The Difference Maker Award

RR - Difference Maker Logo JPG

The Difference Maker Award recognizes EXTRAORDINARY moments of care and service to patients, co-workers, physicians, visitors, and the community. These moments go “above and beyond” the great care and caring our employees, physicians and volunteers provide every day.

You can read the about the amazing acts of those who received this award below.

Brea Cathey
September 19, 2019

Brea had been caring for a patient for several days and could tell he wasn’t going to make it to his daughter’s wedding, which was less than two weeks away. The patient wanted more than anything to give his little girl away to the love of her life, so Brea organized everything to make his wish come true. With the patient’s room decorated, the couple exchanged wedding vows before a chaplain as family, friends and hospital staff gathered around the patient’s bed. The patient was able to give away his baby girl in his final days. Brea continued caring for this family by attending the patient’s funeral. Brea, thank you for taking the time to make this special memory for this patient and his family.

Teresa Hunter
July 30, 2019

An ER patient had recently been diagnosed in her hometown with two very rare diseases that are detrimental to the lungs. Having experience with the same diseases in her family, Teresa gathered that this patient could use additional education on her conditions. She took the time to talk to the patient on a personal level and educated the patient’s family as well. Teresa even loaned the patient a special vest to help her condition improve more quickly. Not only did she provide great advice and compassionate care, she gave this family the understanding that they needed. Teresa, thank you for providing such a positive experience for this patient and her family.

Melissa Norton
June 28, 2019

Melissa had taken care of a woman most of the days of the patient’s month-long stay at United Regional. The patient expressed that Melissa was always so sweet and made her feel like family. She said Melissa made her feel better while her spirits had been down due to her illness. After the patient was released from the hospital and in a rehabilitation facility, Melissa took time on her day off to visit her and bring her flowers and other small gifts. The woman’s granddaughter said it absolutely made her grandmother’s day and lifted her spirits. The granddaughter said, “There aren’t enough words to express our appreciation for Melissa and the time she took to make my grandmother feel special and feel like she could get through this difficult time.” Melissa, your care and caring did not go unnoticed. Thank you for providing such a positive experience for this patient and her family.

Cody Brothers
June 5, 2019

A patient was on her second visit to United Regional in a few months. Both times, Cody had been assigned to take care of her. According to the patient’s family, Cody had a very good bedside manner and always made the patient feel special. When he learned they shared a birthday, he brought his driver’s license to prove it to her, making the patient’s day. Cody answered questions when she had them and kept her family informed of things involving her health care. Recently, the patient was passing and under the care of hospice at home. The patient’s family reached back out to see if Cody could come visit the patient, as they felt it would make the patient feel better. Cody showed up at the patient’s home to check on her after being asked, making the family proud. Cody held her hand and talked with the patient, letting her know he was glad to be there. Cody had previously run into the patient’s family during his time in nursing school, so he told them he felt that it was special to be able to care for their mother in the hospital. For the family, Cody was just what they needed to get through the tough times of losing a mother. Cody, thank you for making a difference by going the extra mile for our patients and their family.

Sheridan Barrow
January 20, 2019

On Christmas Day, Sheridan Barrow brightened spirits by bringing each patient on the floor a wrapped gift. Because of her generosity, they all received a blanket. Sheridan, thank you for going above and beyond and sharing your kindness with our patients.

Kyle Barker
January 8, 2019

Recently, Kyle came upon the scene of a tragic motor vehicle accident. He was quick to react; assessing the situation, he prioritized the needs of those affected and directed other good Samaritans in order to help the victims. Kyle managed to break the back window out of the vehicle; he crawled into the wrecked car and freed an infant from the back seat.

Kyle – thank you for your quick actions and for going above and beyond to help during a time of great need.

Kiersten Palma
December 20, 2018

Kiersten’s patient was scheduled for a procedure that had been delayed and the patient was extremely upset. Kiersten sat with the patient and listened to her. In their conversations, she learned that the patient loves Olive Garden and that spaghetti would be the first meal she had once she got out of the hospital. The next evening, Kiersten came to work with Olive Garden spaghetti for the patient. Kiersten had bought it with her own money and on her own time – just to make the patient feel special and to let her know that she is cared for by others. The patient was emotional as she thanked Kiersten for her kind heart and caring attitude. Thank you, Kiersten!

Krystal Pike
December 18, 2018

A pediatric patient recently had surgery; during his visit he lost his two of his most treasured possessions, two Grinch plushes. Being non-verbal and autistic, the boy relies heavily on familiar things and favorite possessions. After a long search to find his belongings, they were nowhere to be found. Krystal later called the family, telling them that she had purchased replacements because she knew how important they were to this boy. He was so very happy when Krystal handed them over. His sadness quickly vanished. The family expressed their amazement of Krystal’s act, of how she did this on her own time and with her own money, just to put a smile back on the boy’s face. The family said they will be forever grateful. Krystal, thank you for showing compassion and providing excellence to this boy and his family.

Bobbie Jo McKenzie
November 21, 2018

A patient was frustrated with the path she had taken to get to the clinic. Down the street, she had trouble getting her power chair down the sidewalk because of the overgrowth of weeds and grass. Bobbie Jo found the area of the road the patient was having such a hard time with; she later came back with trimmers and a shovel and cleared the brush along the path. Bobbie Jo, thank you for going above for this patient. Your patients and peers consider you to be a true asset; we are very blessed to have her on our team.

