2019 Quarterly Champions

January – March champions

Glen Green, lead biomedical tech

Department: Biomedical Engineering

Campus: Verde Valley Medical Center

Values: Build Community, Be Better Together

Glen spent more than seven months working on a project to donate seventeen old, but still usable, automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, to the Cottonwood Police Department. He was inspired to do this after reading a newspaper article about the Sedona Police Department putting AEDs in their patrol cruisers, and thought Cottonwood deserved the same invaluable technology. When police officers have access to AEDs, they are able to save lives as first responders rather than waiting for emergency medical services. Knowing this, Glen worked with all appropriate parties both at NAH and the police department to make it happen. A local reporter was there to capture the story the day the AEDs were donated, so the community was able to learn all about the project. Thank you, Glen, for your diligent work in the interests of the community. You are making a huge difference.

Gustav “Bud” Clark, paramedic flight base coordinator

Department: Guardian Air Transport

Campus: Flagstaff Medical Center

Value: Be Better Together

Bud recognized a great need – no air medical resource on the Hopi reservation – and worked diligently in partnership with the tribe to fill it. The process took nearly a year, but Guardian Air Transport eventually opened a base at the Hopi Healthcare Center in November of 2017. It has become one of our busiest bases and many critical patients have survived or had improved outcomes due to the rapid response. No longer does HHC have to transport a large volume of patients out due to limited capabilities.

Thanks to Bud for looking to improve care delivery in a critical access area, opening dialogue with those who could help make it happen, and enabling Guardian to save many precious lives.

April – June champions

Cheri Raimonde, PT

Department: EntireCare Rehab & Sports Medicine – Sedona

Campus: Northern Arizona Healthcare – Sedona

Value: Do amazing work!

Cheri is the amazing talent behind much of what EntireCare Sedona does for the patients and communities we serve. For example, she initiated EntireCare’s Neuro Boot Camp, designed for patients who have suffered a stroke. Here, patients receive six hours of treatment, six days a week for physical, occupational and speech therapy. In addition, she helped form the More Power Mondays intensive Parkinson’s program, which is invaluable to those living with Parkinson’s disease.

Cheri’s most recent development (besides celebrating her 10-year anniversary at NAH and running 50 miles on her 50th birthday) is the pursuit of advanced training as a certified manual lymphedema specialist; working with a team to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation model for patients before and after cancer treatment. Recently, Cheri became a member of the breast program leadership council, working side by side with Beth DuPree, MD, and Occupational Therapist Teanna Hall, and lecturing in various parts of the country. This has paved the way for professionals in other disciplines, such as speech therapy, to become more involved in cancer care and take it to the next level.

In addition, Cheri has been instrumental in developing a way for patients to be fitted for compression garments immediately in clinic rather than referring them to online providers. In one case, she assisted a patient who had no funding for compression garments; working with various NAH departments to make sure the patient got what he needed at no cost to him. She has streamlined the evaluation process for patients who need compression garments so there is no delay in their care.

Cheri is a quiet force working for the betterment of our communities; constantly evolving and innovating. This is what makes her stand out as she consistently lives NAH values every day.

Nicole Zygadlo, patient care technician

Department: Intensive Care Unit

Campus: Flagstaff Medical Center

Value: Build community

Loneliness is a difficult thing, especially at the end of life when companionship means so much. Nicole was troubled when she encountered a particular patient who was on end-of-life care but had no friends or family to lean on for comfort during this time. She had read about a program at another hospital where volunteers came to spend time with lonely patients and decided to pitch the same program at FMC. Her outside-the-box thinking led to our new Compassionate Companions program: from its concept and development to recruitment. Now, no one at FMC has to face the end of life alone. Nicole’s dedication to improvement and providing the best possible care to patients shine through every aspect of Compassionate Companions.

July – September champions

Sheena Yellowman, RN

Department: Electrocardiology

Campus: Flagstaff Medical Center

Value: Do amazing work

Sheena Yellowman was at Late for the Train in the FMC lobby when she noticed an upset woman assisting her husband with a wheelchair. The woman said her husband had had a severe headache for the last two days and she needed to get him to the Emergency Department. Sheena saw that one side of the man’s face was drooping and asked his wife if this was a new symptom. Upon hearing that it was, Sheena called the operator and issued a stroke alert. Sheena took the couple to meet the stroke alert team, and the patient received the care he needed. Sheena’s amazing quick thinking and immediate intervention may have saved this patient’s faculties as well as his life.

October – December champions

Duane Koyawena, mental health technician

Department: Behavioral Health Unit

Market: Flagstaff

Value: Build community

Because art is a balm for the mind and soul, Duane brainstormed different options to replace the wall décor after the BHU renovation. He came up with an amazing idea: Why not find local artists willing to donate their time and original talents? Duane worked side by side with these artists in order to make sure their mural creations were culturally appropriate for the communities we serve. Thank you, Duane, for your collaboration to make the BHU environment truly special. You helped create a healing space dedicated to respecting differences and honoring all backgrounds.

Deb Horattas, clinical manager

Department: Valley View Care

Market: Verde

Value: Show compassion

For Deb, no job is too big or too small. At Valley View Care, an assisted living home that specializes in end-of-life care, she took the reins and functioned in every role to prepare a beautiful Thanksgiving meal for patients and families. She mopped floors, cleaned rooms, bathed patients, and prepared and served the meal – all with a warm and sincere smile. In the middle of this very busy day, Deb opened a room for an incoming patient who needed immediate support, even though it meant spending her holiday at work. Her positive attitude and love for her community showed through all she did to make it a special holiday.

Kay McCombs, RN

Department: Quality

Market: Flagstaff

Value: Do amazing work

Kay McCombs recognized a need in our organization after a traumatic event with a patient’s family who was unable to use their cell phones because the batteries weren’t charged. Kay purchased chargers for the family out of her own pocket so they would be able to communicate. Not only did Kay help this family, she also saw an opportunity for others in the same situation. She located resources and wrote a grant so that charging stations can be located in waiting and patient rooms. Now that the grant has been approved, Kay is working hard to get the chargers and stations deployed. Kay’s professionalism, teamwork and patient/family advocacy is a direct reflection of our values. Thanks to Kay for the amazing work she does every day.