Employees, Teams Receive Board Excellence Awards

March 28, 2006

During the annual meeting of the University of Rochester Medical Center Board on March 27, Board Chairman Robert Hurlbut presented the Chairman’s Excellence Awards to employees whose professional and personal standards exemplify quality patient care.  The Excellence Awards are one of the most prestigious honors for Medical Center employees, as it is the only institution-wide award recognizing employees from throughout Strong Memorial Hospital and Eastman Dental Center.

Joan Brisbane, secretary III in the Department of Psychiatry, was honored with the Clinical Support Award for her outstanding support of the Adult Ambulatory Program.  Her commitment to patients, faculty and staff, and her extraordinary work ethic have had a direct impact on patient care during her 32 years in the department, where she sets an example of excellence every day.  Brisbane resides in Honeyoe Falls.

Emily DeBuck, insurance collection specialist at the Eastman Dental Center, received the Eastman Dental Center/Dentistry Award. Her tireless dedication to patients who need assistance with the complicated paperwork involved in billing and private and state insurance reimbursement is an inspiration to all who work with DeBuck. Over the past 15 years at EDC, faculty, staff and patients have witnessed DeBuck’s integrity and her willingness to put patients first, attributes that exemplify quality and excellence.  DeBuck resides in Brighton.

Diane Hartmann, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, was recognized with the Physician Award. As associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, she maintains a thriving and busy clinical practice, specializing in geriatric women’s health, where she is known to be a tireless and compassionate advocate for her patients.  She oversees 68 ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs in her administrative role, and helped the Medical Center receive an unprecedented 6-year accreditation for our graduate medical education programs – a first for any medical school in the nation. Hartmann lives in Pittsford.

Gail Kindlon was honored with the Non-Clinical Support Award.  As manager of Strong Memorial’s patient account area, she oversees the complicated world of patient billing and processing for Strong Memorial, ensuring that the hospital accurately captures and bills for its services. Senior leadership and administrators rely on Kindlon for her sound and thorough advice, tapping into her 30+ years of experience in this area. Her ability to grasp multiple dimensions of projects, and her consistent follow through on the details has guided the seamless and efficient implementation of many projects in Strong and Highland hospitals.  Kindlon lives in Brighton.

Justine Zentner, N.P., Stroke Center Coordinator, accepted the Nursing Excellence Award.  Over the past 10 years, she has helped transform the Stoke Center into a multi-disciplinary, well-oiled machine that provides care to more than 400 patients each year. Zentner’s determined and resourceful approach led to successful collaborations with various clinical departments, resulting in seamless care for our stroke patients.  Her tireless dedication led to a standardized set of evidenced-based protocols that served as the foundation for successful bids for New York State’s Primary Stroke Center designation, as well as JCAHO’s accreditation as a Stroke Center. Zentner lives in Fairport.

A Team Award was presented to the Adult Hematology Oncology Unit 6-3400 for its superior teamwork and continuous commitment to improvement, problem-solving and patient satisfaction. The team is considered a model for excellence, providing 24/7 physician coverage and focusing on outstanding care for the body and soul. The nursing care philosophy is one of inclusion for families, providing education for both the patient and their loved ones. The award was accepted by Melissa Nash, R.N., and Marjory Earnhart, R.N.

A Team Award also was presented to the Palliative Care Team, part of the Center for Palliative Care and Clinical Ethics. The honor recognizes the successful teamwork that goes into quality patient care, provided by everyone from physicians to nurses, social workers to massage therapists. Created in 2001, the Palliative Care Team serves a wide range of patients, including those with advanced cancer; heart, lung and kidney diseases; and neurological illnesses who require specialized treatment for pain, discomfort and emotional distress as they battle a serious illness. The award was accepted by Timothy Quill, M.D., director of the Center for Palliative Care and Clinical Ethics, along with Marcia Buckley, N.P., and Laura Hogan, N.P.

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Germaine Reinhardt
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