It might be for exceptional effort in providing care to a patient in need – something extra, beyond what was necessary or expected.
It could be about something that makes a tangible difference in the services we provide to our community, or it could be about something that makes a remarkable impression on one person’s feelings.
The actions vary for AnMed teammates who earn recognition in programs celebrating Stars of the Month and Physicians of the Quarter. They come from all over our health system. They have many different responsibilities. They’re honored for many different reasons.
But they have at least one thing in common. They’ve made a significant contribution to help us accomplish our mission to provide exceptional and compassionate care. And they’re a big part of why better starts here.
These are some of their most recent stories.
Laboratory investigation and helpful elder care
After a young, autistic, non-verbal girl was initially diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease, Paige and Lori, teammates in our laboratory services department, isolated and identified a blood culture with a very rare bacteria called rat-bite fever. Because of their discovery, our doctor was able to treat the patient with penicillin, and she was set to make a full recovery. The doctor was extremely grateful for the excellent work and skill that Paige and Lori provided in the patient’s treatment.
Tammy, meanwhile, provided extra effort in caring for an elderly patient who was in critical condition. The patient was being prepared to be transported when he began begging for someone to retrieve his phone. He wanted to call his daughter, who was out of state. He had no family with him. So without hesitation, Tammy, a teammate in our radiology services department, found out where his car was parked, then ran out to recover his phone. The simple act seemed to mean the world to the patient, and it was merely one of many times Tammy has gone an extra mile for our patients.
Congratulations to Paige, Lori and Tammy for being named Stars of the Month.
Extra effort for insurance and better comfort
Just 24 hours before a life-saving surgery was scheduled to be performed, an issue regarding an insurance company’s approved coverage threatened to cancel the procedure. That sparked Audrey, who works in our professional billing office, to leap into action. With unwavering effort that included numerous phone calls throughout the day and after business hours, Audrey resolved the situation and ensured there was no delay in the patient’s care.
Sonja, meanwhile, ensured a cancer patient was as comfortable as could be. An employee in our office for arrhythmia care, Sonja saw the patient become upset when she learned she’d have to remove her wig for an upcoming electrophysiology procedure. So Sonja ordered a turban for the patient and delivered it, along with some pretty false eyelashes, on the morning of her procedure. Sonja’s act of kindness was felt by the patient and everyone who witnessed it.
Congratulations to Sonja and Audrea for being named Stars of the Month.
Touching reunion and expedited analysis
The elderly patient wasn’t eating well, and she missed her husband. Stacy, who works in our Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, was caring for her and noticed, of course. So Stacy sprang into action. She called Dr. James Stumpff, an AnMed emergency medicine physician who is of German descent, to see if he knew where to get good German food. The patient was originally from Germany, after all. Dr. Stumpff did one better; he cooked good German food himself. And Stacy reached a neighbor of the patient to arrange a ride to the hospital for the patient’s husband. It all came together one beautiful afternoon when the patient ate a tasty Sunday dinner with her husband on fine china brought in for the occasion. The patient was overjoyed.
Karen, meanwhile, went the extra mile to make a difference when one of our employees experienced exposure to something back around early September. The employee had to be tested to find out if that exposure resulted in transmission. Then they faced a long Labor Day weekend saddled with concern as they awaited the results. But Karen, who works with Laboratory Services, wasn’t satisfied with that. She got involved personally to expedite the process and saved a coworker from needless consternation over the holiday.
Congratulations to Stacy and Karen for being named Stars of the Month.
Serving up life-saving action and special home cooking
Dr. Stephen Hand was playing tennis one recent afternoon when one of his game’s doubles partners collapsed on the court due to a heart attack. Dr. Hand immediately started chest compressions, and an automated external defibrillator, or an AED, was used to shock the patient and restore heart rhythm.
The patient was taken to our emergency department, where he was alert and oriented, and he went on to have triple bypass surgery.
The patient’s daughter credits Dr. Hand – a critical care, internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine specialist at AnMed Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine – with saving her father’s life.
Meanwhile, Dr. James Stumpff, an emergency medicine specialist who works in our emergency department, was approached by a nurse in search of a place to get good German food for an elderly patient originally from Germany. The patient wasn’t eating well, and she missed her husband. Dr. Stumpff did better than provide a suggestion. He offered to prepare the meal himself.
He visited the patient’s room and inquired about her preferred foods. He put everything together and brought fine china while arrangements were made for the patient’s husband to be brought to the hospital. It might have been the last chance for the couple to share a meal together. Dr. Stumpff made it that much sweeter.
Congratulations to Dr. Stumpff and Dr. Hand for being named Physicians of the Quarter.
Impact in the Pickens community and at Cannon
Jennifer, an emergency room technician, lends support all over the Pickens community. She helps run our booth at the Azalea Festival and other annual events in town, and she’s a great asset to both AnMed Cannon and Pickens County.
