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  • Jackie Lee Houston Shining Stars June/July 2013

    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:    Cynthia L. Cox
    RECOGNIZED BY: Nellie Kelley

    SITUATION/TASK:  I would like to commend one of the employees of Eisenhower Urgent Care Center. A couple of weeks ago there was an incident in the Palm Springs Urgent Care that I witnessed that deserves recognition.

    Cynthia Cox, RN was on duty. A young agitated male presented himself to the front desk. His insurance has been cancelled. He became aggressive, throwing a clipboard at the Registrar and at another patient that was checking in. He fortunately missed both of them. Another patient (an additional hero in this event) encouraged this man to step outside which he did. At that time the Registrar notified Cynthia of the situation. Cynthia immediately sprang into action. She picked up the phone to alert Security in order to get the front door locked. Simultaneously she had one of the male LVN’s go up to the front and bring all the patients and the Registrars into the back of the clinic for protection as they would be behind a locked door. Cynthia also had the presence of mind to be certain that the Radiology Tech was brought into the clinic instead of remaining alone in Radiology. In addition, Cynthia had another person check the other outside doors to be certain that they were secure. After contacting Security, Cynthia phoned the Police who responded quickly. All patients and staff were safe and uninjured. One of the patients that I was attending was very impressed with Cynthia’s actions. This patient worked for the Department of Defense and expressed great confidence in Cynthia’s ability to think on her feet and maintain clarity of mind. As for me it was a prime example of grace under fire.

    Cynthia remained cool and collected, was able to delegate to others, and was forward thinking throughout the entire event. She remained poised and showed great leadership, averting further problems, as well as earning the appreciation and confidence of her staff and patients. Job well done!


    AWARDED TO: Leesa S. Booth
    RECOGNIZED BY: Renker Nurses
    SITUATION/TASK:  A patient was dying of lung cancer with metastasis. The patient’s daughter was pregnant with the patients 1st grandchild.  Leesa worked hard to get an ultrasound of the grandbaby. The patient was so proud, he said “I think I see a stethoscope around him.” The patient was also a doctor and it made his day. He talked about it all day.

    ACTION:   Leesa was able to get an ultrasound for the patient so he could see his first grandchild.  Leesa called 24/7 Services and the physicians in Radiology to help with this.  Finally, the wife called Radiology and was able to get a tech to do the ultrasound.  It was the happiest the patient has been!!!

    RESULT:  This is a true caring effort by the nurse. She went way beyond to think of the patient. He kept saying “I want to live long enough to see the baby. I feel he knew he wouldn’t live to August and Leesa made his wish come true.


    AWARDED TO:   Francisca  E. Piceno
    RECOGNIZED BY:  Paige Larson

    SITUATION/TASK:  We would like to nominate Francisca E. Piceno, Physical Therapy Assistant of Physical Therapy-Renker for her dedication to our patient’s safety.

    Yesterday over her lunch hour, Fran was sitting in a common area of our building. One of our patients was also in the area, waiting for her ride, started to choke. The patient immediately realized the severity of her situation and gave Fran the universal choking sign. Fran jumped into action and didn’t even hesitate to apply the Heimlich maneuver. With two thrust the item dislodged from the patient’s throat and she was able to breathe again. Fran stayed with our patient until her ride came and later that afternoon, our patient called to thank Fran for “saving her life”.

    RESULT:   Fran’s knowledge of this life saving maneuver and her quick response to take action earn her recognition of excellence. If not for Fran, we could have had a different, unfortunate outcome.


    AWARDED TO:   Barbara Bigelow
    RECOGNIZED BY:  Ann Mostofi

    SITUATION/TASK:  The purpose of this note is to share with you how much I have benefited from moral support and technical information provided by Eisenhower Medical Center’s cancer support group that meets weekly from 3:00 to 5:00pm on Tuesdays in a conference room in the Lucy Curci Cancer Center. The group, ably facilitated by Pamela Jones-Vandernagel and Barbara Bigelow, has been a life changing experience for me; encouraging me to achieve victory over the many physical and emotional deficits accompanying treatment of my squamous cell carcinoma head and neck cancer. My peers who have survived cancer therapies at Hoag and UCLA have missed this resource. They respond in amazement at how effective this group is at EMC, wishing they could have benefited from similar counsel at their respective institutions.

    You might enjoy one specific example that stands as a microcosm of my total experience with this group. After radiation and chemotherapy treatments, I suffered an unbelievably painful spasm in my lower left jaw. My ENT specialist, dentist and family doctor (three doctors) were baffled. Ms. Bigelow, upon hearing my story in our support group, acquainted me with trismus. While three medical doctors could not deliver this insight, your professional facilitator for our group could. This personal, caring, discerning, professional effort from them occurs weekly. My thanks go to you who keep making all this possible.

    Sincerely, Patient


    AWARDED TO:   Frank P. O’Farrell
    RECOGNIZED BY:  Zach Miller

    SITUATION/TASK:  Bringing the old “Blood Bank” building into use for EMC required that it be connected to the EMC network. EMC staff and our contractors were having difficulty finding an existing underground pathway to use to run the new fiber from the data center to the Blood Bank building. So much so, that it was thought that a new 500 foot underground trench was needed to get network fiber-optic cable back to the EMC data center. This would have cut up the parking lot and/or section of Ring Road, which was extremely expensive, unacceptably invasive and labor intense. There are also risks of cutting existing underground cables or pipes whenever you cut into the ground.
    ACTION: After weeks of looking by others, Frank O’Farrell took the lead with the contractor and said, “Follow me”. Frank entered an existing underground manhole nearest the EMC data center that was in line with the direction between the data center and the blood bank building. He fought spiders, stale air, other bugs and darkness to find the connecting pull rope (used to pull the cable from one location to another). He then stationed the contractor in the manhole and had them hold onto the pull rope. Frank then went to the next dark, dirty, damp, dank manhole, plunged in, and found a pull rope that looked like it could be coming from the previous location. He grabbed the rope and pulled. Low and behold, it linked to the previous manhole were the contractor was stationed. This step was repeated in leap frog fashion toward the Blood Bank until he found the exact pathway that led right into the Blood Bank building. No one even knew the last portion even existed. He found an existing underground pathway from the data center all the way into the Blood Bank building.

    RESULT:  Frank’s actions saved 10’s of thousands of dollars in construction costs, along with patients and staff inconvenience due to road work/parking lot work. The Blood Bank could now be easily connected to the EMC network for just the cost of running new fiber. Instead of spending 20 or 30 thousand dollars or more, this project will now be completed with only a few thousand dollars in cable costs. This is just one example of how Frank proves over and over what a great team member he is to all of us here at EMC. Well done Frank.

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