Precia Mengwasser
October 15, 2018

A patient was going through emotionally hard times and had developed a rapport with Precia Mengwasser, 4C. Precia was there for the patient – both physically and spiritually – during a time of need; she helped the woman realize that life is special and there are so many reasons for which to live. Thank you, Precia, for making a positive difference in the life.

Diane Smith & Sue Morris
November 13, 2018

After an unexpected surgery and hospital stay, a patient was excited to learn on a Friday that she would be discharged later that day; the discharge process was set in motion. A bit after 4 pm, Diane Smith, Social Worker, came to the patient’s room to inform her that the insurance company had not responded to the home health agency call. On the last call, a recording stated the insurance company was closed for the weekend.

Because the patient needed home health’s assistance with wound care, it seemed she would have to stay the weekend in the hospital. Diane reached out to Sue Morris, HR, and by 4:45 they were both on the phone with the insurance company doing everything they could to allow the patient to be in the comfort of her own home for the weekend. It was well past Diane and Sue’s shifts when Sue personally delivered the news to the patient’s room; the home health nurse had been authorized and the patient was going home!

Diane and Sue, thank you for demonstrating professionalism and compassion. Your efforts touched this patient and her family.

Laura Pressler
October 15, 2018

Safety Seat Saturday was held September 29 at the Community Healthcare Center in partnership with TXDOT, United Regional Trauma Outreach and Children’s Miracle Network at United Regional. This is an annual event in which car safety seat technicians check for proper installation and issue new car seats if needed. Laura Pressler spearheaded the project. In one instance, an SUV with five children drove in; they were in need of up-to-date, safe car seats. Through a series of tugging, pushing and dragging, she removed the old seats, installed five new seats and found the hidden buckles throughout the SUV. After more than an hour, she emerged with a smile on her face saying, “They’re all in!” Laura is a true difference maker to all those who benefitted from her help that day.

Chuck Goad
October 15, 2018

Chuck Goad was in a hospital patient room repairing a handheld scanner. As he worked, the patient started a conversation; Chuck quickly learned that the patient was alone in Wichita Falls and that they were both from the same area of West Test. After a few minutes, a couple of clinicians entered the room to draw blood. Chuck was just completing his repair and about to exit the room when the patient reached her hand out for Chuck to hold, afraid of the unknown. Chuck held the woman’s hand and she thanked him. Thank you, Chuck, for brightening someone’s day.

Sean Newton
October 8, 2018

A patient had discharged and took a cab home. He later realized he had left behind some items in his room, including his medication, and he did not have a way to come pick up his property; he had no family or friends with a car. The man called from a neighbor’s phone (he did not have a phone of his own) and explained his circumstances. Sean Newton, 7C, voluntarily took the property to the man’s address. Thank you, Sean, for making a positive difference in this man’s life.

Denise Blair
October 4, 2018

Denise was caring for a pediatric patient with a new onset of diabetes. When Denise learned that the girl’s insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of a glucose meter and insulin to have available at school, she took it upon herself to buy the patient a glucose meter and coordinated resources to make sure the patient would also have insulin at school. Denise, thank you for going above and beyond for this young girl.

Kevin Pham
August 31, 2018

A Vietnamese man was hospitalized and told staff that he had not had a oriental meal in over 10 years. On Kevin’s day off, he purchased an oriental meal and brought it to the patient. The man was so happy for the gift and for the conversation he had with Kevin in their native language. Thank you, Kevin, for making a positive difference in this man’s life!

Dan Siegert and Jodie Rothrock
August 22, 2018

One night after being attacked, a man came to the ER where staff had to cut off his clothes in order to take care of his injuries. Later, the concerned man asked if he could have his clothes back; he had very little and was hoping that he would be able to repair his only pair of jeans. At the end of their shifts, Jodie and Dan went to the store to purchase clothes so that this man wouldn’t have to worry about not having anything to wear. Thank you Jodie and Dan; your thoughtful actions have made a difference in this man’s life.

Tiffany Tucker
August 8, 2018

A father of a pediatric patient realized his wedding ring was missing. He assumed that it had fallen off while he was drying his hands and quickly eyed the trash bin only to realize it had been emptied by housekeeping some time ago. His wife mentioned it to the nurses, but thought it was gone forever. Without a minute of hesitation, Tiffany sprung from her seat and headed towards the soiled utility room with a pair of gloves. She systematically began sorting through the waste, unwrapping every paper towel until she made the discovery of the shiny ring! She went to the unsuspecting family who were overcome with joyous emotions. They immediately showered her with hugs and thank yous! Thank you, Tiffany, for making a positive difference in the lives of this family!

Peggy Beach
August 7, 2018

A young boy had been coming in for treatment for the past year. Because of the severity of his illness, he had to be hospitalized at Cooks Children’s Hospital. Peggy bought a funny card for all the Chemo/Infusion staff to sign then made a special visit to Cook’s to hand-deliver it with a big basket of his favorite goodies and books. The family was very surprised and happy. Peggy, thank you for going above and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of this boy and his family. YOU are a Difference Maker!

Cassie Cox

June 4, 2018

A patient at URPG did not have enough money to pay for her visit. Cassie overheard the patient and without the patient knowing, covered her balance. The patient was simply told the balance had been taken care of, and nothing was mentioned about the act of kindness. Cassie, thank you for helping this patient in need, with no expectation of reward or recognition. You are a Difference Maker!

