Tuesday, February 13, 2018

EIRMC, HCA announce annual Award of Distinction winners

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and its parent company, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) have announced their annual Awards of Distinction. These awards are intended to honor exceptional individuals whose work and lives reflect the corporate values upon which HCA is founded.

Dr. Michael Lemon
Frist Humanitarian Award (Physician) – Michael Lemon, D.O., general and trauma surgeon

Dr. Michael Lemon is a board-certified general and trauma surgeon who has been a member of the EIRMC medical staff since 2013. He quickly built a reputation as an excellent clinician and in January 2016 was asked to chair the Department of Surgery. His positive influence and leadership have helped to improve the culture in the operating room, engage physicians in operational decisions, launch improved patient care programs, and to recruit new physicians to our area.

In addition to his dedication to patients, Lemon has demonstrated exceptional commitment to community and global service. He serves as a Scout advisor in the Grand Teton Council of the Boy Scouts of America, working with boys age 12 to 14 years, including several boys with special needs. He spends two hours with the boys each week, goes on campouts every other month, and attends a weeklong summer camp each year.

On the global front, Lemon was a founding board member of ZimbabWEcare, a non-profit, all volunteer organization with 100 percent of funds going towards providing health and humanitarian services to people in southern Africa. In addition to his role as founder, he has been a board member, medical director, and was the first and only physician to embark on the inaugural mission to Zimbabwe in 2014. Lemon has continued to make yearly trips to Zimbabwe to provide necessary medical treatment, prescribe medication, and provide medical supplies, clothing, and food to the people. This is done through clinics set up in fields, under trees, and out of the back of vehicles, in the most remotest areas of Zimbabwe.

As a trauma surgeon, Lemon’s skill set has been uniquely valuable when the team has happened upon bus rollovers, car accidents, burn victims and even the resuscitation of a lifeless newborn infant.

As a Frist Award winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Lemon’s name to his charity of choice, ZimbabWEcare.

Nicole Willey
Frist Humanitarian Award (Employee) — Nicole Willey, R.N., Ambulatory Surgery

Nicole Willey is a Registered Nurse in the Ambulatory Surgery Department at EIRMC. As a member of the EIRMC team, she maintains a high level of selflessness while being a model employee. She is described as having outstanding leadership potential, and being caring, compassionate and a humanitarian.

Willey has dedicated over 15 years to the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) program, dedicated to teaching leadership skills to high school sophomores in addition to instilling in them an attitude of service and innovation. She has been instrumental to the growth of HOBY in Idaho and also serves on the national planning team for volunteers across the nation. She recruits and trains volunteers, plans activities and retreats, and leads staff in addition to working on the front lines directly with the youth.

Willey even opens up her home to youth in the community, providing a safe space to hang out, and is even available for 2 a.m. phone calls. She serves as a volunteer with Watersprings Church through a program called “Thrive,” working with troubled youth.

As a Frist Award winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Nicole’s name to her charity of choice, Old Faithful Christian Ranch.

Chaz Houpt and Milli
Volunteer Frist Humanitarian Award – Chaz Houpt and Milli, Pet Partners Team

Chaz Houpt and Milli have been volunteers at EIRMC since 2012, and have volunteered nearly 600 hours during that time. Milli, a corgi and Intermountain Therapy Animal, and Chaz make up a Pet Partner team and spend their time visiting with patients, often playing an active role in their recovery.

At the EIRMC Behavioral Health Center for example, Milli and Chaz participate in weekly planned group therapy sessions. Adolescent and adult patients are able to interact with her, ask her to do tricks, and draw comfort from her. Many long-term patients get to see Milli for several weeks and look forward to her visits.

Besides the BHC, Chaz and Milli spend time at the main hospital campus with speech and physical therapy patients and pediatric patients. In addition to their work at EIRMC, Chaz and Milli visit residents in area retirement communities. Chaz has served on the Crime Stoppers board for 30 years, a group that works with county and city law enforcement and community informants to solve crimes. He also volunteers with the Field of Honor, which honors veterans with a display of over 1,000 flags each Memorial Day. Milli was awarded the AKC Distinguished Therapy Dog Award in 2017 and the Silver Medallion Working Dog, the highest honors a dog can receive.

Together, Chaz and Milli participated in a Therapy Animal Intervention Pilot Study, published in the Human Animal Bond Research Institution Research Library, which studied gave weight to the positive effects of therapy animals in physical therapy.

As a Frist Award winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Chaz and Milli’s names to their charity of choice, the Intermountain Therapy Animals.

Bevan Burnell
Excellence in Nursing, Professional Mentoring – Bevan Burnell, BSN, RN, CEN, manager of Perioperative Services

Bevan Burnell is the manager of Perioperative Services, a role he has held since 2016, but his history at EIRMC stretches back to 2003. Bevan has held positions in Cardiac Care, Float Pool, and the ER and now in Surgical Services. He started as a CNA and has continually pursued higher education earning first his LPN, then associate RN, followed by his Bachelors of Science in Nursing RN in 2017. Bevan has plans to pursue an MBA in 2018. As the manager of Perioperative Services, Bevan has lead his department to reach new heights by not only improving both patient satisfaction, but by strengthening his team and employee morale. Bevan was nominated by two of his employees for this award, who each shared touching accounts of the ways that Bevan has created a strong and supportive team, and encouraged them reach new heights as individual healthcare professionals.

One nominator shared, “This summer I started feeling like I needed a change in my career. I noticed an opening in Bevan’s department.  After meeting with him and getting specifics, I felt that the move was what I needed. I am so glad that I did.  Being in this department, I have seen what a true leader Bevan has become. He has changed a struggling department into a wonderful place to work.” After seeing potential in one of his nursing staff, Bevan encouraged her to take on leadership roles and helped her to find confidence in her skillset despite her own doubts. She says, “He told me he believed in me even if I didn’t believe in myself. That simple statement changed my life.”

As an Excellence in Nursing winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Bevan's name to his charity of choice, the Haven Shelter.

Tamara Lewis
Excellence in Nursing, Compassionate Care – Tamara Lewis, RN Cardiac and Progressive Care Unit

Tamara Lewis has been a member of the EIRMC team for 10 years. Though she is now a registered nurse on the cardiac unit, Tamara started out in the IT (Informational Technology) department. Throughout her career, no matter her role, Tamara has always been a compassionate patient advocate as evidenced by her multiple Daisy, Nursing Excellence, Award Nominations through the years. Time and time again patients, patient families, and coworkers have shared experiences where Tamara has shown exceptional respect, understanding, and compassion towards her patients, while also demonstrating exceptional patient care abilities. One patient’s family member shared an experience where Tamara exceeded her expectations by working closely with the patient to explain the importance of rehabilitation and a no-salt diet to his cardiac health, despite his reluctance to change his life style. The family member said, “She truly made a difference in my father’s recovery and future health. Thank you.”

As an Excellence in Nursing winner, EIRMC will make a donation in Tamara’s name to her charity of choice, FREEMED.