Values Champion Nomination Stories




John Bajor
Assistant Manager 
Transport-Valet, Delnor

Nomination submitted by Kim Thomas, Manager, Nursing Office, Delnor
Accountability is about taking ownership for our actions. When I think of accountability, one individual comes to mind. John Bajor takes accountability for his actions, encourages others to share his passion for patient care and always considers how we can make their experience top notch. He is forward thinking and plans ahead. His commitment to our patients is truly above and beyond. 
Recently, John approached me to discuss construction of our elevators and patient transport, concerned about how this project would impact patient care. He asked leaders to brainstorm patient transport options if a major elevator unexpectedly went down, and then he took those ideas, personally worked through concerns and made recommendations to the team. Because of his commitment, we were able to come up with a solution and be prepared to best serve our patients. 
Each day, each of us leads by example. Whether you realize it or not, you are influencing those around you. John shares his enthusiastic fist pumps to motivate others to provide excellent care. He is a role model to his colleagues and staff. We are lucky to have him work for our patients within Delnor Hospital.  
Lauri Camp
Diagnostic Imaging, CDH

Nomination submitted by Christine Kautz, Strategic Planning Project Manager, Patient Satisfaction, CDH
Accountability is a difficult character attribute to achieve because part of being accountable means you do it all the time. In other words, accountability doesn't take a day off. When I first met Lauri Camp three years ago, I was immediately impressed by her deep knowledge of her role as a sonographer and her understanding of why many of us go into health care: to care for patients. Now she is the manager in her area, and I have seen her actually get excited when talking about ways to hold her staff accountable in a positive, collaborative way. She and some of her teammates collectively rolled out a program for peer-to-peer accountability within Diagnostic Imaging two months ago. She went to each modality, solicited their input and then spelled out what behaviors represent excellent care. Her first statement to her team was, "Hold me accountable too!" Lauri has taken on challenges within her department with a level of presence I respect. She is there for her team. She doesn't just talk the talk, she walks the walk. I think Lauri Camp is an excellent accountability champion.

Patricia Dierks, RN
Clinical Specialist
IMCU 2 West, Delnor

Nomination submitted by Susan Whildin,  Director, Critical Care Services, Delnor
Patricia has worked extensively to assure safe patient care around sepsis cases. With the recent upgrade to the sepsis BPA, Patricia worked tireless in collaboration with her counterpart, Alex Johnson, at CDH to roll out the best education for all nursing staff and work through the algorithm for suspected sepsis. This is so vitally important, as often times the signs and symptoms go undetected. Patricia collaborated with many of her peers, and rounded on each and every teaching opportunity around sepsis to assure that the recognition and treatment of sepsis was acknowledged. Patricia spends much time on and off of the clock, and always says, "If you have a problem... just call me; I will help." She shows great accountability by sharing the knowledge that she has and assuring best practices are being followed. Because of her great work, sepsis is getting recognized earlier and lives are being saved.
George DiLeonardi
Safety and Security Services

Nomination submitted by Laurel Ann Peterson,  Administrator, Patient Safety, CDH
In his role as chairperson of the Cadence Health Environment of Care Committee, George is accountable for ensuring the safety of everyone who enters our campus, whether employee, physician, visitor or patient. His scope of responsibility involves ensuring the safe management of our campus buildings and grounds, equipment, utilities, and hazardous materials, as well as fire safety, emergency management, and general safety and security. He does this by effectively empowering and engaging experts within Cadence Health to be accountable for their specific areas. He keeps us all on task, while positively providing guidance and resources as needed. When George says he will do something, you know that he will honor that commitment. George does all of this with a sense of ease and professionalism that is a role model for us all.

Darren Kaplan
Proton Center, CDH

Nomination submitted by Stacey Schmidt, Manager, Medical Dosimetry, CDH Proton Center
Since Darren started at the CDH Proton Center in 2011, he has time and time again shown tremendous accountability in everything he does. Darren's can-do attitude allows him to consistently carry a full patient load, while always being willing to stop what he is doing to help out a fellow teammate in need. He will stay late in order to finish a patient's treatment plan in time to prevent a delay in starting treatment, even one time going as far as cancelling his flight and delaying his vacation in order to make this happen. If I give Darren a task, he continually follows through, and I never have to worry if it will get done or not. Darren also demonstrates accountability to his patients by spending hours perfecting his treatment plans. He goes above and beyond to ensure that his patients are receiving the most optimal treatment plan, even if that means spending his weekend or evenings to ensure that happens. Darren is respected by all of his teammates, including peers from other departments. He epitomizes not only accountability, but all of the other I-CARE values as well, and we are thrilled to have him as part of our team. 