Sarah Tucker
May 16, 2018

A patient had been hospitalized for several days when he told Sarah that his dogs at home needed to be taken care of. Sarah went to his apartment, took care of his dogs and brought back to the hospital a change of clothes for the patient. The patient said he was treated with the most compassionate, professional, and accommodating staff one could possibly hope for and expressed his gratitude for Sarah specifically. Sarah, thank you for your care and caring to our patients.

Nicole Arenivar
May 7, 2018

Nicole sat with a very ill patient whose wife had been staying with him at the hospital for quite some time. The wife mentioned to Nicole that her roll-away bed was uncomfortable. After getting off work, Nicole bought the woman a mattress pad and brought it back to the hospital so that the woman could rest better. The woman was so appreciative; she said it meant so much to her. Nicole, thank you for going above and beyond for our patients and their families.

Lila Ekey
May 7, 2018

Arriving for her shift on Easter weekend, Lila carried bags of Easter eggs and baskets filled with stickers and small toys and placed them at each of the nurses’ stations for the young ER patients. Lila, thank you for being so thoughtful and considerate to the needs of our patients.

Bryan McMahill
April 18, 2018

Bryan McMahill took his family on an outing when he suddenly noticed a boy sitting on the ground and looking pale. The boy had fallen and Bryan could see that his arm was broken. Bryan made a splint for the broken arm out of a nearby box and tape. He removed the boy’s skates and placed his shoes back on his feet, then waited with him until his family arrived to take him to the ER. Thank you, Bryan, for caring for this child when he was in need.

William Moore
April 13, 2018

A patient had low spirits and while on a pureed diet, he had stopped eating. When he expressed how much he would enjoy a slice of pepperoni pizza, William Moore went to the kitchen to meet with the chef and devise a way to make the patient’s request a reality without breaking his pureed diet. They found a way to do so and lifted the patient’s spirits! Thank you, William, for making a positive difference in this patient’s life.

Nicole Ermis
March 30, 2018

A very sick elderly lady came into the URPG clinic, accompanied by her elderly husband. The woman was sent from the clinic to the hospital by ambulance and the husband wanted to be by her side for the ride. Nicole Ermis, Burkburnett URPG, helped the man into the ambulance and parked his car behind the clinic. Early the next morning, before she came to work, Nicole picked up the husband from the hospital and took him to get his vehicle. The man was so thankful for Nicole’s kindness. Thank you, Nicole, for going above and beyond to care for this couple.

Ida Duncan

March 28, 2018

Ida Duncan, Volunteer, recognized that it was an exceptionally busy day during her morning shift in the ER. After her shift, she took a break to make her husband lunch, then returned to help the ER staff until 7 p.m. Ida, thank you for your cheerfulness and helpfulness through your volunteerism. We appreciate you!

Jamie Lopez

March 23, 2018

On an extremely cold day, a patient was worried that her horses’ water would be frozen. She was frustrated and stressed that they may not have water to drink and had mentioned her concern to Jamie Lopez, 9W. So that the patient could focus on her own recovery and not feel the burden of stress, Jamie went to the patient’s property and broke the ice that had formed. When the patient learned what Jamie had done, she was so grateful and relieved. Thank you, Jamie, for caring for this patient in so many ways!

Jordan Jahn

March 15, 2018

One Saturday, Jordan Jahn was attending a basketball game when a man in the stands passed out. Jordan jumped into action, helping to remove him from the stands and into a location where he could be better assessed. The man was not responsive and did not have a pulse so Jordan began performing CPR until paramedics arrived. Jordan assisted the paramedics and stayed in contact with the man’s family to check on his status. The man survived and was admitted to United Regional. The next Monday, Jordan stopped by his room to check on him and even brought him flowers. Jordan made a positive difference to this man and his family. Thank you Jordan.

Barbara Murphy

March 3, 2018

A young patient was having a hard time dealing with some of the choices he had made in his life; he was ready to turn his life around. Barbara came to his room each day, even on days she was not working, to pray with him and cry with him. She brought him bibles verses and made him cookies to let him know she supported his decision in making a change and to let him know that she believed in him. Barbara is a true Difference Maker and has made a large impact in this patient’s life. Thank you, Barbara.

Lindsey Sifuentes

February 20, 2018

Lindsey recognized the man at the stop light in front of her was unresponsive; she rushed to remove him from his car and began CPR. The man later called the hospital and said he ended up having a triple bypass and has no cognitive problems after this event. He praises Lindsey for her actions.
Thank you Lindsey, you truly are a Difference Maker.

Katelyn Bashford

February 19, 2018

Nurses worked for hours to comb a patient’s matted hair when they decided they needed professional help. They called Katelyn who also happens to be a licensed cosmetologist, and within hours she came to the hospital to help. Katelyn came on her day off and without pay so that she could cut and style the patient’s hair (which the patient loved!) Katelyn, thank you for using all of your skills to provide excellent care to our patients. You are a Difference Maker!

Jacey Elledge

February 8, 2018

Jacey had a patient who brought a CPAP from home but had no cord. Jacey called Respiratory but they had no cord available to borrow. She looked up the information online and found that a replacement cord could be purchased from Walmart, then she used her lunch break to go make the purchase. Jacey’s patient was able to sleep well that night because of the above and beyond actions of Jacey. Thank you Jacey, you truly are a difference maker!

