Colleague Award Winners – Summer 2015

July 20, 2015 2:38 pm
Emrich, Vicki

Vicki Emrich

Congratulations to Summer 2015 Colleague Award Winners! Each winner is nominated by a co-worker for their ability to embody the mission, vision and values of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, and is then selected by a panel of non-clinical, clinical, management and non-management colleagues. Winners are only selected every quarter. If you would like to nominate someone for a Colleague Award, please click here:

Vicki Emrich, RN, NICU

Vicki designs and updates the educational binders the NICU distributes to each family. She continues to assemble them without any help so the nurses always have readily available resources to give to parents after and NICU admission of their baby.

She has made folders to share information about second hand smoking effects to deter families from exposing their babies to second hand smoke. She is a strong charge nurse who collaborates on daily safety huddles with many disciplines besides the Birth Center’s leadership team.

She was a strong advocate for the NICU’s environment during the temporary (8 month) relocation. She came in very often on her days off to plan and to finally prep and make the move of equipment/supplies/ and patients.

Vicki never spoke negatively about the transition (or the transition process) the NICU needed to make or how much extra time she was putting in.


Shaena Lemmen

Shaena Lemmen, RN. Psychiatric Acute Adult

Recently, our unit had very high acuity patients with many considered high fall risks. We had three patients who required 1:1 staff supervision with no additional staff available. Rather than complaining about her difficult assignment or blaming someone for not having additional staff available, Shaena was able to find a solution and coordinate the available staff to be in the appropriate areas of the unit to keep all high fall risk patients safe.

Shaena has frequently communicated openly and honestly with me and has expected honest communication from myself in return. Most recently she discussed with me some concerns she had as the psych resource team leader and asked for my input specifically regarding how to meet the needs of our patients on PMU along with patients in need across the whole hospital. Because of her openness to communicate over the last couple of years, this has built a very trusting relationship where we can communicate openly regarding any issues that come up.


VanHaitsma, Taryn

Taryn VanHaitsma

Taryn VanHaitsma, Coor Business Office, Mammography Center

Taryn works very hard with every employee in the Comprehensive Breast Center to make this a unified department, instead of two distinct departments (screening and clinic). While her work keeps her inside the CBC, she works hard to ensure we are all using the same standards of care and providing continuity for our patients.

Taryn has worked with her direct supervisor to set goals on how she can better understand the workings of our cancer center. Her job keeps her inside the Comprehensive Breast Center, and she wants to understand the other departments and providers within our institution. I admire her for working so hard to continue to develop herself.

Taryn’s kindness and patience are what are really striking for me. She is never frustrated, or if she is, she does not let it show. She makes every single patient feel welcome, and feel comfortable in our department. I feel very lucky to work with someone like Taryn, knowing how she will care for our patients.


Lewis, Nicky

Nicky Lewis

Nicky Lewis, Social Worker, Case Management

Nicky is an exemplary example of how to care for patients and their emotional and physical needs. Not only is she a strong advocate for the underserved population in our community, but is a valued resource for our Colleagues on how to deal with patients with complex social and behavioral health issues.

Once Nicky “takes on” a patient, she will not rest until a proper facility is found for them or she has come up with a solution that works for the patient.

I appreciate Nicky’s diligence and creativity when it comes to dealing with our most vulnerable and underserved patient population. I can be assured that before she reaches out to me or others, she has thoroughly investigated the options, has devised a workable plan, and is already advocating for that patient. She is a consummate professional and we, as an organization, are enriched because of her work.


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