This form is designed to give you an opportunity to recognize a staff member who has demonstrated exceptional service. If you observe exceptional service and would like to nominate an employee of Capital Region Medical Center please fill out the following form.
Star Award recipients
Tammy Massman, LCSW, Case Management
I'm a patient at Goldschmidt Cancer Center and I've had two major surgeries where they removed my voice box and tongue and had a trach put in. I can only eat from a feeding tube and have prostate cancer. I was in a dark place! I had to have radiation treatments every day for over a month and also had appointments at MU every now and then. My car broke down so I had to find a way to and from my appointments. I heard about a medical transportation company, but had to call them every time to schedule rides and often had to wait long hours for a ride home. It caused me overwhelming stress! Then, I was told about Tammy Massman, the social worker at Goldschmidt. Contacting her turned out to be the best decision I've ever made. I told her about my problems and from that point on, she just took over. Tammy was a beacon of light for me. She arranged all of my rides and worked with the radiation team so that my treatments and appointments with Dr. Schwartz were seamless. She even did the same with my appointments at MU. Tammy also helped me in understanding my bills and ended up saving me hundreds of dollars! Thank you, Tammy, for going above and beyond!
Suzy Crowley, Rehab Nursing Supervisor
I had the misfortune of locking my keys in my car while it was still running. It was a very cold, snowy day. Suzy ended up being my saving grace as I was having trouble getting roadside assistance to help me since my purse and glasses were locked in the car. Suzy was able to read the VIN on my windshield and offered a credit card number so I could get some help! She kept me warm in her car while we waited. She truly is a leader in making sure her team members are taken care of before she leaves! Thank you!
Charlie Jones, Capital Care Pharmacy
Last week one of the volunteers working in the coffee shop suddenly became sick to her stomach. Charlie saw her distress and checked on her. Over the volunteer’s objections, he insisted that she go to the Emergency Department. The ED diagnosed her with a heart attack. She had cardiac cath the next day. If Charlie hadn’t stopped to check on her, she would have gone home, and the outcome would have been much, much worse. Charlie went above and beyond to check on her, saw that something was wrong and acted quickly. I’m sure her family would love to thank him too!
Kym Brunnert, Goldschmidt Cancer Center
- Making sure employees get to participate in fun employee engagement activities, even when they are busy caring for patients, by taking meal orders and delivering them to co-workers. She has done this on multiple occasions when a food vendor was arranged to be present, but staff was unable to take the time to leave their work stations.
- Cleaning up a large spill in the stairway and staying until the area was safe from potential falls.
- Staying past regular hours to acquire the necessary pre-certification for urgent radiology orders so that the patients can be cared for.
Kym is always willing to go the extra mile. She is so dedicated to others. She will always help anyone and follow through to completion, smiling and laughing through it all.
Cole Darnel, Outpatient Physical Therapy
Once again, Cole Darnel has gone above and beyond for one of his patients. His patient was currently using a four-wheeled walker to ambulate, which had become unsafe for her. Cole worked tirelessly to call her physician and get an order for a new walker. He then contacted several companies to obtain a new walker for the patient and complete all of the necessary paperwork for insurance. He helped the patient every step of the way until she received her new walker. The patient's safety and quality of life will now be greatly improved because of Cole's efforts on her behalf.
Debbie Ousley, Infusion
Debbie is an amazing coworker and nurse. She goes above and beyond to help not only her fellow nurses but her patients as well. Just one example of this: A patient was embarrassed by the two drains he had in his liver. He would hide them bundled up in his shirt as he walked because he didn’t want anyone to see them. Debbie took a cut off leg of a pair of blue jeans and made him a little bag to put them in with a Velcro handle so he can hook it to his belt loop. It blended in with his jeans and allowed him to keep his hands free. The patient was so thankful. Debbie does things like this all the time for her patients. She is truly an inspiration to us all.
Courtney Barker, Pharmacy
Courtney recently transferred from the switchboard to the pharmacy department, and had been in the Pharmacy for less than three weeks when the tornado struck Jefferson City.
On the evening of the storm, Courtney was at home with her family. Around midnight, after she heard the second tornado siren, Courtney became concerned that the switchboard may need help. She tried calling the hospital to check on the staff, but wasn’t able to reach anyone. Without hesitation, she jumped in her car and made her way to the hospital to check on the switchboard crew. She traveled as far as Jefferson City High School, but road blocks were already in place. Courtney didn't let that stop her. She parked her car and walked the rest of the way to the hospital!