Wayne Germany

February 7, 2018

A fellow employee had been diagnosed with cancer, and shortly after she lost her baby. Wayne didn’t skip a beat and jumped in head first to find a way to support her. Wayne coordinated a pie-in-the-face event where he recruited physicians to participate, gathered supplies, and raised money in honor of the coworker, Joelle Teague. Thank you, Wayne, for providing excellent care for our patients as well as our work family.

Sandra Reader

February 2, 2018

A patient had walked to her appointment on a cold and rainy day with her son. Rather than letting them walk home, Sandra drove them and also noticed that neither of them had warm clothes. Sandra coordinated with others to get the mother and her son warm clothes and other items to comfort them. Thank you, Sandra, for going above and beyond for our patients and their families.

Sabra Martin

January 29, 2018

On Thanksgiving Day Sabra Martin‘s daughter came into the house yelling for her mother to come outside. Sabra ran out and found the neighbor’s friend unresponsive and in cardiac arrest. Sabra initiated CPR while 911 was called and continued until help arrived. The friend was stabilized and transferred to the ER. Thank you, Sabra, for making a positive difference to our patients and our community.

Miranda Bright

January 19, 2018

Miranda Bright was delivering a meal to a patient who had just given birth. The patient expressed how concerned and frightened she was about taking her baby home. She said she had nothing for the baby and would not even be able to afford clothes for her new baby. A couple of days later, Miranda was seen carrying large bags into the building before her shift. She had gone through her children’s things and brought up as many items as she could carry. Miranda wanted the patient to have these things so that she could focus on her baby and her own recovery. Miranda also gave the woman her phone number and told her to give her a call when she was ready to receive the rest of the baby items she had gathered. Thank you, Miranda, for going above and beyond to care for our patients and their families.

Shana Grove

November 10, 2017

Shana Grove, Social Work/Case Management, heard that a patient who was discharging from the hospital was in need of a mattress and box springs. He had just moved into a residence, but had no money for furniture. Shana was able to find a gently used mattress and box spring. She recruited her husband then went after work to pick up, deliver and arrange the mattress in the patient’s home. She took it upon herself to meet a need. Shana created a WOW moment for this patient and his family. Thank you, Shana, for being a Difference Maker!

Crystal Ramirez, Centralized Scheduling

October 17, 2017

Crystal Ramirez, Centralized Scheduling, was attempting to contact a patient; the patient’s husband answered the home phone. Crystal explained to him that she needed to speak with his wife, but he seemed very confused and didn’t understand the message. After finally telling Crystal that his wife was at work, Crystal decided to call the patient’s cell phone and when the woman answered, Crystal explained the conversation and her concern for the husband. Once they hung up, the patient called to check on her husband and realized when she spoke with him that there was something wrong. She went home and brought him to our ER where it was determined that he was having a stroke. Had Crystal not taken the extra step to make contact with the patient, things may have turned out much differently for this man. Thank you, Crystal, for recognizing the needs of our patients and their loved ones! You are a Difference Maker!

Britni Coats, CCU

October 16, 2017

Britni Coats, CCU, was caring for an out-of-town patient who had his clothes cut off in an emergency situation. He had no clothes to wear upon discharge and was not able to fly out of Wichita Falls for another couple of days. Britni bought the patient several new clothing items and helped organize a stay at the Rathgaber House. The patient was very grateful and appreciated all Britni did to help him get home. Thank you, Britni, for being a Difference Maker!

Brooke Conner, Cardiopulmonary Rehab

October 13, 2017

When a very consistent attendee of pulmonary rehab didn’t show up, Brooke Conner, Cardiopulmonary Rehab, called the patient repeatedly but he could not be reached. Knowing he had no family to check on him, and knowing something was wrong, Brooke drove to his house on her lunch break to check on him. After banging on the door and calling for him with no response, she opened the door and found the man lying on the floor, confused, and unable to stand up. She called 911 and waited with him until the ambulance arrived and notified his friend that he was being taken to the hospital. Thank you, Brooke, for being a Difference Maker!

Bryne Martin, Nursery

October 5, 2017

Bryne Martin, Nursery, was caring for a 2-year-old girl on the pediatric floor. She looked around the unit for a stuffed animal or baby doll in hopes of comforting the child but noticed there wasn’t much to choose from. About a week later, Bryne came to work with a basket full of goodies to replenish the toys that had been picked over on the pediatric unit. Thank you, Bryne, for truly caring for our patients and for helping them to be as comfortable as possible during their hospital stay. You are a Difference Maker!

Amy Clymer, Food and Nutrition

September 29, 2017

Amy Clymer, Food and Nutrition, has a caring personality and a tender heart, and recently shared her compassion with a mother who was morning the loss of her infant. While Amy came to deliver the woman’s meal tray, she noticed the mother grieving; she sat with her and comforted her in a way that only a sincerely kindhearted person could do. Amy, thank you for extending yourself beyond your Food and Nutrition duties by caring for patients in a different capacity. You are a Difference Maker!

Alaina Connor and Jennifer Ohlson, Inpatient Rehab Services

September 25, 2017

A female patient was recently admitted after having a stroke that affected her ability to communicate and function. The woman’s fiancé wanted to immediately marry the patient, despite her new challenges and a plan was made for the couple to wed at the courthouse on her way to rehab. And since she was unable to hold a bouquet of flowers, Alaina Connor and Jennifer Ohlson, Inpatient Rehab Services, gave the patient a corsage for the ceremony. What a beautiful act of love for the patient on a special day! Thank you for being Difference Makers!

