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Alton Memorial honors top leader, employee, team

Although Alton Memorial Hospital was unable to hold its annual Employee Awards Banquet this year because of the pandemic, the hospital was still able to honor several of its top staff members during the recent Health Care Week.

Amy Schuler, manager of Performance Improvement, won the 2020 Leadership Award, as voted on by AMH senior leaders. Amy headed up the AMH VIrtual Command Center during the heaviest days of the pandemic in 2020.

“Amy was the first person I called when I knew we needed a great facilitator, communicator and team builder as we stood up our Incident Command Center,” said AMH President Dave Braasch. “Amy then again took on the coordinating of our onsite COVID vaccine clinic. Every day brought a new problem to solve, but she stood with it and we had very successful vaccination clinics.”

The Leadership Award is given to a member of management who exemplifies the AMH values and serves as a role model to his or her peers. Nominees must meet strict criteria, including accomplishing significant results for the organization, promoting continuous improvement and energizing others.

“I am grateful to receive the Leadership Award,” Schuler said. “I would like to recognize my outstanding team, who display the BJC values in their daily work. I am thankful to work with so many dedicated AMH team members to accomplish our mission of improving the outcomes of the patients and communities we serve. I often think of the Martin Luther King Jr. quote, ‘Only when it is dark enough can you then see the stars.’ We are surrounded by stars at AMH every day!”

Natashia Womack of Occupational Health won the 2020 Employee of the Year in a selection from the 12 Employees of the Month.

In the nomination for “Tash” as the Employee of the Month last fall, her co-workers said that “Natashia is an amazing employee. Her number one concern is ALWAYS the employees. Natashia took on the OH office in January 2020, and just a couple months later the pandemic turned the world upside down. She is a source of credible information as well as a source of comfort, support and understanding. AMH is truly blessed to have such a dedicated employee.”

The Readmission Team won the 2020 Virginia Ilch Excellence in Quality Team Award.

“This team worked successfully with our Emergency Department partners to keep a watchful eye as patients entered the ED who could be potentially be readmitted,” said Debbie Turpin, chief nursing officer for AMH. “Also, understanding that many patients have obstacles in their own environment, such as limited access to proper nutrition, transportation to appointments or support in the home, the team began to innovatively consider options to meet patients where they are. The team explored best practices, and soon the Mobile Integrated Health Program was considered. In February 2020, a sub-team began planning for the MIH to become a reality. The program went live early this year. The six-month readmission rate was as high as 14.67 percent in May 2020 and this rate had dropped to 12.17 percent in November. And this team is not done yet.”

The Virginia Ilch Excellence in Quality Team Award was named for someone a longtime AMH employee whose career revolved around implementing quality processes to ensure the hospital is providing excellent care to the community.

Amy Schuler, middle, receives the Leadership Award from AMH President Dave Braasch and Debbie Turpin, chief nursing officer.

Natashia Womack receives the Employee of the Year Award from Dave Braasch.

The Readmission Team is the winner of this year’s Virginia Ilch Team Service Award. Team members include, front row left to right, Jamie Goss, Angie Liley, Kaitlin Lodes and Jamie Bock; back row left to right, Debbie Turpin, Cindy Bray, Dr. Angela Holbrook, Jason Bowman and Penny Krause. Not pictured are Susan Koesterer, Sherri Henson, Dr. David Harmon, Dr. John Pargulski, Heidi Noel, Cassie Judkins and Amy Schuler.


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