Co-workers Honored for "Living Our Values"

December 3, 2021

Each year, Mercy Hospital Jefferson honors five co-workers for consistently modeling Mercy’s values of dignity, justice, service, excellence and stewardship.

This year, 36 deserving co-workers were nominated for their outstanding compassion. From those nominations, these five co-workers were honored with a Living Our Values Award for 2021.

Here are their nominations sharing how they live our values.

Dignity: Lisa Gibson

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“I call Lisa the emergency department’s ‘ray of sunshine.’ No matter the chaos her day has contained or how stressful the demands of her position, she is always quick with a smile and a word of encouragement for her patients and her co-workers alike. She makes all feel welcome and valued. She is a beautiful face for our Mercy hospital. Even from behind her face mask, you can see her eyes shine with the purity of a kind soul. She sees not just the immediate need of our patients but also their spiritual needs by treating each individual with compassion and concern. As a specific example, Lisa came to me a few weeks ago to share that she had registered a patient in the emergency department who was really struggling and seemed to be feeling alone and depressed. Lisa came to me to ask if I would meet with him to share resources, but even more, to share hope. She said she ‘just had a feeling about this man.’ I have since tried to contact this patient by phone and have found him to be a rather gruff and unfriendly man. Yet, I continue to reach out to him because I know Lisa saw something special within him. Even in all his unpleasantness, she saw a light in him and a need for human connection. Lisa deserves this recognition because she has a warm smile for all people, seeing the image of God in each of our patients and every one of our co-workers. She is a faithful example of the heart of Catherine McAuley and treats others with the love and compassion of Christ.”

Justice: Judy Skaggs

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“Judy has worked in the Mercy Jefferson bariatrics department for more than ten years now. Day in and day out, she helps the morbidly obese patients receive the care they so desperately need. Not only are morbidly obese patients commonly treated poorly, but in most circumstances, their health insurance does not allow them to seek weight loss surgery in order to change the trajectory of their lives. Judy is the number one champion of a program Mercy Jefferson created, one where patients are offered the best self-pay surgery rate in the region. Patients who either do not have insurance at all or who are unable to use it for surgery can pay out of pocket to undergo a weight loss procedure right here at Mercy Jefferson. This takes Judy constant monitoring, communication and hard work to coordinate, and she is always up for the challenge. I am proud to work with Judy; her compassion for this group of patients serves as a constant reminder of everything that is good in medicine.”

Service: John Dontrich

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“From the moment John arrived at Mercy Jefferson, I was struck with his focus on service. He has jumped right in on several projects that are important to our patients and community. Every request made is met with an attitude of not just willingness to get the job done but joy in the contribution that he and his team are able to make. He makes rounds with the purpose of finding things to fix and ways to make our facility better and safer. Along with many other things, without the assistance of him and his team, opening the lab site on campus or hosting the state’s monoclonal antibody infusion center would have been impossible. These two things will change the lives of some people forever. These large projects are easy to identify, but John has such a heart for service that he reacts the same way for small requests. I have never had an encounter with him where he doesn't offer whatever assistance is needed and often offers help that you don't even realize you need. He has a true servant’s heart, and we are blessed to have him on our team!”

Excellence: Sherri Moore

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“Sherri has the unique gift for being willing to fail, but also striving for excellence, realizing that the two go hand in hand. Over these past 18 months, her department, like a lot departments, has experienced constant change almost minute to minute. She leads her team through uncertainty with the most transparent attitude, knowing that we are all better as a team. I have been in awe of how she takes issues to her team and they come up with a plan for improvement, showing them that it is not about striving for perfection but rather striving to be better than we were yesterday. Sherri challenges her team to come up with new ideas that will lead to better quality, safety and service standards, and empowers them to make change. Because of this, the entire lab department consists of a team of people who are not satisfied with good enough but have a constant desire to improve. Thank you, Sherri, for modeling excellence in all we do.”

Stewardship: Amanda Darling

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“Finding words to put Amanda’s presence into a testimony of her exemplification of our value of stewardship is difficult. Amanda’s exemplification is what you feel and experience. This is the absolute testimony of our values. Her touch and impact will be felt for years to come. Over the last year, Amanda led the development of the vaccine clinic. She transformed a sea of cubicles into a well-run vaccine clinic within a matter of days. Her ability to optimize operations gave way to a vaccine clinic that flowed seamlessly from the day it opened. When you walked into the vaccine clinic, you could feel the hope her leadership gave back to members of our community who have been fearful of COVID. She would never take credit for the vaccine set up, but it cannot go without saying that she led everyone to completion. Additionally, when the state and county called upon Mercy Jefferson to house the monoclonal antibody infusion center, she did not hesitate and said ‘Yes.’ Quickly and in true to Amanda style, she was able create a clinic in less than a week. The state even commented on how incredible the space looked. In a time where so many say they cannot take on anymore work because they are short staffed, Amanda has always said ‘Yes.’ Many of the initiatives did not have funding, but Amanda found a way. To think of the impact that she has had on our fight against COVID, I can only begin to imagine what Catherine would be musing over.”

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