Shelley Stokes, 9W

September 15, 2017

Shelley Stokes, 9W, was the nurse to a patient who was having a very difficult day. However, the patient enjoyed her visits with Shelley and she loved the color of Shelley’s fingernail polish. The next day Shelley came to work with her personal supply of nail polishes and allowed the patient to pick out her favorite color. Shelley painted the patient’s nails and lifted her spirits. Thank you, Shelley, for taking the time to go above and beyond for our patient. You are a Difference Maker!

Andrea Anderle, Education; Kevin McClellan, Education; Laura Gutierrez, Diabetes Management

September 14, 2017

When Andrea Anderle was alerted that a coworker had not shown up for work, Andrea and Kevin McClellan, Education, got in the car and headed toward the coworker’s address. After knocking on windows and doors, the coworker’s spouse and son eventually answered the door, relieved to see help. Andrea and Kevin entered the house and found their coworker in a confused state; his blood sugar was dangerously low. Kevin comforted the son while Andrea checked the coworker’s blood sugar and stabilized him with the help of Laura Gutierrez, Diabetes Management, via telephone. Once the situation had calmed, Andrea educated both the son and spouse on the steps to take should they find themselves in that situation again. Thank you for being Difference Makers!

Officer Dominique Ramos, Security

September 13, 2017

In late July, Officer Dominique Ramos, Security, assisted in saving the life of a patient. He was in the ER lobby when a man ran in and said that another man was unresponsive in the back of his truck. Ramos responded quickly; once in the truck, he found the patient had no pulse. Ramos started chest compressions and radioed other officers of the situation. Ramos continued chest compressions until the ER staff was able to take over. Thank you, Officer Ramos, for your quick thinking and ability to help this patient. You are a Difference Maker!

Brittany Mays & Jessi McBride, 9W

August 31, 2017

A man sat anxiously with his wife who was a hospital patient. On one particular day of her stay, he went to the ER for shortness of breath and was given a prescription to help with the stress. After treatment in the ER, he returned upstairs to be back at his wife’s side. When Brittany Mays, 9W, was leaving work for the day, on her own personal time, she dropped off the man’s prescription to be filled. Jessi McBride, 9W, after her shift and a meeting, picked the prescription up and delivered it to the man that night. Jessi and Brittany, thank you both for being Difference Makers to our patients and their loved ones!

Barbara Murphy, ICU 3 West

July 19, 2017

A family member of a patient mailed a letter describing the “angel” who worked at United Regional. She wrote of the kindness and compassion she witnessed Barbara Murphy, ICU 3W, giving to staff, as well as to her and her family. Sadly, the woman’s brother, the patient, passed away, and on that day, Barbara’s day off, Barbara come to the hospital to deliver homemade banana nut bread muffins to the family. She cried and prayed with the family as well. The woman wrote, “I’m thankful we got to walk the same halls Nurse Murphy walked on; she puts a glow in your hospital. We were truly touched by an angel. Sister, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” Thank you, Barbara, for being a Difference Maker!

Josefina Esparza, 4 West

July 18, 2017

A patient had been hospitalized for over a month. To make her stay more comfortable for herself, she brought in personal items and wore her own clothes. When she had gone through all of her clean clothes, she had to start wearing hospital gowns. Josefina Esparza, 4 West, realized the situation and after a long 12-hour shift, she took the patients clothes home to wash. She returned them to the patient the very next day. The patient was tearful and so overwhelmed by Josefina’s generosity. Thank you, Josefina, for being a Difference Maker!

Jordan Lindsey, Emergency Department

July 14, 2017

The Emergency Department was caring for a pediatric patient who was awaiting transfer. The child was frightened, and Jordan Lindsey, Emergency Department, was this little guy’s best friend. During Jordan’s lunch break, he bought the boy’s two favorite superheroes and gave them to the boy to encourage bravery. Jordan turned out to be the hero in this situation, for showing true compassion to this young patient. Jordan, you are a Difference Maker!

Diane Smith and Amanda Minniear, Social Work

July 13, 2017

Diane Smith, Social Worker on 6 Center had a patient whose only transportation was a bicycle, which someone had recently stolen from his porch. He found other temporary transportation but still needed a permanent solution in another bicycle. Diane discussed the dilemma with Amanda Minniear, Social Work Manager, and both worked together diligently to find a bike for the patient. They found success through their contacts at the Salvation Army. Amanda and Diane picked up the bike; Amanda replaced the inner tubes and arranged for the bike to be ready for pick-up by the next morning. Thank you, Diane and Amanda, for making a positive difference in the life of this patient.

Stephanie Bohannon, URPG

June 12, 2017

Recently, a patient visited United Regional Physician Group and was found to be dehydrated. She admitted to the nurse that in order to pay her utilities, she had not bought food and had nothing to eat or drink in her home. After learning about the situation, Stephanie Bohannon, URPG, took a coworker along to purchase and delivered non-perishable food items along with Gatorade and water. The patient cried when she received the generous gift from Stephanie. Thank you, Stephanie, for making a positive difference in this patient’s life. You are a Difference Maker!

Brandon Smith, Security

May 16, 2017

Sergeant Brandon Smith, Security, was first on the scene and began chest compressions on a patient in the back seat of a car in the ER parking lot. He continued the compressions until additional staff could arrive to take over the patient’s care. Thank you, Sgt. Smith, for your quick response and helpful action. You are a Difference Maker!