Peter Prisco
Respiratory Care Practitioner, CDH

Nomination submitted by Patti DeJuilio Manager, Respiratory Therapy, CDH
Peter is truly a dedicated and expert clinician at Cadence Health, and is professional and accountable for excellent care every day. He is at work one hour early every day, not clocked in, but just in case he is needed to make assignments or help out another staff person. Although he is not a clinical respiratory coordinator, he takes ownership of all of the everyday functions in the department. He goes above and beyond, assessing rental needs, staffing, product implementation and evaluation, and he is always willing to educate any of the staff on anything. Peter has 32 years of experience and is extremely knowledgeable. He takes complete ownership of nitric oxide monitoring, quality control and oversight, and is accountable for staff needs on his shift and the next. He independently performs duties that he sees are necessary while working very hard and efficiently to meet all of his patients’ needs also.
Respiratory Care is currently going through a transition, without a day shift clinical respiratory coordinator. Without being asked, Peter put himself in charge and has essentially stepped into the supervisor role. He is viewed as a leader in our department, and the ownership that he takes of our operations is invaluable!  


Discover the shared values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence that support the outstanding care for which Cadence Health is known. Throughout 2014 we will be celebrating members of the Cadence Health team who demonstrate extraordinary values leadership. The following employees were been nominated by their peers, staff or leader, and chosen as our six Compassion values champions.

Julie Nudo
Patient Care Technician,
Medical Care Center 4A 4B 4C, CDH

Nomination submitted by Andrea Nudo, Administrative Tech, Emergency Room, CDH
My mom has worked at CDH for nineteen years as a Patient Care Technician. I was hired as a Patient Transport in January of 2012, and since then have become a Patient Care Technician just like my mom. I have had numerous people tell me how caring and compassionate my mother is. I have always felt a responsibility to live up to her name and reputation.

Patients, doctors, and nurses have all recognized me as "Julie's daughter" and rave about how great of a person and employee she is. Whenever I see or talk to my mom while she is working, she is always busy, tending to often a dozen patients at a time. She is widely known to go above and beyond for patients who need the extra attention. On several occasions, she has had to provide care for homeless patients. On several occasions over the years, my mom will have the patient’s clothes washed, or bring in a fresh outfit and pair of shoes for them.

Last Christmas, my mom had been taking care of a particularly ill patient who had young children that she was obviously having a hard time caring for. My mom bought and wrapped gifts for the kids, the patient, and the patient's elderly parents, just so that they would have something to open on the holiday. It is not out of character for my mom to attend the wake of a patient who had passed away on her floor, going above and beyond for their friends and family who are mourning their loss. Even on her busiest days, she is known to spend extra time tending to her patients' comfort.

Not only does she show compassion for patients, but my mom also surpasses expectations for her coworkers. If someone is trying to switch shifts to make their child's championship game, or dance recital, my mom is willing to help. She is the most generous person that I know and is compassionate in every sense of the word. Like most teenage girls, I was once embarrassed of my mom. Now, I could not be more proud to be Julie's daughter. She is an incredible individual and deserves every ounce of recognition. I can only hope to be half of the Patient Care Technician that she has been for nineteen years.

Brian Czapko, RN
Staff Nurse, Emergency Room, CDH

Nomination submitted by: Laurie Berryman, RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Professional Development, CDH
Brian simply "ran into" an old emergency room employee who has since been unable to find work after an injury left her unable to work in our department. He felt such compassion for her and her situation that he decided to take action. He reached out to the entire department to ask for assistance for a team member. Had he not brought this to our attention we would have never known how she was struggling. Because of his efforts, we were able to raise over $1350.00 for her and her family. He presented this gift to her as a surprise, asking her to lunch and giving her the gifts in the form of a $500 gift card, over $750 cash and a Thanksgiving basket full of goodies for her and her family. He then thanked the entire department for their generosity, heart and caring for an old co-worker. This demonstrated a huge amount of compassion from a single guy who was just trying to do something nice for an old coworker in need. I found his actions especially generous and admirable.

Karen Pugliese
Chaplain, CDH

Nomination submitted by Gail Gilberto, RN, Manager House Supervisor, CDH
There is not one story; there are dozens. Chaplains are expected to be compassionate, but Karen's ability to express and share her compassion is extraordinary and unique. Whether with a patient, their family, or staff, Karen has repeatedly supported and helped heal by expressing her compassion through her words, the importance of rituals and her very presence. Recently, Karen’s amazing compassion was evident in her organizing memorial services for three Cadence Health staff members who passed away within a short period of time. Last year she was instrumental in creating an incredible experience when she partnered with a hospice nurse to plan a wedding at the bedside of a patient who was too ill to attend her daughter’s wedding. It was the patient’s lifelong dream to hear her only daughter say her wedding vows. Karen understood the importance of that. The wedding took place at the patient’s bedside with a rabbi, a priest, the bridal party, cake and all! The patient passed away a little more than a day later. Her dream was realized and that is a memory that her loved ones will cherish forever. Just being with her makes a person feel better. There is a certain look she possesses and shares. Many know what I am speaking of. She is a gift. We are blessed to have her.

