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Westerly Hospital presents Patient Experience Awards to staff

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

WESTERLY, RI, March 6, 2018 - During its first-ever Patient Experience Awards ceremony recently, Westerly Hospital leaders and staff honored the work of colleagues, including two caregivers who received “Platinum” honors – one for helping a patient at the end of life, the other for potentially helping save a life.

In addition, eight employees or departments received “Gold” Awards for outstanding patient care, as Westerly Hospital President and CEO, Patrick Green, shook hands, offered congratulations and passed out certificates honoring the winners.

“These are the stories that inspire me and make me so proud, and you should all be very proud,” Green said. “The community relies on us, and you all step up to the plate, every time. Thank you for all your hard work, compassion and care.”

Carrie Kenyon, nurse manager for the Medical-Surgical Department, received one of the two Platinum honors, with a nomination citing the special efforts of her and her staff after learning that a patient nearing the end of life at another hospital wished to “die in his home.” When caregivers at the other hospital told the patient he was not well enough to go home, he replied. “No, my home is Westerly Hospital.”

Kenyon and her staff made special arrangements to help the patient, including working with Hope Hospice of Rhode Island, and a bed at Westerly Hospital was arranged. When the patient arrived, he was alert and able to talk, stating to Kenyon: “Thank you for bringing me home.” The man passed away about 12 hours later, but his family was grateful for the efforts to honor the man’s final wish.

The second Platinum Award was given to Shelby Buck, a physical therapist with Rehabilitation Services. Buck’s story began when she was examining a patient for vertigo. Tests came back negative, yet Buck didn’t let it go. She was worried that something else was wrong. “Shelby noted signs of upper motor neuron dysfunction,” the nomination read. “She followed up with the consulting physician and expressed her concerns. They discussed the case further based on her observations and the physician ordered a CT scan of the head and carotid ultrasounds. The results indicated the patient had nearly 100 percent occlusion in both carotids. Because of the collaboration between Shelby and the physician, the patient is recovering from carotid endarterectomy. The patient is grateful for Shelby’s applied knowledge and perseverance which made a difference to this patient’s life.”

The following employees received Gold Awards:

Jim Behan, RN, Peri-op Services, was nominated by a “grateful patient” who said Behan was a comfort to her when he stopped to check on her as she waited for her husband to come out of surgery, then helping to make arrangements for the wife to visit her husband in the Recovery Room. “His thoughtfulness and compassion were so reassuring to me,” the woman stated. “He made me feel comforted and that everything would be OK.”

Jane Doorley, from Pre-op Services, was nominated for the attention she gave a patient prior to a procedure in the Endoscopy Unit. Jane’s exceptional attitude and service was professional, friendly, and calming,” wrote the patient. “Jane is positive, cheerful, exudes confidence, and she provided me with an exceptional visit to the hospital. Jane provided me with a very high level of confidence in the Westerly staff and overall medical services there.”

Ehren Smith, Tricia Barber, Sandra Mann, Dr. Christopher Lehrach, from the Emergency Department, were nominated by a patient for their overall attentive care that enabled the patient to get well and go home without an inpatient stay. Then, as this patient was being discharged, he said he witnessed the ED staff jump into action to treat a critically injured patient who had just arrived. “I watched a team of dedicated healthcare workers who had been dealing with my minor issue suddenly switch gears and perform life-saving procedures on this patient,” the statement read. “Recognition is deserved every day for these employees.”

Bridget Mejza, Maria Giesing, Louise Boudreau, KC Carreiro and Tammy Mogavero, from the Westerly Wound Care Center, were honored by a grateful patient for their professionalism, caring, thoughtfulness and positive attitudes during the patient’s ongoing treatments. “I could not have had a more exemplary team,” the patient stated. “I feel most fortunate to have benefitted from their compassionate services. They went out of their way to make me feel like I was their only patient. You should be rightfully proud of this very special staff.”

Zenny Casale, from Medical-Surgical, was nominated by grateful staff and patients for her dedication to patients, family and her colleagues. Examples given included helping a confused patient with clothing, bathing, and washing and brushing hair. The nomination cited Casale for her integrity as well as showing patients with “compassion and respect.”

Lorraine Soucy from Rehabilitation Services, received her award for going “over and beyond” with a patient who was extremely anxious. “Lorraine demonstrated patience and compassionate understanding throughout their interaction,” the nomination stated. An anxious patient, “was calmed and made to feel at ease and comfortable. Because of the extra time Lorraine spent with her, and how she was made to feel, the patient shared that she felt reassured about her care and her fears were lessened.”

Deb Campbell, from Housekeeping, was nominated by patients and staff for her attentiveness to detail, especially in acknowledging call lights and assuring patients that a nurse is on the way. “One patient stated she could not believe the housekeeper was so willing to assist her by tucking in warm blankets and then contacting nursing for her. She even came back with a drink… Although Deb is not directly involved in patient care, she plays a big part in reassuring our patients in the ED that they are cared for.”

The Emergency Department and the Medical-Surgical Unit staffs were nominated by a grateful parent whose son was admitted to the hospital through the ED. “We would like to extend our appreciation and gratefulness for the manner in which he was processed, diagnosed, and treated,” the parent stated. “The triage process was excellent. And, throughout, the communication with all staff members was excellent, professional and caring. I have nothing but admiration for the hospital based on this experience.”

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