Dominique Ramos, Security

May 16, 2017

During the Nurses’ Week Celebrations, when all nurses were treated to a free meal, the Labor and Delivery night shift were busy caring for patients and missed the service and delivery. The crew had not brought food that night, since they knew that it was going to be provided. When Officer Dominique Ramos, Security, found out, he took it upon himself to pick up dinner from McDonalds for the entire unit, never asking for a cent to be paid back. He couldn’t stand the thought of the staff not having a meal for their 12-hour shifts. This is a great example of how our United Regional family takes care of one another! Thank you, Dominique, for being a Difference Maker!

Vivian Zugg, Volunteer Services

April 14, 2017

One day, a hospital visitor, and special education aid from a local school, noticed the volunteer sewing group working on a project. The visitor came with a special request; her special needs students were in need of adult bibs. Vivian Zugg, Volunteer Services, stopped what she was doing and was more than willing to help these young adults. Within a week, 12 bibs were delivered. How we value our volunteers! Thank you, Vivian, for being a Difference Maker!

Tonya Velasquez, Sharon Wood, Kevin McClellan & Kristen Previe – Education

April 6, 2017

Tonya Velasquez, Sharon Wood, Kevin McClellan and Kristen Previe, Education, were having lunch off-campus when Tonya noticed a man choking. By the time the group reached the man, he had become unconscious and was not breathing. They lowered him to the ground and each had a part in beginning chest compressions, clearing the environment and calling 911. They continued CPR for about 15 minutes until the ambulance arrived. The team stayed long enough to give a full report to the emergency personnel and comfort the family. They later went to the Emergency Room to visit the man; he was very thankful to them for saving his life. Thank you all for being Difference Makers!

Santosha Thurmond, 5W

March 31, 2017

A letter from a co-worker who is also a family member of a patient:

My dad is currently in the hospital and we have had our ups and downs. One thing he mentions on a daily basis is Santosha Thurmond, 5W. He said when she comes in he never feels like he is a burden and she seems to always make him feel better. Tuesday evening at 7:15 when most people are leaving for the day Santosha came into my dad’s room with a smile card. Most smile cards are for patients to give to employees, but Santosha brought one to my dad where she had written a special note to him thanking him for allowing her to care for him. She wanted to let him know she would be off for 2 days and would be back on Friday but she hoped he would be at home healing comfortably by then. She proceeded to tell my dad he made a difference in her life the last few days and thanked him for allowing her to care for him. She told him every patient had a story and his touched her. Santosha became emotional (along with everyone else in the room) telling my dad she appreciated the opportunity to care for him. Santosha is a perfect example of how to make people feel special. It not only makes me proud to be a part of this organization but VERY proud of her. There needs to be more people in the world like Santosha and I want her to know she not only is a Difference Maker in the life of my dad, but my family as well as everyone she comes in contact with. Thank you Santosha for being YOU!

Lisa Sharp, CC7

March 24, 2017

A patient from an outlying facility had lost her undergarments in the transition. The patient was distraught because she did not have the funds to replace her belongings. Lisa Sharp, CC7, took the time to buy this patient new undergarments and made the delivery on her day off in order to get it to the patient before discharged. Thank you, Lisa, for being a Difference Maker

Amy Johnson, 6C

February 22, 2017

There was a patient who had an extensive illness and was in the hospital for a long period of time. He and his wife are expecting a child. When Amy Johnson, 6C, learned they did not have the things they would need for their new baby, Amy made a Facebook post, then took time to gather donations from her family and friends for this anonymous friend. Thank you, Amy; you are a Difference Maker!

Amber Jackson, URPG

February 21, 2017

It was raining outside. As she left for lunch, Amber Jackson, URPG, noticed a patient standing out in the rain waiting for the city bus. The patient was still there even after she returned. Amber asked a coworker to come along and offered the patient a ride. Once they reached their destination, Amber took her good deed a step further and also gave the patient her lunch. Thank you, Amber, for being a Difference Maker!

Robin Taylor, Emergency Department

January 12, 2017

A man came to the Emergency Department during recent cold weather. He had nowhere to stay; his clothes were not suited for the weather and they were worn and dirty. After her shift, Robin Taylor, ED, went out to purchase a new set of coveralls for the patient. The man made a return visit later that night and was very thankful for the gift. Thank you, Robin, for seeing the need and making a positive difference in the life of this patient.

Ellen Cannon, Women’s Imaging

December 22, 2016

Ellen Cannon, Women’s Imaging, had a patient traveling into town for a very important follow-up appointment. Ellen knew the woman would need the presence of her husband, so Ellen cared for the couple’s four children, ages 2 – 12. When the woman came back later for an exam, again with her children as some were home schooled and without a babysitter, Ellen took the children on a tour of the hospital and showed them the Christmas decorations. Once again, Ellen saw a need and found a way to work her magic. Ellen keeps up with all of her patients with this same attentiveness and concern. She is always there to provide that extra level of care that goes above and beyond. Her service to her patients comes from the heart and because she sees an opportunity to make a difference, not because she was asked. Ellen, you are a Difference Maker!

Donnie Boydstun, Critical Care

December 16, 2016

Dianna Manuel, ICU, has a granddaughter, Zoie, who is a freshman at Rider High School where she dances on the Raiderette dance team. At the last game of each year, it is a tradition that the Raiderettes and their fathers dance at halftime.