When she arrived at the switchboard, the team was fielding an extremely high volume of calls and trying to hand out radios to the necessary employees. Courtney handed out the radios and then signed on to a work station and started taking calls. Without her help, there would have been much more congestion with the calls in the switchboard. It would have been very difficult to make or receive calls. Courtney provided invaluable assistance during a critical time of disaster, when she was neither called upon nor had a reporting responsibility to that department.
The switchboard was very grateful for her help and concern! Pharmacy is proud to have a team member with such great integrity & servant heart.
Diane Decker, Capital Region Physicians - Owensville
A patient called for a same-day appointment and Diane noted that she had slurred speech. An appointment was given to the patient but after ending the phone call Diane contacted the patient's daughter about the situation. The daughter checked on her mother, 911 was contacted and she was transported to the emergency department at CRMC via ambulance. It was determined the patient had suffered a stroke and was given the clot busting treatment in the emergency room. When the patient followed up in the clinic setting several days later, she said Diane saved her life.
Jo Ann Cantriel, Education
During a very busy point, our overflow unit was opened, and Jo Ann came and helped open and work the unit. She admitted one particular patient that was very sick and actually knew Jo Ann Cantriel and her family. By the next morning, we were able to downsize and I assumed the care of this particular patient. Upon entering the room, I saw that the patient was crying. The patient shared her concerns with me, which included a call that her electricity was going to be shut off and the family member that was helping with the care of her three young children was no longer able to help. The patient had recently started a new job and had been working a lot of overtime, but her acute illness landed her in the hospital. I asked the patient if I could share her concerns to see if there was any help available for her and she said “yes”. Knowing that Jo Ann knew her, I confided in her. Jo Ann said, “I am on it”, and immediately made a couple of phone calls. The childcare was taken care of and the electricity was covered within a matter of minutes. This information was shared with the patient and she cried tears of joy. Then she was able to just concentrate on her own personal health. Jo Ann is a “super star” for taking prompt action of the personal concerns of a patient in need. The patient shared that she loved Capital Region Medical Center and would never go anywhere else. We truly are a family that provides “holistic” care in a lot of cases. Jo Ann, you are a “hero” and you deserve to be recognized.
Tammy Kanatzar, Chaplain
Tammy Kanatzar always goes above and beyond to help. I was transporting an elderly patient who complained that his head was particularly cold. Knowing that we often kept stocking caps on hand for cancer patients, I asked Tammy if she had any. Unfortunately, Tammy only had infant caps at the time, but told me she would get adult hats to keep on hand in case of a similar situation in the future. However, Tammy did not stop there. She purchased the gentleman a hat and gloves for which he was extremely grateful and happy. This was just one example of the continuously selfless acts that she does every day.
Jessica Koestner, Pediatric Therapy
Jessica holds the social skills group my son attends. She makes it enjoyable for all the kids regardless of their abilities. Her up-beat personality makes it less like a counseling session and more of a gathering of friends. She also gives her time on Saturday, once a month to make sure the group can have a fun outing while also interacting in the community. Jessica recently started a pen pal project to encourage the kids to be social outside of group gatherings. After every meeting she always makes time for me to ask questions and get an update on my son. Jessica always makes sure to say something positive to him. I feel like she goes above and beyond to make the social group successful and more than just another appointment for these kids (which is important).
Kristen Pringer, Med/Surg Unit
Kristen is a great role model for all new nurses. She is extremely knowledgeable and helpful to us all. She never hesitates to answer call lights when she is on the unit. She always helps with IV stats as asked. Besides doing all that is required as a manager, she is always giving good advice and truly cares about the patients and staff. Kristen has also been paying for a patients meds and needed medical equipment. She is excellent at communication with her staff, keeping us well informed of new changes. We appreciate all she does.
Mary Kremer, Environmental Services
One day during her shift, Mary noticed a young woman that had been dropped off at Capital Region by mistake. This person's ride had left her and returned to Columbia. The woman had no money or method to get to St. Mary's, her desired destination. Mary noticed how upset the woman was and paid for a taxi fare out of her own pocket. This was an act of humanity that deserves to be noticed.