Jeanne, a laboratory technician, is a tremendous asset, too. Whether she is picking up shifts or driving frozen specimens to Anderson, she’s always willing to help in any way she can.
Congratulations to Jennifer and Jeanne for being named Star Performers.
Impact on lonely woman and intervention when needed most
Mariah and Arielle showed true kindness and compassion to a young woman who had been neglected and had no family with her while in our Emergency Department. The patient was dirty and had very matted hair, so Arielle and Mariah got a bath kit and helped her bathe from head to toe. They washed her hair and found it in very poor condition, so they had someone trim her hair, then Mariah braided the patient's hair to prevent more knots from occurring. Mariah and Arielle made a tremendous impact on a young woman who was all alone.
Carter helped save a woman’s life in our Progressive Cardiac Care Unit. After putting her at ease by explaining things when she arrived, he noticed differences in her blood pressure and how it was dropping, so he notified the patient's nurse and stayed by her side to give reassurance. The patient could hear Carter even though she was fading in and out. She was experiencing internal bleeding from an ulcer and needed immediate attention and moved to CCU. Later in her stay, she realized she had lost one of her hearing aids. When Carter went to her unit to check on her, he found her hearing aid by looking in her bed and helping her move around. Then he went back to tell her goodbye after his shift was over. She found him to be an amazing person and appreciated his genuine care and concern so much that she wrote a letter to thank him.
Congratulations to Carter, Arielle and Mariah for being named Stars of the Month.
Making a difference in mental health and COPD
Mary Jo, who works at AnMed Primary Care, made time to listen to and encourage a patient she had called for scheduling. The patient seemed to be crying uncontrollably. The patient said her life was crumbling down around her and indicated that she was severely depressed. A coworker heard this call and heard Mary Jo use her mental health training and nurturing manner to spend 45 minutes with the patient. She let the patient talk about the things bothering her, and she asked the patient about options for help. Mary Jo offered to contact a social worker on behalf of the patient, and she offered to reach out to a local counseling center. Eventually she was able to schedule the patient with a new primary care provider to provide difference-making care.
Joie, who works at AnMed Home Health, went above and beyond for a COPD patient. She had arrived to start an admission visit for a man when she realized he was quite anxious and having breathing difficulties. Joie immediately assessed him and got him to start breathing exercises that calmed him down. He did not have a lot of family support, so Joie talked with him to help him understand his barriers and provide information to help him improve. She also realized he had inhalers at a local pharmacy and limited food supply, so she picked up his medications as well as some lunch and helped him on his journey to better health.
Congratulations to Joie and Mary Jo for being named Stars of the Month.
Extra help for fire victims, patients and families
Mandy, who works at AnMed Therapy - Pediatrics, discovered one her patients and his family had lost everything in a house fire. That included the patient’s wheelchair and medical equipment. One of the family members suffered burns that resulted in the family spending time at the Augusta Burn Center. So Mandy contacted the family to find out what they needed. She organized a fundraiser and helped pull together $600 in addition to gift cards and clothing. She worked with an equipment vendor to get her patient a new wheelchair. She helped the entire family get back on their feet.
Kayla, who works in our pharmacy, was interviewing a patient who was up for admission in the emergency department when the patient explained that he had a suitcase with his belongings but was unable to bring it with him. He told Kayla where he had hidden the suitcase near a post office. Kayla went there after work and discovered the suitcase still hidden. She helped retrieve it and return it to the man with his clothing, medications and money still safe.
Norma, who works on the 6 South wing of the Medical Center in the adult surgical unit, has repeatedly been praised by staff and patient family members. “Thank you for living our mission and bringing our values to life,” one coworker said.
Congratulations to Norma, Kayla and Mandy for being named Stars of the Month.
Knowledge and attitude to help the team
Nikki is a cornerstone of the AnMed Cannon Lab. She’s knowledgeable in many areas, and she assists in keeping lab policies, inventory and supplies current and in good order. She’s very flexible in her willingness to cover second shift, and she regularly switches shifts to accommodate coworkers.
And Nikki's willingness to help reduce the workload of her teammates is greatly appreciated.
Congratulations to Nikki for being named a Star Performer.
Emergency reaction at church
Dr. Mark Baker, of AnMed CareConnect – Anderson, was attending church when he recognized that a gentleman needed emergency, life-saving care. Dr. Baker called 911, rode in the ambulance to the hospital with the man and met the man’s wife at the emergency department. Dr. Baker then stayed with the family and the patient during his admission.
He was a great comfort because he provided support and medical wisdom. The man’s wife said Dr. Baker's care and compassion meant the world to the family.
Congratulations to Dr. Baker for being named Physician of the Quarter.