Zoie had no one to dance with and told her grandmother that she would just sit out. Dianna’s heart ached for Zoie as she discussed the situation with her manager. A very short time later, Donnie Boydstun, Director of Critical Care, showed up and said “I hear that Zoie is needing someone to dance with and it would be my privilege.” Dianna was speechless and her heart was full.

Immediately, Donnie wanted to meet Zoie, the girl he had never met yet was willing to give his time and efforts to see that she got to dance the father/daughter dance. Donnie and Zoie made their debut at the game on November 4, a night Zoie, her grandmother, and Donnie will always remember. Thank you, Donnie, for being a Difference Maker!

Diane Smith, Social Work, & Daniel Amador, 6C

December 15, 2016

The staff on 6C, together with their social worker, Diane Smith, regularly celebrate Fabulous Food Friday, when the employees bring a dish from home and enjoy a themed meal as a department. Recently, there was a terminally ill patient being cared for on 6C who hadn’t had much of an appetite. Diane asked the patient if she would allow the staff to make a meal that she would enjoy, and the woman came up with a request… That night, Daniel Amador made hot dogs, especially for the patient. That week, the 6C staff, together with the patient, shared a very special Fabulous Food Friday. Thank you, Daniel and Diane, for being Difference Makers!

Cortney Cannon, Emergency Department

December 13, 2016

A patient in the Emergency Department was being admitted for chest pain. Although it was a medical necessity to stay, the patient wanted to go home because she had no one to take care of her dog. Understanding the concern, Cortney Cannon, ED, spoke with the woman and convinced her to stay by offering to care for her dog. Cortney visited the dog in the patient’s home to give food, water, and attention, all while allowing the woman to receive care at United Regional without the worry of her pet’s wellbeing. Thank you, Cortney, for being a Difference Maker!

Laura Pressler, Traumahead-shot

November 8, 2016

Laura Pressler, Trauma, saw on the local news the story of a home close to the hospital that was infested with bees. In this story, residents in the area were afraid to go outside and scared to let their children out to play because of the number of bee stings that had occurred, even sending one woman to the hospital. The bees would stay, because no one in the area could afford for a beekeeper to remove them. Laura saw the importance of the issue, so to make the area safe for neighbors, as well as United Regional employees, she paid a beekeeper to eradicate the bees. Laura’s thoughtfulness and consideration for the safety of others makes her a Difference Maker.

Judy Mowery-Ingle, Telecom, and Jeff Berndt, Securityjudy-and-jeff

November 7, 2016

Judy Mowery-Ingle, ­­­­­­­­Telecom, and Jeff Berndt, Security, recently worked as a team to comfort a woman who had made a phone call to the hospital. The woman was distressed, telling Judy she felt no one cared about the family issues she had been dealing with. Judy tried comforting the woman through the phone while also calling Jeff in for help. While Jeff took over visiting with the woman, Judy called the police department and an ambulance was sent to the woman’s home. Jeff had the woman answer the door and she was sent off for treatment. Judy and Jeff worked together to comfort and save this woman, and for that, they certainly are Difference Makers.

Angela Carter, Cardiologyhead-shot-2

October 18, 2016

Angela Carter, Cardiology, asked to be present during a patient’s procedure in the Cath Lab. She had created a special bond with this patient who had a mental disability and had really taken to Angela. During the procedure, Angela waited, with a teddy bear gift, to calm and comfort the patient. The patient and her family were so appreciative of this kind gesture. Thank you, Angela, for being a Difference Maker!

Michelle Smith, Emergency Departmenthead-shot-3

October 11, 2016

A patient was upset; her family had been under a lot of financial stress. She talked to the staff about the possibility of moving into Faith Mission and told them that her young son may even have to sit out of football because the family was unable to afford cleats.

Michelle Smith, Emergency Department, had a solution to part of the issue. Michelle’s son, Josh, quickly came with a pair of his cleats that he no longer used, as well as words of encouragement for the boy. This gesture meant so much to the entire family; a handwritten note explained how their family’s faith had been restored. Thank you, Michelle, for being a Difference Maker!

Steve Young, Securityheadshot-2

October 7, 2016

An out-of-town family came into the ER after a car wreck which totaled their suburban. They were in the process of moving to a new town and had been living out of that vehicle. They had no money and were left with no place to stay. On his own personal time, Officer Steve Young, Security, took the family to the Rathgaber Hospitality House and paid for a two-night stay, until their family would be able to pick them up. Officer Young demonstrated great care and service to this family, who was thankful for their treatment by all the staff at United Regional. Thank you, Officer Young; you are a Difference Maker!

Terri Wall, Case Management/Social Work head-shot

September 19, 2016

Terri Wall, Case Management/Social Work, made a difference in the life of a patient who was mentally ill and homeless. Terri was very kind and compassionate and when the woman was upset about having no shoes, Terri brought her a pair from home, as well as perfumed lotion so that she could pamper herself and feel special – something this patient probably may not have experienced often given her very challenging circumstances. The woman had complete joy on her face after showering and applying the lotion Terri had given her. Thank you, Terri, for being a Difference Maker!

Marci Gilbert, Surgerymarci-headshot

September 15, 2016

A brief computer glitch had occurred in the Dining Room leaving several visitors waiting in line to make a purchase. So that these visitors and family members did not have to wait any longer, Marci Gilbert, Surgery, stayed to pay for each of their items so they could all go back to their family members. Thank you, Marci Gilbert; you are a Difference Maker!

