Spring 2016 Colleagues Award Winners Announced!

April 15, 2016 7:52 pm

Congratulations to our four Colleague Award Winners!
The winners will be honored at a ceremony on 5 Lacks, on Tuesday, April 19, hosted by Bill Manns, president, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Colleagues are nominated by others for how well they embody the mission, vision and values of Mercy Health, and selected by a panel of clinical, non-clinical, management and non-management colleagues.

Knibbe, Karla Karla Knibbe, Business Office Coordinator, Internal Medicine

Karla Knibbe is the kindest, most compassionate employee I have ever worked with. Sitting at check-in of our office, she has greeted everyone from every walk of life with a smile and a warm greeting in the 20 years she has worked here. Karla listens well, and all communication is pleasant and respectful. In 20 years, I have never heard a negative remark from her.

Karla is kind, but able to be direct and prompt with her excellent two-way communication skills.

My patients are always commenting on how Karla listens to them and makes them feel understood, and there is no other colleague with whom I have worked who has generated more positive comments from my patients. Recently during the athenahealth go-live, she was recognized for her enthusiasm and hard work during those first days of implementation. Karla is always warm and friendly, and can be counted on to do whatever is needed with a winning attitude.





Gomez Elizabeth (headshot)Elizabeth Gomez, Environmentalist

Elizabeth goes above and beyond for Lacks Surgery. Elizabeth instinctively knows the department’s needs and is usually a step ahead of those needs. She willingly stays to help with turnovers for late cases. She teaches us Spanish with a smile on her face. She often helps our unit in ways that are more than her job requires of her, such as stocking the blanket warmer and making up the patient beds while they are in the operating suites. She is very respectful of patient privacy, making sure doors are open and closed at appropriate times. She responds quickly to pages for cleaning up unexpected problems, and she cleans the common areas as necessary.

Elizabeth drops everything to return to Lacks Surgery when paged. She takes full responsibility for all Environmental Services responsibilities – whether the cleaning happens on her shift or other shifts. She knows the standards for surgery areas and makes sure all are satisfied and pleased.






Pawloski, SeanSean Pawloski, Ultrasound Technologist – Lead, Heart and Vascular Center
I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing colleagues in Heart and Vascular, and Sean Pawloski has taken supporting others in serving to the next level. Sean makes a connection with patients and offers listening and confidence, each and every time. He is so professional and personable, thanking each patient after the exam. His ability to coach an anxious patient or a curious child through an exam is always appreciated.

Sean willingly shares his knowledge and skills and has been instrumental in onboarding new staff. Sean manages the interns coming through our Echo program and has built a reputation for Mercy Health as ‘the place to do your clinical rotations.’ He makes sure these students witness Mercy Health at its finest. As Affiliated Clinical Faculty for GVSU, Sean is highly regarded within the health care community for his knowledge and innovation.

Sean has made a huge impact with his support of technology in the department. He is a “go-to” throughout the department and always responds with a solution or additional inquiry. I have no doubt he has saved the organization monetarily, efficiencies and loyalty from customers that know he will support them.

Sean is a very intelligent, forward-thinking individual with big vision but it is his passion and dedication that makes a difference every day. He dreams BIG and does BIG things to make BIG impacts because he sees value in everything we do for the patient, the physicians and the community.

I once asked a prospective hire for the role of Echo Sonographer what their long-term goal was, and the response was: “to have the skills and be held in high regard like Sean Pawloski.”


Arbaugh, Todd 2016Todd Arbaugh, Manager, Business Development, Surgical Services

Due to an unforeseen circumstance, Todd Arbaugh assumed responsibility for the renovation project for surgery. We did not have a manager in surgery or processing at the time, and Todd spent time with colleagues, listening to their concerns during this time of uncertainty.

He lead the mock-up portion of the renovation, meeting surgeons early and late to assure their voice was heard as we designed our new ORs. Todd is focused on empowering staff to find solutions and coaches them by asking “How do you think we should solve this issue.

We had an individual who had identified an issue and was pointing fingers at one colleague–Todd worked with his team to ensure that the issue was resolved. He worked with the individual who had identified the issue, coming in early to do audits so he knew the issue was resolved. All the while he continued working with his team to understand this is a team issue, not an individual issue, building a climate of trusting and assuming goodness of intention.
The surgery renovation is a success because of Todd’s leadership, thanks to his partnership with surgeons and other physicians.


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