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Conemaugh Health System
Gold Star Winners

Conemaugh Health System recognizes clinical and non-clinical staff for outstanding commitment to those for whom we care. Every day our patients and their loved ones inspire us to new heights of hospitality, and these employees go above and beyond for those individuals. 

March 2018 Recipient

Carol Hogue – Conemaugh Physician Group Cresson Rural Health Clinic
A coworker nominated Carol.

"We would like to recommend Carol Hogue for a Gold Star. She truly went beyond her job expectations to help a patient. We have a patient that has a history of need for anticoagulation and unfortunately despite best efforts, the patient is noncompliant with having her INR levels checked. I have seen firsthand spontaneous abdominal arterial ruptures from patients who have high levels and do not know it because they are noncompliant with getting the levels checked, just like this particular patient. The patient had not had a level done in several months. At her last office visit I again went over the importance of compliance, as we have done numerous times in the past. Carol stepped in and took the initiative to help this patient in an amazing way. She asked permission to try and get the patient a home INR machine to check her levels on her own. I personally was unaware we even had this service. Carol taught me about it. Carol stepped up and discussed this with the patient, explained the service and why it was good for her. Carol then made all the arrangements to have the home unit set up and helped make sure that it was covered by the patient’s insurance.Today the patient had her first INR done at home. It may not sound like it to the casual observer but this is a huge success story for this patient. Carol’s compassion and willingness to put this patient first has reduced this patient’s risks and has helped her become compliant in a way that is easy and manageable for the patient. Carol truly did a wonderful thing. She took on a lot of extra work herself to help this patient. That is what Ideal Patient Experience means on the most practical of levels and fulfilling our mission of MAKING COMMUNITIES HEALTHIER. Thank you Carol!"

January 2018 Recipients

Johanna “Missy” Felton – Medical Imaging
Leadership nominated Missy

"Missy is currently in the role of Breast Health Navigator in the Radiology Department. She has owned this program from the start and has built it from the ground up. She acts as the patient’s advocate, support system, coordinator through imaging and in most cases a friend. 

Patients send many cards and letters describing the wonderful care that Missy gave them while they were going through this process of diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.  Whether the patient received a diagnosis nor not, they reach out to Missy to express gratitude for providing education or just lending an ear about their concerns.  Missy also goes out into the community at various events to educate the public about breast health.  She has worked very hard to improve the patient experience. 

Here is what one patient wrote:

“I am writing this letter to tell you what a God send Missy Felton is. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and like all others that are diagnosed, I was fearful of the unknown. But the day I met and talked to Missy I felt more at ease with what I was going through. She is an awesome woman and without her being there through my procedures I do not know what I would have done. Especially the day of my surgery. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that she was there with me.  She is a wonderful, caring woman and has a great personality. I am very glad that she is in the position she is."

Alice DiGuardi – Case Management and Patti Bennett - OT
A coworker nominated Alice and Patty.

"Alice always does a great job but there was one particular case where she went above and beyond in showing compassion and empathy. A 14 year old Trauma patient was admitted to Alice’s floor. He had been in a motor vehicle accident. His brother was killed in the accident. Alice worked very hard to make sure that the patient was able to attend his brother’s viewing and funeral. Alice was able to arrange transportation from the hospital, to the viewing, from the viewing to his home and from his home to the funeral the next day. She made sure that the family had all of his durable medical equipment in order to make his transition to home go as smooth as possible. Alice typed up all of the information for the patient’s mother. That included the times that the Med Van would be coming for transportation, the number of the Home Health Agency, the number for the DME provider and the number for the Med Van. Alice said she wanted to do this for the family because they had so much on their plates, it was one piece of stress that could be alleviated. She spent an entire day making sure that everything was in order. The transitions were seamless and the patient was able to attend his brother’s viewing and funeral.

There was another hero from our hospital involved in this case. Patty Bennett from OT was assigned to that floor that Friday. Because of the severity of the patient’s injuries he was non-weight bearing on both lower extremities and was unable to put on or wear a normal pair of dress pants or jeans. He told Patty he was could going to his brother’s viewing the next day and was concerned about what he was going to wear. He also told Patty that his brother always wore plaid shirts with the sleeves cut off and he was hoping to wear a shirt like that to honor his brother. Patty came to the rescue. Patty had an idea and took two pair of scrub pants. Then, after work, she stopped at Goodwill and found two plaid shirts. On her own time spent the evening sewing and altering the shirts and scrubs to accommodate the patient’s injuries and needs. Patty took the clothing items back to the patient later that Friday night so he would have them the next morning when he was transferred from the hospital to the viewing.

We want to thank both of these ladies. Their willingness to go above and beyond to help this patient and the family was extraordinary. They showed true concern, care, compassion and empathy. This is truly what “Making Communities Healthier” is all about."

Past recipients:

Gold Star Winners 2017