chris (RN): Assisted with the patients transfer and care of this individual once in the bed, responded immediately with the crash cart and other medical equipment necessary for the patients care and assisted Darren in maintaining a safe environment while awaiting the rapid response team.

    RESULT: This patients needs were immediately attended to, ensuring his safety while awaiting the rapid response team and ultimate transfer to the emergency department for care of this disorder. It was wonderful to see this team, who I had been working with all morning, go from casually going about their daily tasks, to immediate appropriate care of an emergency situation without a moment’s hesitation. It made me very proud to work along side such highly skilled professionals.


    AWARDED TO:  Rachel Susca
    RECOGNIZED BY: Dave Rice

    SITUATION/TASK:  On July 31st, 2011 Rachel Susca was beginning her normal morning run routine for phlebotomy collection. Shortly after she began, she entered a patient’s room and approached her patient. There was a family member asleep on the other side of the bed in a chair next to the patient. As Rachel began introducing herself to the patient there was no response. With closer investigation Rachel noticed the patients eyes were open, but blank. And the EKG leads were not attached but lying in the bed. Rachel immediately sensed there was something wrong and hurried to the nurse’s station where she informed the monitor tech to call the patient’s nurse. After following the nurse back to the patient’s side, the nurse immediately called for a ‘code blue’ soliciting two doctors and the code team.

    While the team worked furiously to resuscitate the patient, Rachel had brief conversation with the patient’s family member at the bedside.  Rachel was told that another member of the family was in route to be with this seriously ill patient. I believe Rachel’s quick action and response resulted in the patient’s resuscitation, which allowed that family member to join others for final closer, prior to the patient eventually passing.


    AWARDED TO:  George ‘Tony’ Applegarth
    RECOGNIZED BY:  Maureen Forman
    SITUATION/TASK: Letter from patient: I am sure with all the people you deal with you do not remember me.  I was only there 2 days with mom but the important thing is I remember you. I have worked in skilled nursing/long term care for over 30 years. When I met you I told you I have a special place in my heart for social workers just because of the support they provide families and patients in most difficult times.

    I live in Portland, OR and received a call that my mom was taken, non-responsive, on May 16th to the hospital. I arrived on May 17th and my mom was on life support. I was totally devastated. I knew from experience what the situation was and that my mother would not be coming out of it. In the first 2 hours that I was there you visited me in her room. You were very kind and supportive. I thought I could handle the situation but when it is your mother it is so different. I was numb. I was so thankful for your visit and you just taking time to answer my questions. I knew I would be removing life support and had no idea what came next.

    After we removed life support you came by the room again and offered any assistance I needed. The information you gave me for funeral homes was a godsend. I had no idea how to do anything that needed to be done and you explained it calmly step by step. I am sure I ask the same questions a few times as I was not tracking at all. You were so kind and patient and never once did I feel like you were in a hurry or I was rushed in any way. I still believe social workers are outstanding people with a huge sensitivity chip only received by special people like yourself. I am very grateful and want you to know you made the situation easier for me. It says something when you feel you can open up to someone that you have only known a few minutes. Not only is the hospital lucky to have you but every family member and patient that gets to deal with you is lucky. You are a delightful person and I wish you the best of luck in years to come. I really just wanted to say thank you and let you know you’re the best!

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