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  • Shining Stars March 2012

    This program rewards individuals that go above and beyond their job responsibilities in exemplifying one of the five supporting commitments. These commitments are Safety, Clinical Excellence, Courtesy & Caring, Healing Environment and Efficiency.


    AWARDED TO:  Claudia Martinez-Mendoza
    RECOGNIZED BY: Joseph Scherger, M.D.

    SITUATION/TASK:  Claudia regularly “goes the extra mile” for patients, but her efforts with a family recently were way above and beyond.  The patient is 87 years of age and has become frail to the point of being preterminal.  His 92 year old wife is his caretaker.  On a Friday evening after work the patient fell and fractured his hip.  He went to surgery on Saturday and expired at EMC on Sunday.  The children could not arrive until late Saturday.

    ACTION: Claudia, after work on the Friday, helped support the patient’s wife in getting the patient into care at EMC. On Saturday Claudia came to the home and supported the wife until their children could come from the Boston area.  On Sunday she came to the home and provided bereavement support for the family.

    RESULT: This family could not say enough about how wonderful their care was at EMC, mostly because Claudia reached out and made things happen for them.  I could go on about other cases in which she works extra just to be sure our patients get the best care possible, and that their emotional needs are supported.  Claudia Martinez-Mendoza is highly deserving on a Shining Star Award.


    AWARDED TO:  Patricia Renteria and Hassan Teymourian
    RECOGNIZED BY: Ellen Nadeau

    SITUATION/TASK:  A patient on 4N had a rapid decline in status at 8:00 AM.  The patient’s BP dropped to 60 and the response rate and effort worsened, the patient’s oxygen saturation dropped to 60%.

    ACTION:  Pat Renteria, NA was quick to report the situation all while staying with the patient.  Pat remained calm and assisted with initiating a rapid response.  Hassan, RN responded quickly offering his assistance even though it was not his patient. Hassan acted quickly with assisting to stabilize the patient until a physician arrived along with the rapid response team.

    RESULT:  The patient was sent to ICU for further stabilization.  If Pat and Hassan had not responded as quickly as they did the patient would have had a cardiac/respiratory arrest.  The patient’s chance of survival is now much higher due to the early recognition and treatment of this unstable condition.


    AWARDED TO:  John A. Cutrone, M.D., Bertha DeLara, Nancy J. Hoffman, Cynthia A. Khoury
    RECOGNIZED BY: Lilli Mandelik

    SITUATION/TASK: I would like to thank and recognize Dr. Cutrone and team (Cindy, Bertha (Bird) and Nancy) for treating me with care and respect.

    ACTION:  I had a mammogram on January 19th and Nancy called me the next day as I was driving out of town to let me know that I needed to come back for another mammogram and possibly an ultrasound.  The next available appointment was not until February 4th.  I was extremely scared and not understanding the medical terms she was using, plus driving on the freeway.  I took the appointment but I explained to her we needed to try to get me in sooner as I would be a complete basket case waiting two weeks.  She told me she would be happy to put me on a “wait list.” I also asked her to call me back and leave me a message explaining what she had just told me on the phone and a number to contact her if I had any more questions.  She did that.  That following Monday, driving home from out of town Nancy calls me with her bubbly voice and lets me know she hadn’t forgotten about me and that she could get me in that week of January 26th.  I gladly took the appointment.  On January 26th I checked in and then Bertha (Bird) called me to take me back to the changing/waiting area.  She knew I was very scared.  She smiled the whole time.  I told her I had come prepared and didn’t put deodorant on and I asked if she had any wipes so I wouldn’t be embarrassed going in for my tests.  She gladly got me wipes and even gave me some deodorant for afterwards.  The whole time smiling and keeping me calm.  I go to the waiting room and then Cindy comes to take me back for my mammogram.  I asked her did she think that I really needed an ultrasound and she said definitely yes.  I got emotional and she was very kind as she also knew I was extremely scared.  She took the time to explain to me what was going on and was happy to answer any of my questions.  I really appreciated that.

    RESULT:  I then had the ultrasound and she did tell me that there was a cyst there but the doctor would need to review it and he will determine if it was ok or not.  Then Dr. Cutrone comes in smiling and upbeat.  He knew by this time I was petrified.  He explained to me what was going on in SIMPLE everyday people terms, not medical terms and I then got the picture and understood what was going on.  When he told me I was ok and see you next year I broke down crying.  His bedside manner was wonderful.  He really cares about his patients and he double checks everything.  When he left the room, Cindy was wonderful also she calmed me down and explained that I have the type of breasts and my age that most likely I will get called back like this.  This team is wonderful.  They are dealing with this every hour of every day that they are working.  I truly do not know how they do it.  I applaud them!!! I ran into Bertha (Bird) later that evening as I was out celebrating my good news and I didn’t want to bother her but I went up to her just to thank her for being so kind to me earlier that day.  She really appreciated me saying something to her.  I mentioned that I was reading a pamphlet in the waiting room and I didn’t know if I could take it or not and with everything that was going on I forgot to ask.  She told me she would mail one the next day to me and she did. For this being one of the scariest moments in my life, your team put me at ease.  I thank them all for being so kind and caring to me.  You don’t know how much that means to a patient.  I do apologize for such a long winded letter but I wanted to try to get all the details in.


    AWARDED TO:   Azucena Palacios
    RECOGNIZED BY: Ana Ceballos, Wayne Fleisher

    SITUATION/TASK: Our superbills were changed.  The new ones were taking 3 times longer for our front desk to put together. Azucena is always there to help us out as well as patients with difficult insurance issues.  There is a fine line in so many ways especially with the new super bill and its usage.

    ACTION:  Azucena took the initiative to look into a way to help and found us the solution to our problem.  By calling around, she discovered there is a code in our program that can print information on these superbills! Azucena investigated ten situations and solved the issue in less than 24 hours.

    RESULT:  We are saving a lot of time and frustration in putting our charts together. We are saving about 1/3 of our time; making us more efficient in our work.

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