Jane DeVign, 3rd Floor Clinic Administration
Jane is the most caring, compassionate health care worker I have ever encountered. I was facing a very frightening diagnosis and Jane helped me set up ultrasounds and biopsies that were needed. I am now recovering from surgery, but I would not be this far along with my piece of mind if it weren't for Jane. She is a most blessed and valuable member of your staff. God Bless you Jane. Thank you!
Nichole Kempker, Emergency Department
On the afternoon of June 10, the Emergency Department had multiple ambulances bringing patients and many walk-in patients. After Nichole's shift ended, she volunteered to stay a couple more hours to assist with triage, treatment and care of the patients flooding into the ED. Nichole exemplifies nursing at its finest and exhibited the type of teamwork that every healthcare professional wants in their environment.
Janette Holt, Retail Pharmacy
I left my children's nebulizer at the Capital Care Pharmacy. Janette called me to say she would gladly meet me after work to deliver it to me. She went out of her way and I am so thankful. My boys needed the nebulizer that night and because of her, they got their needs met. Thank you Janette, for being such a caring person.
Cole Darnel, Outpatient Physical Therapy
I have had the chance to observe Cole with a few patients lately. It is clear he goes above and beyond to make sure his patients are well taken care of. Often Cole stays late with patients if they are requiring extra care. Many times, this causes him to lose lunch, paperwork time, or has him leaving the clinic later. Cole never complains about any of this and it is easy to see his heart when you watch him work with his patients and when you hear his patients talk about him. I even get the benefit of all of the cookies and snacks they bring to thank him for his care! I feel Cole is a great representative of what CRMC is striving for with patient care and satisfaction. I am lucky to get to work with him and learn from him daily. Thank you Cole!
Tanya Rollins, Intensive Care Unit
Tanya is someone we can count on, even on PCU. One night my patient lost IV access, and after many tries, an ultrasound IV was needed. Tanya spent an hour in the patient’s room trying to obtain access. She did not give up even though it wasn’t her patient or her unit. She also kept the patient as comfortable as possible through the process. Tanya spent all this time with my patient even though her unit was busy and preparing for the arrival of a critical patient.
We on PCU are also happy to see Tanya during Rapid Responses because she always knows what to do. She makes a bad situation better. I am never disappointed when having to float to ICU when I know Tanya is there. She is a great person to have on our team. I am comforted just knowing she is in the hospital to respond when needed.
Tammy Kanatzar, Chaplain
When a younger patient passed away in the intensive care unit, Chaplain Tammy was, as always right there. The patients two young sons came to visit their father after his passing to say their good-byes. After touching and talking to the father, one son stated that "We need to call Jesus and tell him dad is coming". Tammy didn't think twice, she took the boy directly to a phone. Accidentally, he dialed into the overhead speakers and said "Hello?". Everyone in the hospital heard the child's greeting and giggled, but what they didn't hear was the conversation that Chaplain Tammy facilitated to allow the son to call Jesus and tell him that this father was coming home to heaven. What Chaplain Tammy did for that boy provided him the closure and peace he will hold onto for a lifetime and helped our grieving staff heal a little bit, too. Chaplain Tammy is a true blessing to us all.
Lauren Kaiser-Johnson, Outpatient Therapy Clinic
Lauren goes above and beyond her job duties to ensure that patients not only have an excellent physical therapy experience, but that their lives are enriched as well. On one occasion, Lauren was providing therapy to a deaf patient for a total knee replacement. The patient was having difficulties communicating with his other medical providers, and Lauren took it upon herself to be the liaison between them so that everyone understood the patient's medical status to ensure the best outcome. While on vacation, the patient had a serious change in his medical status causing a foot drop on the surgery leg. The patient contacted Lauren and she was able to communicate the problems to the physician and get the treatment he needed.
Lauren also had a wheelchair bound patient with significant disabilities that was raising her five-year-old daughter. The patient was on the verge of losing her housing and had nowhere to go. Lauren researched possible housing options for the patient and helped her secure a new place to live. Lauren also helped this patient get the needed repairs to her wheelchair when the patient was having trouble contacting the company because she did not have a cell phone.
Lauren is the perfect example of an employee that exceeds all expectations in her job and with patient care. I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor.
