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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. 

October 2018 Recipients

Beth Freedline, Administration
Nominated by a Patient

"Beth recently went above and beyond to assist a patient and her husband in resolving an issue they had experienced. Beth listened to the patient's concern, worked to connect the patient with the correct departments at Conemaugh, provided a positive experience, and ensured the patient left satisfied with the outcome. Beth is a recent graduate of Conemaugh Health System's Aspiring Leader Program and demonstrates the qualities of the future leaders of Conemaugh. Great work!"

July 2018 Recipients

Tracy Mayancsik - Conemaugh Miners, Wound Clinic
A patient nominated Tracy.

"I had toes amputated due to poor circulation. During one of the first visits, my wife was very upset, tearful and overwhelmed. This was all new to her.  Tracy reassured her that everything was going to be alright. She took the time to explain how to properly care for his wounds at home in terms that were easy to understand. She has a calming demeanor and treats her patients and family members with respect and dignity. She puts the patient first. I have been coming to the Wound Clinic for six weeks now and she treats us like family. She engages the patients in small talk while performing wound care to keep their mind off of things. She even provided me and my wife with her home number in case we encountered any issues with the Wound Vac when the department was closed. This may be a small community hospital but staff like Tracy is the reason we continue to choose Conemaugh Miners Medical Center!"

Lisa Machak – ICU 6 Ashman
Lisa was nominated by the daughter of a patient.

"My Mother was a rapid response who ended up in the ICU intubated and on a ventilator. Lisa was the nurse who accepted my mom in her care. As you can imagine, we were scared when the rapid response occurred. Our family was in the waiting room and Lisa came out and kept us informed of everything that was going on. Lisa was her nurse for the next several days until she was transferred. My Mom grew to like Lisa so much that on her transfer out of ICU, she was sad to know Lisa was not coming. Lisa was very attentive and compassionate to my Mom and to the family. She anticipated every need and had it taken care of before my Mom even asked. It is easy to see why my Mother liked her so much and it was comforting to the family knowing our Mom was in her care. Lisa knew there was a bond and she contacted a family member to see if it would be OK to visit my Mom while she was at Select Specialty. She often to my Mom about her family and asked if it would be appropriate to also bring her daughter and fiancé along. Our family quickly said yes. One day when I went to visit my Mom she was excited to tell me that Lisa, her daughter and Lisa’s fiancé came to visit her. Lisa knew my Mom was missing her dog so she brought my Mom a stuffed dog that was sitting on her windowsill. My Mom was so thrilled to meet Lisa’s family. It truly brightened her day. Our family was very touched by Lisa’s kindness and tender, loving care shown to our Mom. My Mom idolized her and our family will be forever grateful.

Brian Miller – GS4, Palliative Care
A coworker nominated Brian.

"Brian Miller exemplifies what it means to provide holistic care. He constantly goes above and beyond to care for his patients and their families. There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not hearing from a patient or family that Brian is the best nurse that they have had. This morning I spoke to a cancer patient who had multiple admissions to both our hospital and a Pittsburgh hospital over the past two years. She and her family told me that “hands down” Brian was the most compassionate and caring nurse she has ever had. He recently found out that one of his patients loved Key Lime Pie.  He went home and made a Key Lime Pie, from scratch, and brought it into the patient the very next day. On numerous other occasions he has made homemade food items for patients – even stuffed cabbage. No matter how busy Brian is he takes time to talk to his patients and their families. He is always eager to volunteer to speak at our Palliative Care Symposiums. He puts everyone above himself. He has a great attitude that is contagious. He never makes excuses and always does what needs done. He has been a great mentor to our student nurses. Brian is an amazing asset to the Palliative Care Program."

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