Sadie Pope, 8CSadie_Head Shot

August 26, 2016

A patient had wounds on her feet when she came into the hospital. Because she had no shoes upon being admitted, and no shoes to leave with upon discharge, Sadie Pope, 8C, bought the woman shoes and socks. Sadie’s caring and thoughtfulness is an example of United Regional’s purpose – to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Thank you, Sadie; you are a Difference Maker!

Leann Bagwell, Case ManagementDSC_0104

July 26, 2016

Upon discharge, a patient’s son told Leann Bagwell, Case Management, that his mother would have no food at home until the next day. Leann was concerned for this diabetic patient so she went to the hospital dining room and with her own money bought plenty of food for them to take home. Thank you, Leann, for your act of caring and kindness. You are a Difference Maker!

Ladonna Cooper, Quality Management

July 20, 2016cropped 2

While heading home from work one evening, Ladonna Cooper, Quality Management, passed an elderly lady in a wheelchair and her dog slowly making their way down the street. Ladonna turned her car around and offered the lady a ride. The woman explained that she had been asked to leave her house by her son and now had nowhere to go. Ladonna asked the woman if she could take her to a shelter but the woman refused to go because they would not allow her dog. So Ladonna insisted that they get out of the heat. She took the woman to get something to eat and then took her to a hotel. Ladonna paid for her stay through the weekend and even left extra money so the woman could get something to eat the next day. The next Monday, the woman left to stay at a friend’s home. Ladonna’s actions made a difference in that woman’s life; Ladonna, you are a Difference Maker!

Melissa Miller, Chemo/Infusion

June 23, 2016


Melissa Miller, Chemo/Infusion, had bonded with a long-term patient. The patient’s husband of 60 years had been ill and recently passed away. Melissa shared with the patient that her mom made shirt pillows and asked if she would like some made from her husband’s shirts. The patient accepted the offer and brought in shirts of her son that had passed as well. At the patient’s next scheduled infusion appointment, on a day that Melissa was not scheduled to work, Melissa delivered the pillows and visit with the patient for over an hour. The patient was very touched and grateful of Melissa’s good deed. Melissa exemplifies going beyond normal tasks. She makes empathetic connections with our patients that make a lasting difference in their lives, even when they are at their most vulnerable times in life. Thank you, Melissa, for providing excellence to our patients.

IMG_0068 - editedErica McGuire, ICU

June 10, 2016

Erica McGuire recently cared for a trauma patient who later progressed to brain death. She went above and beyond for this patient and the patient’s family members during their stay. During this difficult time, Erica, in her compassionate nature, gained excellent rapport with the patient’s family and friends.

When Erica received the news that the patient would be donating organs, she came to the hospital in the middle of the night. She had worked until 7 p.m. and then came back to be with the family at 3:30 a.m. She comforted the patient’s mother and acted as a family advocate for the patient in the OR. Erica stayed with the family until 9:45 a.m., on her own time, off the clock.

By choosing to spend her time with this patient as a family advocate, she was able to help provide comfort and closure to family members; they knew that their loved one was not alone during the final stages of life.

It is United Regional staff members like Erica McGuire who make a positive difference in this organization and the lives of those we are so blessed to serve!

Shawnda Call, 6 WestIMG_0798

June 6, 2016

A young female patient had sustained a brain injury and the staff on 6W were caring for her. The thought of babies brought comfort to this patient. On her day off, Shawnda Call came to the hospital with a doll of her daughter’s to give the patient. The patient found calmness in holding the baby doll and even gave him a name. Shawnda, thank you for making a positive difference in this patient’s life.

Matt Woodley, Security

May 25, 2016P1710922 - edited

Matt Woodley, security officer, was monitoring the cameras in the ER Security Office when he heard a truck speed through the ER parking lot and come to a screeching halt. Mr. Smith exited the truck and ran toward the ER entry. Officer Woodley grabbed a wheelchair to help assist with the passenger, Mrs. Smith. As Woodley approached the vehicle he noticed Mrs. Smith slumped over. Officer Woodley opened the door and tried to get a response from her. He then checked for a pulse and while doing so noticed her white, clammy skin and purple lips. He could not feel a pulse so he laid Mrs. Smith back and entered the truck to start CPR. Officer Woodley continued CPR while nursing staff were responding to the vehicle. He continued to care for her without regard to his personal safety, as she had earlier been ill and had vomited in the vehicle. A few days later, Mr. Smith, with tears in his eyes, came to the security office to shake Officer Woodley’s hand and tell him he was the reason his wife survived. Officer Woodley, you are a Difference Maker!

Shanda Kelsey, Utilization ReviewIMG_0663

May 18, 2016

Shanda Kelsey, utilization review specialist, was in the employee break room eating lunch when she noticed a co-worker was having trouble breathing. Shanda quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver while others called a code CRT. Her swift response was a success and her co-worker is doing well. Way to go Shanda for your attention and fast action!

Clint Lee, ER Access


May 16, 2016

In late April, a patient came to United Regional following a motor vehicle collision. The modified vehicle involved was impounded, with the patient’s wheelchair still inside. Knowing that upon discharge, the patient would not be able to get home without the wheelchair, Clint Lee, ER access nurse, took it upon himself to clock out for lunch so that he may return these important belongings to the patient. Joanne White, social worker, said, “This was one of the most appreciative patients that I have ever dealt with.” The patient told Joanne that there had never been a more helpless and scared feeling.”