Corporate & Community Health
During the week of October 23-27, Linda Hardwick organized and managed a Corporate Health Fair for 800 employees of Quaker Window Products in Freeburg, MO. She worked odd hours, clocking in at 5:00 a.m. and sometimes clocking out at 8:30 p.m., but every hour she was working, she was smiling and serving others. The amazing thing was that she was fighting her own health care battle during this time. I worked alongside her and was personally exhausted—but at each point in the process, I thought about Linda, who was recovering from medical treatments and yet continued to contribute her best to this event! She inspired me to work hard and to continue to persevere! Linda makes Capital Region better, the corporations we serve better and she makes her co-workers better.
Jessica Koestner has worked hard to develop a “Social Skills” program for kids with special needs to improve their ability to interact with others. This group has continued to grow, and it serves many families. The families frequently say how much they and their kids love it. Thank you for seeing a need in our community, acting on it and making a difference in those families lives! This is a great example of Better. Every day. for our community.
Where to start? Andy Green ALWAYS has a positive attitude and is ALWAYS willing to help. Without complaint, he has worked tirelessly as well as staying late, working long hours and coming in early to assist Nutrition Services with their transition to a new food service company. Andy is very knowledgeable, pleasant to work with and is truly the embodiment of the Better. Every day spirit. Thank You.
There was a staff member who called wanting a Priest, any priest for a patient. Since Father Hillary and Father Boniface left, we have not had Priest coverage. After more questioning, they said the patient was a member with St. Peter’s parish. This operator looked in the book and tried all the numbers for St. Peter’s. Having no luck, she called her supervisor, and after discussion it was decided to try any priest in the Jefferson City area. Again, the operator had no luck. Multiple attempts are made to get more information from the family and again, nothing. She left a message on Chaplain Tammy’s phone so that she could get started on the situation first thing in the morning as this was a Sunday night. This operator did everything right and went above and beyond to try to meet this patient’s spiritual needs. She diligently tried everything she could think of. I truly think that any of the operators would call the Lord himself to help a patient day or night. The care this operator gave is absolutely stellar.
Karen Hackman has gone above and beyond her duty as an ultrasound tech when it comes to being a team player for taking call in our ultrasound department. She is always willing to switch or take additional call when needed. For some time now, she has volunteered to cover night call for everyone in the department. This alleviates much anxiety among the other ultrasound techs knowing they will get a good night’s sleep. This may go unnoticed to some, but does not go unnoticed by me. I am extremely grateful for her taking my night call.
On Sunday, July 9 in the early morning, I became very ill while on call for the ultrasound department and was unable to complete my call shift, Karen Hackman stepped up to cover my call shift immediately, even though she had just started her week of vacation on Friday. She made arrangements to find child care for her children and relieve me from my call shift. Thank you for sacrificing part of your vacation to make sure the ultrasound patients were cared for when I became unable to fulfill my call shift. I greatly appreciate your time and willingness to be a team player in our department. You are definitely a ‘shining star’ to me and the Ultrasound Department. Thank you, Karen!
Shannon Pryor, RN
I wanted to take a minute to recognize one of your nurses. I have had two visits to the ER in the last 3 months. The first was a poorly timed case of appendicitis. The second was one of the hardest days of my life. BOTH times I had Shannon as my nurse. I am writing specifically regarding my second visit. At this visit it was determined we were miscarrying our first pregnancy. Prior to knowing this, Shannon took great care of us and was very nice, kind and with a smiling face. However at one point she explained it was the end of her shift and told us who would continue to take care of us. Shortly after, the doctor came in to tell us that we had lost the baby. After a period of private grieving, Shannon came back in to the room. We knew this was after she was supposed to leave. She said nothing but walked up to me and just hugged me. She let me cry on her shoulder for quite some time. She stayed with us and answered all our questions, gave us time to cry and counseled us about available resources. She was exactly what we needed at that time. It was so kind of her, and it meant even more knowing she stayed with us when she was supposed to be at home with her family. I wanted you to know what a difference your employee made to us that night. Even my husband still talks about her kindness. I know administration and nurses typically don’t get to hear the positives, so I wanted to make sure you knew about this positive. A smiling face and gentle hug can make a horrible night a little less horrible.