Lisa Pawlik
Patient Care Technician,
Medical Care Center 4A 4B 4C, CDH

Nomination submitted by MCC Leadership Team
We are nominating Lisa because she goes out of her way to meet the needs of our patients. She does not give a second thought to purchasing items that patients need, such as denture cleaner, puzzles, cards and games for confused patients. She truly cares for her patients, and even helped develop a Medical Care Center clothes closet for staff to donate t-shirts, new socks, hats and gloves for our homeless population discharged during the winter months. We appreciate her kindness and compassion towards our patients.

Linda Ferris, DO
Cadence Physician Group Oncology

Nomination submitted by Marianne Huml, RN Director Oncology Education and Care, Cadence Physician Group
Dr. Linda Ferris champions the value of compassion. I recently took a call at the end of a day in the Cadence Cancer Center in Warrenville, The young woman on the phone said through her tears, "my father was just diagnosed with lung cancer, and was told he does not have long to live." Without hesitating, Dr. Ferris told me to offer him an appointment with her after her last scheduled patient that same day. Accompanied by his daughters, his wife, and a niece, Dr. Ferris met with him over several hours and provided her special brand of medical expertise in a caring, unhurried way.

This man and his family express their gratitude every time they see Dr. Ferris, saying that her compassion minimized the shock of the lung cancer diagnosis. "Because Dr. Ferris cared so much for not only me, but also my wife and daughters, we were able to tackle the cancer together as a family," he says. Come to the cancer center at the end of any day of your choosing, four days out of five Dr. Ferris is staying late adding a patient struggling with a new diagnosis of cancer to her busy schedule. That's compassion!

Staff of Bartlett Convenient Care
Nomination submitted by Jana Franklin, RN Staff Nurse, Bartlett Convenient Care
I would like to share an amazing story about a very unique and outstanding group of women who display the true spirit of excellence on a daily basis, yet even outdid themselves on a certain occasion that took place last month.

As one of their coworkers, members of the Bartlett Convenient Care family became aware that my family was struggling with a series of overwhelming life challenges. These women flooded our family with concern, thoughtfulness and practical help like clothing for my kids, food, suitcases, mattresses and helping me find extra hours to work. Every need that arose, they found a way to meet it. In the midst of all these things happening, my daughter's wedding was approaching and I was struggling to figure out a way to give my only daughter a beautiful wedding with virtually no resources to draw on.

The Bartlett staff helped me meet this huge challenge, working out every detail--from finding a place for the wedding, to offering their homes, dresses and veils to borrow, wedding decorations, vases and shower favors, cutting herbs from their own gardens and flowering branches from their yards. No stone was left unturned!

Then something really amazing happened. The entire staff took off two days for the wedding and catered the entire event! They decorated the hall, adding to the decorations with items from their own homes. They took me shopping and selected and paid for a beautiful mother of the bride dress. They helped me shop for, and then purchased. a huge carload of beautiful white flowers for the reception and then spent two days making flower arrangements to fill the hall with flowers.

Then they cooked and prepared and served the wedding meal, washing endless dishes, and all the while caring for each guest according to their needs. They helped a man with diabetes by providing him with a pre-reception snack to help him when he was starting to get hypoglycemic, and also assisted those with food allergies that came through the food line. They were a wonderful representation of Cadence Health and their caring and excellent staff. They took care of everything, which allowed me to be by my daughter's side for her big day.

The wedding was beautiful, an overwhelming success thanks to the "Cadence Caterers". The bride and her new husband were thrilled. The church, wedding coordinator and guests said they had never seen the hall decorated so beautifully and many remarked how wonderful and professional the "caterers" were and a few even asked for their cards!

I would like to nominate these outstanding women who demonstrate excellence every day of their lives, but who went far beyond excellence to demonstrating caring in action far beyond what I could have ever imagined. Cadence Health should be extremely proud of these women and the wonderful way they represented our institution to the community, and for how they are a living example of what excellence looks like.



Discover the shared values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence that support the outstanding care for which Cadence Health is known.  Throughout 2014 we will be celebrating members of the Cadence Health team who demonstrate extraordinary values leadership.  The following employees were been nominated by their peers, staff or leader, and chosen as our six Integrity values champions.

Thomas Eng, DO, Cadence Physician Group
Nomination submitted by: Jessica Stobaugh, Certified Medical Assistant, Cadence Physician Group
“Without a doubt, Dr. Eng is one of the most caring and respectful individuals that I have ever met.  He makes sure to begin each day by greeting each of the staff personally and does not leave, despite a 12+ hour day, without making sure that he has said goodnight to each and every staff member.  Patients adore Dr. Eng's involved and compassionate bedside manner and the excellent overall care he provides.  He is the standard and the example that all physicians and caregivers should strive to emulate.”

