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HCA Healthcare Awards of Distinction at EIRMC

Published online: Jun 04, 2024 Health & Wellness
Viewed 584 time(s)

HCA Healthcare Awards of Distinction are given annually in recognition for exceptional patient care, commitment to our community, and innovative thinking. 

The Frist Humanitarian Awards recognize humanitarian spirit and philanthropic work of the late Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., a founder of HCA Healthcare, EIRMC’s parent company.  Each year we honor an employee, physician and volunteer with this award. 

EIRMC’s Excellence in Nursing Awards recognize nursing practice that provides the highest quality of care to patients we serve.  There are two categories for this award: Professional Mentoring and Compassionate Care. 

The HCA Healthcare Innovator Award recognizes an employee who uses imagination and originality to solve an obstacle, improve patient care or business operations, or address an unmet need for the hospital.  

Frist Humanitarian Award, Employee:  

Brooke Nelson, Medical Laboratory Technologist

One in five girls lack access to period supplies, which causes them to miss school and other activities each month.   This is called period poverty because it can have a significant impact on their quality of education. 

For many years, Brooke has been committed to ending period poverty.  She serves as the Vice President of the Idaho Period Project. The mission of this organization is to ensure access to free period products for Idaho students. Since their founding in 2022, they have helped approximately 1,000 girls in 9 counties across East Idaho. 

This includes providing more than 300,000 period products to girls in need, and installing 83 Aunt Flo dispensers in local schools.

In her role as Vice President, Brooke guides community and non-profit programming, procures bulk period products, and organizes community service events. 

In 2023, Brooke worked with policy makers to support an Idaho House bill that would place free period products in public school bathrooms. She even testified on its behalf.   Although the bill failed (by one vote), Brooke remains undaunted in pushing for this legislation.

Brooke joined the EIRMC Microbiology team in 2022.  Her commitment to excellence and service is seen not only through her volunteer work, but her work in the lab. She regularly goes out of her way to help colleagues and patients. Brooke truly embodies the HCA mission and is committed to the care and improvement of the lives of those around her.

Frist Humanitarian Award, Volunteer:    

Phyllis Scheffler

Phyllis has been a hospital volunteer since February 1984, an incredible 40 years of service! In that time, she has volunteered over 10,000 hours.

Phyllis has held many volunteer positions during her four-decade service.  She has cuddled babies in the nursery and worked in our gift shop when it was managed by volunteers.   

Phyllis also previously served as the Vice President of the EIRMC Auxiliary. In this role, Phyllis helped make donation decisions for the benefit of EIRMC patients, participated in fundraisers to help families in need. 

Today, Phyllis works very hard to meet patient, guest and staff requests at the information desk.  She cordially greets patients and guests and gets them where they need to be.  

She also solves issues as they arise and is the go-to person for other volunteers who recognize that her years of experience have made her an expert in matters related to the information desk.

Phyllis is often asked why she’s volunteered for 40 years.  She always says, “Volunteering is my favorite! I love my job and the people I work with, this is my family.” 

Phyllis is humble, she doesn’t seek praise or recognition. Her only motivation is the difference she might make for someone else.  

Frist Humanitarian Award, Physician: 

Bertrand De Silva, M.D.

Dr. Bertrand de Silva has served as the medical director of the ICU for more than two years.  

He has been absolutely instrumental in providing high-quality care in the ICU. 

Dr. de Silva has also been instrumental in changing the ICU culture around organ donation.   He has a clear vision of the good that can come out of tragedy. Dr. de Silva takes the time to educate residents and nurses, so that they have accurate information about organ donation.  As a result, we are seeing a higher number of families choosing organ donation when loved ones pass.   

Dr. de Silva has expanded relationships between the hospitalists and the intensivists, which has resulted in improved communication, better patient care, and fewer patients returning to the ICU after being transferred out. 

His selflessness and dedication to his patients and to our staff make him an exceptional doctor and a true humanitarian.

