PFCC Program announces the 2015 HOPE and JOY Award winners and finalists

Across campus, faculty and staff are working to make U-M true leaders and the best in many fields. But, here at the health system, being the best means more than just excellent clinical care.  The Evan Newport HOPE Award was established to formally recognize the ongoing patient and family-centered care practices and initiatives occurring across the health system. Those nominated are engaging patients and families in meaningful ways that improves care as well as the experience. This very special award – with its simple and spirited origin inspired by the Newport family – “Honoring Our Patients Everyday” – honors the people and teams embracing this idea of HOPE and how they lead by example in partnership and collaboration with patients and families.

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This year there were over 100 nominees for individuals and teams who demonstrate ongoing commitment to the methods of Patient & Family Centered Care practices. The award winners were announced on December 10 at a packed assembly in Ford Auditorium. The award ceremony also celebrated the many patient advisors across the health system that partner with UMHS on projects, training, policies, and programs – looking at ways our health system can improve the quality, safety, and care for all patients. The JOY Award honors those who went above and beyond as PFCC advisors.

The winner of the 2015 Individual Adult Services HOPE Award is Dr. Lena Napolitano, Professor of Surgery & Division Chief of Acute Care Surgery including Trauma, Burn, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery.

“Dr. Napolitano is an exceptional example of living and breathing the core principles of Patient and Family Centered Care,” wrote Mary Gagnon, RN, on behalf of the SICU.  “She does not ‘see’ patients for 15 minutes on rounds each day. She examines, explains, clarifies, directs, reassures, listens, hugs, cries, laughs with every patient and family several times each and every day as their needs dictate. In our 30 years here at UMMC, we have never met another person who is more of an advocate for patients and families.”

Laundry Services was the winner of the Team Adult Services HOPE Award. The team was recognized for reaching out to the PFCC Program as partners and engaging with patients and families in defining the direction and goals of the department. “Looking at the gowns was a great place to start – and this team worked with patients to redesign gowns to “right size” for tweens and gowns that provide dignity,” said PFCC Program Director Molly Dwyer-White. “Coming up with pajama bottoms was the winning solution. They work behind the scenes to make sure patients and families have clean laundry, towels, and even digging through the laundry to find a lost lovey. This group works very hard – and has heart.”

For Children’s, Women’s, and Psychiatry Services (CW&P), Elsa Weber won the Individual HOPE Award and Craniofacial Anomalies Program won the Team CW&P HOPE Award. Weber has worked diligently to create a PFCC culture in the Mott Peri-Op area, collaborating with staff, the PFCC Program, patients and their families to streamline the discharge prescription process, create consistency around parent presence in anesthesia induction and recovery, and assisting families when they’ve had an upsetting experience the day of surgery. In a fast-paced and stressful environment, Elsa strives to exemplify what PFCC is – efforts to create partnerships among patients, families, staff, and faculty. As her nominator said, “All patients and all institutions deserve to have an ‘Elsa’!”

The Craniofacial Anomalies Program was nominated by a parent of one of their patients who wrote: “We have never felt that the team has made decisions for us without our input. The staff has always greeted them by name and been so welcoming even if they haven’t seen them in a long time. When my child was not particularly excited about speech therapy, one of the physicians explained to my child that sometimes when people can’t understand what you are saying they may stop listening, and he would never want that for my child because he knows what they have to tell the world is so important. ” The team also finds ways to actively collaborate with patients and families to develop activities that promote dignity and empowerment, such as: Glamour Days, picnics, Picture This! Program, and awareness campaigns.

Georgiann Zeigler and James Pantelas won JOY Awards for their volunteer work as a PFCC Advisors. Pantelas is one of the program’s longest standing advisors having served eight years. He has served as a patient and family advisor on the Mott Continuum of Care Committee, Pediatric Ethics Committee, Mott Executive Committee and the Dad’s Committee.  He has presented to the UM schools of nursing, social work and medicine helping to mold our future healthcare providers. He has co-presented at IPFCC national conferences, partnered on two IRBs, and is a patient liaison for other national healthcare initiatives.

Ziegler joined the PFCC Program in March, 2013 and is a member of the UH Patient Family Staff Advisory Committee, 6B Unit Based Committee, and the Volunteer Recognition Committee. Recently, she volunteered as a small group facilitator for the new PFCC Medical School Curriculum and a team lead on the UH PFSAC/Hospitalist Group Project, developing a workshop focused on patient/physician relationships. Georgiann also assisted 6B with the startup of a unit bereavement program. This program enables the nurses or staff members to offer a crocheted afghan, made by Georgiann, to 6B patients who are transitioning into hospice care. “She is an amazing woman and PFCC advocate,” wrote 6B Nurse Supervisor Sandra Kendziora.

The HOPE Awards were originally established seven years ago at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Individual Finalists for Adult Services were:

Stacy Brand

Joumana Dekmak

Bethany Lee-Lehner

Susanne Pryce

Katrina Tabor

Brian Tolle

Adult Services Team Finalists:

Central Nursing Orientation

Comprehensive Cancer Center PFAB

Office of Clinical Safety

Radiology Oncology

Children’s, Women’s, and Psychiatry Services Individual Finalists:

Julie Blaszczak

Cori Davis

Kathy Ficaj

Kim Kurzeja

Dr. John Park

Deb Rooney

Children’s, Women’s, and Psychiatry Services Team Finalists:

Adolescent Health Initiative

Congenital Heart Center

Pediatric Audiology

Pediatric Dialysis Creative Arts Team

JOY Award: James Pantelas (CW&P); Georgiann Zeigler (Adult Services)



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