Methodist Hospitals Honors Employees with 2017 Service Awards Banquet

Methodist Hospitals Honors Employees with 2017 Service Awards Banquet
By: Taylor Irby Last Updated: March 25, 2017

Methodist Hospital held their 2017 Service Awards Banquet on Friday. The banquet served to honor and show appreciation for every employee who has worked at Methodist for more than 5 years.

Sue Reed, President, and CEO of the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce opened the ceremony with a few words.

“I am so honored to be here this evening to say a few words of appreciation for all of the hard work that you do on behalf of our chamber of commerce, and the Town of Merrillville, and the City of Crown Point,” Reed said. “Hospitals have a major impact on the success of a community, and we are so fortunate to have Methodist hospitals here in Merrillville. When families, employers, are looking to locate into an area, they look to several factors, of course, quality schools, affordable housing, but most importantly they need quality healthcare that is accessible to their family, as well as for employers for their workers and we have that in Methodist Hospital. Every single employee that works in every single department contributes to the success of the hospital.”

Methodist Hospital President and CEO Raymond Grady discussed the reason for the event.

“This is a signature event for us because it’s an opportunity to say thank you to our employees for the commitment that they have made to our organization,” Grady said. “We wouldn’t be what we are without their support, their commitment, the fact that they’ve been loyal for all these years, that means a lot. The employees that have been here for 40 years grew up in this organization. That’s part of our success. They’ve been around a long time, they know and understand how we make decisions, they know and understand our standards when it comes to caring, so they serve as a way of helping other people learn our values and pass that wisdom on to other people.”

The banquet featured dinner, where every employee could spend time with their guests and enjoy a great meal. After dinner, the event continued with appreciation remarks from Dr. Angelique Brown, President of the Methodist Hospital's Medical Staff.

“It's my pleasure to be here this evening to speak on behalf of the Methodist Hospitals physicians. I thank all of you for your years of dedication,” Brown said. “As physicians, we rely on every single one of you for the care of our patients, and we understand that it takes a team. A team made up of doctors and nurses, of course, but it also takes a staff that supports those doctors and nurses. Laboratory staff, housekeepers, ground keepers, transport, room service, as well as those that work in finance, case management, and other functions that are related to hospital work. We cannot be successful and care for our patients without your support.  On behalf of the Methodist medical staff, I thank you for your loyalty and service.”

The first award of the night was awarded to the Safety Star of the Year. The award goes to someone who models safe behavior by striving to protect patients from errors or harm. This year, that award went to Vesna Ruiz, who realized that a doctor had ordered a test that could harm a patient, and was able to make sure the patient received a different test.

The next award was the Humanitarian of the Year Award. The award goes to an employee that has made a difference in the world surrounding Methodist. The award this year went to Ona Zilenas. She earned the award because she is dedicated to serving her community at work and in her private life. When not at work she volunteers at the Nazareth House, a 24 hour a day foster home for medically traumatized babies and young children. She also goes above and beyond searching out community resources for patients in need, and she finds creative ways to meet patient needs for transportation, medication, or any other needs they might have.

The program went to include an award for Employee of the Year. To earn this award an employee must provide an outstanding contribution, have exceptional accomplishments, and demonstrate the values Methodist Hospitals holds dear. 16 people were nominated this year, but Jennifer Kirk went the most above and beyond. She was always willing to stop what she’s doing to help others. Her co-workers have seen generosity towards patients and their families, which even included purchasing and taking antibiotics to a patient who could not afford them.

The Leader of the Year award embodies the values, mission, vision and model of caring that Methodist upholds. This year, the award went to two people: Dena McCormick and Kim Innes.

McCormick leads by example. She’s wildly respected among her peers and has built a strong compliance program that continues to grow, according to President of Methodist Hospitals Raymond Grady.

Innes has had so much on her plate. She is leading and participating in important programs in the hospital, while earning an MBA at night, and training for the Chicago marathon. 

The evening also included recognition for all employees who had worked 5 to 40 years in Methodist Hospitals. All of the employees, from 5 to 30 years of service were asked to stand and were applauded. Everyone received their respective pin. One person from each table took a beautiful centerpiece bouquet of assorted flowers and roses.

Each of the 35 and 40-year employees was joined at the podium by their supervisors who had nothing but praise for all of their work and dedication. Each employee over 35 years enjoyed a video from their teams saying congratulations. The 40-year employees arrived by limo.

“Our theme tonight was an evening under the stars, and we wanted to give our 40-year employees the red carpet experience they deserve,” said Tracey Crandall, Vice President, Chief Human Resource Officer.

She went on to talk about how important the care the employees provide really is.

“It is so meaningful to see the years of service. Knowing that Methodist has been part of the community for 100 years is amazing, and our Methodist employees are so embedded in the community and they care so much, which is a joy to watch in their everyday delivery of care.”

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