Nomination submitted by: Hallie Konieczki, RN, Cadence Physician Group
“Dr. Eng demonstrates integrity in his every day actions by treating his staff, patients and family members with the utmost respect.  The favorite part of our morning is having Dr. Eng come in and greet each of the staff by name.  He proves it is the little things that matter most.”

Marianne Huml, MS, RN, APN, AOCN, Director of Oncology Education and Care
Nomination submitted by: Holly Watson-Evans, RN Epic Principle Trainer, Ambulatory
“Recently, my neighbor called with a request for a physician for her father, who needed a pancreas biopsy.  I sent Marianne an e-mail that evening and by the end of the next day she had talked with my neighbor and arranged for a physician appointment and biopsy within three days.  She took complete ownership of navigating the health care system for this patient and truly displayed why we go into healthcare in the first place.  When I thanked her for helping my neighbor, her response was, "Thank you for letting me help someone.”  My neighbor is so grateful and cannot stop singing the praises of Marianne and Cadence Health.

Beverly George, RN, Clinical Shift Coordinator, CDH Physician Treatment Center
Nomination submitted by: Debbie Stangle, RN, CDH Physician Treatment Center
‘Bev is a nurse in our Physician Treatment Center (PTC) known for her compassion and how deeply she cares for our patients.  Over the course of a couple of weeks, one of the elderly patients that comes to the came to the PTC daily for infusions started to decline mentally and physically.  All of the nurses took steps to intervene for the patient, but Bev went above and beyond.  One day this patient arrived and clearly was not herself and even stated ‘I know something is wrong.’ Even though this was at the end of her shift, Bev sat down with this patient and had a lengthy discussion with her, and then involved the social worker, the patient's family, and doctor to start a chain of events to get this patient the help she needed and respectfully transition her from independent living into the next phase of her life.  She offered to stay with this patient until her daughter arrived to pick her up as she was concerned she should not drive herself home.  This was a life changing event for this patient and Bev's compassion and respect made this as smooth as possible for this patient.”

Nomination submitted by: Karen Brock, RN,  CDH Physician Treatment Center
“Bev exudes the value of integrity in everything she does in the Physician Treatment Center. She goes the extra mile with patients and families to ensure there is no stone unturned with a patient's plan of care.  She gives our staff positive feedback for a job well done, and gets to the root of any problems in a timely manner. As a master’s prepared nurse, she has initiated the first research project in the PTC, further enhancing quality and safety for our patients.  Her commitment and passion for her profession is inspiring.” 

Danica Perisic, EVS Tech, CDH Environmental Services
Nomination submitted by: Patricia Yanez, Respiratory Care Practitioner
“This special woman greets so many each day with her kind smile, and works diligently with special care alongside and around some of our smallest and sickest patients. Because of Danica’s meticulous care, our NICU patients who are not strong enough to fight off infections are protected and safe.  Many times she delays her lunch because she gets paged to clean a room to prepare it for a new, tiny critical patient.  Everyone who has ever made contact with Danica knows she does her work day in and day out with tremendous care.”

Pat Shafer, RN, Medical Office RN, Cadence Physician Group HealthTrack Family Medical
Nomination submitted by: Mary Reilly, RN, Nursing Supervisor, Cadence Physician Group HealthTrack Family Medical
“Pat triaged a phone call from an elderly patient who lives alone and was unable to get to store to pick up some over-the-counter medicine. After work, Pat stopped by the Dominick’s and picked up the medicine and brought it to the patient. Her delivery turned into a visit with the lonely woman, and Pat told her that she would check in on her the next day. Pat followed up her visit with a care call and found out that the patient was feeling worse. She eventually convinced her to seek additional care, and arranged for home health services.  This is just one example of how Pat cares for her patients.”

Shelley Grafmyre, RN, Staff Nurse, Delnor, IV Therapy
Nomination submitted by: Kim Thomas, RN BSN MS, Manager PCS 3600 & IV Therapy, Delnor
“When you think of someone who volunteers and supports their community, typically it is the quiet, humble person who doesn’t call attention to themselves.  Shelley Grafmyre with the IV team at Delnor Hospital is that person.  Shelley has been a CASA volunteer for 3 years.  She visits children and foster families, writes court reports, presents cases to the judge, and supports the adoption process for foster families. She also volunteers for the Community Response Team in Elgin, the Citizens Police Academy, the Elgin Police and Fire Department and the Kane County Emergency Management team.  She has done such caring things as assist families at the traveling wall for Vietnam veterans find their loved one’s name on the wall, administer vaccines to the community during epidemic outbreaks and travel to Haiti to work at a cholera camp.  Shelley is an inspiration to us all.  She endlessly gives to her local community beyond the walls of our organization.  How proud I am to work with Shelley!”