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Associates honor fellow associates
Burton H. Upjohn Award Merit winners

Someone who demonstrates a commitment to the Borgess Mission, Vision and Values. This is the standard for Burton H. Upjohn Merit Awards that gives associates an opportunity to honor fellow associates.

“For 34 years, associates have recommended associates who go beyond what is expected, who provide the best patient care possible, who help teammates, and who interact with patients, families
and coworkers in a positive manner,” said Kathy A. Young, MS, President & CEO, Borgess Health. “We are fortunate to have so many candidates to consider for this award in remembrance of Burton H. Upjohn, a former Board Chairperson who helped transform Borgess Hospital into a regional specialty medical center in the 1960s.”

Four winners were selected and recognized in a breakfast ceremony held June 3 in the Lawrence Education Center auditorium. They include–Sherry Sanford, MSW, and Jessica Miller, PCA, Shea Green, RN, 3N, and Tonya Rogers, RN, CVL.

Sherry Sanford, MSW, Trauma

“Surpassing expectations is the norm for Sherry Sanford,” said Lew Tysman, Senior External & Internal Communications Specialist, Borgess Health. “As a social worker, she becomes the advocate, the support person for many of our trauma patients who have extra needs.”

“Her unquestioned care for others was recently vividly demonstrated in the assistance of a patient who required untold care under a high-profile situation that demanded confidentiality,” Tysman said.
“The extreme level of kindness shown by Sherry Sanford cannot be understated.

“Whenever Sherry heard of any praise for her efforts, she brushed it off by simply saying, ‘That’s part of my job. That’s what I do.’

“Sherry doesn’t have a job, she has a commitment to others that the original 11 Sisters of St. Joseph would applaud. She carries on the mission they originally brought to Kalamazoo 126 years ago.”

Jessica Miller, PCA, Behavioral Health

“She makes you feel special and important.” That’s what scores of patients say about Jessica Miller, PCA, Borgess Behavioral Health, according to fellow associate, Gail Whitmore, BSN.

“Patients tell us Jessica makes them feel special and comfortable because she has excellent rapport with everyone around her,” Whitmore said. “This priceless interaction helps her de-escalate situations when a patient may start losing control and possibly begin acting out. Jessica helps potential crises from occurring.

“Jessica is also a mentor and a valuable resource for fellow associates as she continues her education in Behavioral Health,” Whitmore said. “She’s a positive, committed team player who gets many ‘Thank You’ notes from staff that we display on our bulletin board. From the moment she arrives until the moment she leaves, Jessica maintains a cheerful and helpful demeanor.”

Tonya Rogers, RN, CVL

When patients are wheeled into the Borgess Cardiovascular Laboratory, they may be facing a major health concern in an unfamiliar environment. Tonya Rogers, RN, is another vital link in compassionate communications to patients and family members.

“Tonya goes above and beyond to explain exactly what is going on and how to patients and their families,” said Dave Getsinger, Assistant Director, Borgess Cardiovascular Laboratory and Electrophysiology. “Her professionalism and respect aids in establishing confidence and excellence to those we serve.

“Tonya treats everyone with respect and she has the respect of everyone,” Getsinger said. “She always looks out for the best interest of the patient in providing quality care every day. I can’t emphasize strongly enough how proud we are to have Tonya as a part of the CVL team.

Shea Green, RN, 3N
Shea Green consistently showers compassion, skill and sensitivity in caring for her patients, according to fellow associate Mary Beth Moran Cross, NP.

“Shea’s desire to support them in their journey back to health is reflected in her tireless attention to the medical and emotional needs of patients,” Moran Cross said. “She also always includes the patient’s family as part of this equation.

“Shea is honest and fair when keeping other members of the interdisciplinary care team in the loop by consistently informing and updating others about the patient’s status or changes.

“The ability to work with those from different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds is another precious attribute of Shea’s,” Moran Cross said. “She has often demonstrated this trait when facing
the most challenging situations.”

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