HCA Excellence in Nursing:  Professional Mentoring 

Melissa Checketts, RN, Progressive Care Unit

Melissa Checketts is an RN on the Progressive Care Unit.  She is often recognized by her peers for being an exceptional teacher and example.   She is also a core part of the positive culture on the Progressive Care Unit.

Melissa precepts both new nurses, and nursing students. She also works as a relief charge nurse on PCU where she teaches nurses in the moment. 

When new nurse residents were facing challenges, Melissa helped develop a mentor program. She took on the bulk part of adapting a corporate program to fit the specific needs of the 4th  floor, and paired mentors and mentees together.   Melissa also helped organized the first-ever mentor kickoff party. 

Melissa chairs the 4th Floor Unit-Based Council and attends the hospital-wide nurse practice council where she acts as a liaison, combining hospital initiatives with the goals of Progressive Care Unit.  

In further evidence of her commitment, Melissa serves on the Critical Care Education board that was developed based on feedback from the staff engagement survey. She assists with monthly lunch and learns, seeking provider collaboration and collecting ideas from the staff.  

Lastly, Melissa is often asked to sit on peer interviewing panels to determine if nurse candidates seeking a position in the PCU are a good fit for unit.

Her engagement, commitment and clinical excellence motivates the entire team and brings them all to a higher level of practice. 

HCA Excellence in Nursing:  Compassionate Care 

Courtney Millward, RN, Diabetes Educator

Courtney Millward, RN, is EIRMC’s Diabetic Educator. frequently recognized by patients and their families for being an excellent nurse. She has a passion for doing things the correct way and an innate ability to lift others, to teach while inspiring change. 

Although the diabetic educator role is new to Courtney, she demonstrates exceptional nursing knowledge and expert skills, and applies both with compassion and integrity. 

Courtney connects with patients and provides a level of personal empathy that is truly appreciated. She has taken the initiative to stay up to date with evidence-based interventions. 

Courtney is also a fantastic patient advocate and goes above and beyond to help patients with diabetes management.  

One recent example occurred when Courtney came in at 9:30 at night to offer additional education and training on insulin. The patient was Spanish speaking and was overwhelmed with insulin management after being discharged. The patient needed clarification and reassurance and Courtney was willing to provide that, no matter the time of day. 

Courtney is also a humanitarian. She is always looking for ways to make hospitalization easier for patient and their families. 

For example, she worked with the Volunteer Auxiliary to get blankets to provide comfort for patients at end of life. She also created a cupboard where numerous different items can be found that are just “nice touches” for hospitalized patients. 

Courtney also organized a book drive for the auxiliary. She did this when she identified the need that patients need something to read while in the hospital. 

Courtney is a kind and generous person who exemplifies compassionate care at EIRMC.

HCA Healthcare Innovator Award 

Matt Egan, RN, Float Pool  

Matt Egan, RN, was developing his final project to complete his Bachelors of Science in Nursing program.   He began to look at the use of external catheters, which is attached to suction, tethering patients and discouraging movement.  Usage is prevalent, even on patients who should be up and moving. 

He spent hours interviewing nurses, patients, and physical therapists, auditing charts, and reviewing supply chain data. It all told the same story: overuse of external catheters can lead to reduced physical activity, resulting in decreased muscle and increased rehabilitation time.  

After identifying the problem, Matt worked with Infection Prevention to establish criteria for appropriate use of external catheters.  He helped set guidelines for changing them out, and developed bedside education to ensure patient safety.

And EIRMC is now piloting this program…. because of Matt’s passion for patient safety. 

Matt has shown to be committed to the care and improvement of human life. Matt’s work to identify opportunities for external catheter placement usage, criteria, clinical education, was certainly innovative, and more importantly, a huge benefit to patients.  

About EIRMC: The largest medical facility in the region, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) is a full-service hospital with over 300 patient beds. It serves as the region’s healthcare hub, serving Idaho, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park and Montana. With a Level II Trauma Center; Level I ICU; the region’s only pediatric intensive care unit; the most experienced Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the region; and the state’s only Burn Center, EIRMC provides valued and vital resources to the communities it serves.


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