Two nominations from two different people:
May 11, 2017: We had a very busy week on our newly launched Joint Replacement Center. Diane worked extremely hard to make sure each patient was well taken care of, and she did an excellent job adapting to the new patient routine. She remained positive, even during the busiest times. Diane is a great asset to the Joint Center! For your hard work!
May 24, 2017: Diane is currently my mom's tech at the hospital after her surgery. I can't even describe the words to say how wonderful she is. Not only does she do her job to the fullest, she also goes above and beyond for her patients. I asked for a new comb for my mom's hair. She also brought in a toothbrush and said she might want this - something I would have never even thought of, and I worked in the medical field for 10 years and experienced my brother in and out of facilities when battling brain cancer. After all those years, Diane is still the best employee I could have asked for to take care of my mom. It put me at ease knowing Diane is here when I have to travel back for out of town for work and come back. If all employees were like Diane, everyone would feel comfortable having their family members in the hospital. We thanked her and she was so humble saying how much she truly does her job. Diane is truly deserving of this award, and I hope she receives this and we are able to be the there for her recognition. Thank you again, Diane, for being so outstanding. I hope that I can be as wonderful someday.
Travis has always demonstrated the behaviors of a high performer and making things better for the team, department and organization. Travis is an ambassador for CRMC and is seen all over the community every day driving the courier van. One day as Travis was leaving the Hy-Vee Quick Care Clinic. He was sitting at the light, and the car in front of him rolled backwards and bumped his van. The elderly lady raised both her hands in the air like she did not know what to do. Travis put his van into park, got out and went to talk to the lady. As it turned out she was over 80 years of age and had just gotten her car out of the shop; however, the throttle had stuck open and she could not keep it running. Travis offered to help her and she accepted. He assisted her out of the car and into the front passenger seat of the CRMC courier van. Then he got into her car and was able to get it moved through traffic into a parking lot. Returning to the courier van, he asked the lady where she would like for him to take her and she replied to her home. So Travis took her home, which was on the far edge of western Cole County. This is yet another reason why Travis exemplifies the culture of Better. Every day. He showed compassion by treating this elderly lady like she would want to be treated. Thank you Travis for all you do to promote the CRMC culture of Better. Every day.
Amanda Schwartze, RN
Progressive Care Unit
Two nominations from two different families:
March 17, 2017: My mom was in the hospital and Amanda was without a doubt one of the best nurses my mom has ever had. She was prompt, helpful and answered all our questions. Thank you so much for being such a great and caring nurse.
April 6, 2017: Amanda helped us contact the chaplain and priest for anointing of the sick (Catholic) and came back with a tray of food and drinks to help us in our need. She fulfilled all our requests and needs with great compassion.
Wendy Hartman, LPN
Wendy has been instrumental to our Rehab Unit and many times has taken a lead role. She willingly has picked up shifts to help cover during our shortages. She has been a consistent clinician in our day shift who has helped train new staff that work on the unit in nursing responsibilities, documentation and rehab regulations. She has come in to assist on days when there may be several new admissions to the floor to help care for our other patients. Also when she has been called to Med-Surg or PCU when the rehab census has been low-the feedback I get from those nurse managers has been, “We really appreciated having Wendy on our unit-she does an awesome job!” During the recent high census for acute care, she recognized the need for her to transfer to another unit when the rehab census was low. In her own words, “It’s crazy over on acute, they have so many patients and so many needs—I need to be there to help them.” Thanks for being a TEAM Player. We really appreciate the difference that you make!
I have knee problems and have to use a cane to walk. A short time ago, we were going to get frozen precipitation during the night. I could not find a parking place in a covered area so I parked out in the regular lots. Rick saw where I was parked and came in, got my keys and moved my car to a covered space that had opened up. He was so kind to do that so I would not risk falling. Rick, you are a true STAR!!!
Debra Ousley, RN
Debra Ousley, RN, ASU helped to save a man’s life in December 2016. The patient had a physician’s order to have blood work and to receive two liters of fluids. While starting the IV, Debra noticed that he was warm to the touch. His temp was 104.5°F. After giving him the fluids and Tylenol, the patient’s temp didn’t change. Debra did not feel comfortable sending the man home, so after speaking with his doctor, they convinced the patient to be admitted through the emergency department. Debra took him there and stayed until they could take him to a room. The patient ended up being admitted to the ICU and went on a ventilator. Great job to Debra for ensuring this man received proper care.