Seven Honored with URMC Chairman’s Excellence Awards

January 27, 2004

During the annual meeting of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Board yesterday, Chairman Roger Friedlander presented the Chairman’s Excellence Awards to seven URMC employees whose professional and personal standards exemplify quality patient care.  In its seventh year, the Excellence Awards is a prestigious honor, as it is the only award recognizing employees from throughout Strong Memorial Hospital and Eastman Dental Center.

John Borrelli, director of finance and administration for the Eastman Dental Center and Department of Dentistry, was honored for his administrative oversight of the department.  A 17-year veteran of the Medical Center, Borrelli oversees the research, education and patient care enterprises within Dentistry, managing a $25 million budget and seven directors. 

Mark Gestring, M.D., director of the Strong Regional Trauma Center, has had a profound and positive impact on Strong’s trauma service since joining the Medical Center in 2000.  From revising trauma triage criteria, to researching and ordering trauma-specific equipment, to meeting one-on-one with the EMS community, Gestring has worked to make every aspect of the trauma service better so that patients have the best chance at survival.  

For almost three decades, Respiratory Therapist Salvatore Giordanella, R.R.T., has been a mainstay of the respiratory care department at Strong.  His compassionate work has earned him praise from patients and staff alike.  He also serves as equipment manager, and recently overhauled the inventory system to simplify ordering and stocking equipment.

For the past 13 years, Laurie Kopin, R.N., A.N.P, senior nurse practitioner and manager of the Strong Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, has helped to improve and expand Strong Health’s cardiac rehabilitation unit.  She has transformed a program that had two part-time nurses and 48 patients when she took over in 1991 into one of the region’s largest programs, with more than 1,000 patients annually and 27 nurses on staff.  As a nurse practitioner, she also maintains a patient caseload herself, serving as a role model to her staff and as a coach to patients recovering from heart attacks.

David Lane, director of the Ambassador program, joined Strong seven years ago, and in that time has built up a thriving program responsible for helping patients and their visitors find their way through Strong Memorial Hospital.  In his role, Lane oversees 16 paid staff and 40 volunteers that collectively contribute over 7,500 hours annually.  Ambassardors play a critical role in establishing Strong’s reputation, for they are often the first and last contact patients have at the hospital. 

Daniel O’Connor, lead analyst for clinical systems, joined Strong in 2000 after a career as a registered nurse, where he worked at Strong among other hospitals.  O’Connor manages 15 people and serves as the point person for Strong’s Physician Order Entry system (POE) to Strong, the computerized system responsible for eliminating physicians’ handwritten orders for medications and tests. O’Connor was the person responsible for customizing the system so that it would work for every inpatient unit in the hospital.  Today, Strong is one of the few institutions in the nation with 100 percent POE implementation.

Dawn Urquhart, R.N., nurse manager, cardiology unit, has a unique and important role for helping to provide care for 3,500 patients Strong cares for each year through its cardiology department.  She is nurse manager of the cardiovascular step-down unit, which each year discharges about 2,300 patients, and also oversees the cardiac-catherization and the electrophysiology lab, which perform close to 10,000 procedures annually.  Dawn also serves as the “bed manager” for the floor, optimizing patient flow in and out of the unit.

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Germaine Reinhardt
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