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Living the Mission & Values Awards

It is an honor to be nominated for this award, and we recognize the following nominees for their extraordinary contribution to the Health Ministries of Ascension Health.

Nicole Bennett
Ministry Service Center Indianapolis, Ind

As Leave Management Manager at the Ministry Service Center (MSC), Nicole Bennett has led the development of a leave management process that ultimately will benefit every Health Ministry. She has carefully reviewed, monitored and tweaked the leave management training process to identify and address all potential legal and administrative issues. Her director calls her “an extreme asset” to the success of the MSC. Nicole and two other MSC staff have also led a volunteer effort at a nearby Health Ministry, creating a series of special events to bring some joy and love to hearing-impaired children there. Nicole models creativity, integrity and dedication to the Mission and Values, inspiring others to emulate her efforts in their own work.

Olive Dennis
Providence Hospital Washington, D.C.

Despite its 55-year age, Carroll Manor, Providence’s long-term care facility, is renowned for its spotlessly clean and safe condition. That is due to “Miss Olive’s team,” and its dedicated leader, Olive Dennis. As the long time supervisor of housekeeping at Carroll Manor, Olive was driven by a fundamental commitment to human dignity. For her, it was not about keeping a clean building. It was always about keeping the home of her elderly residents in order. Her respect for others, for the environment and for her work lives on, even after her recent retirement, as “Miss Olive’s Way” continues to be embraced by the associates she trained and coached.

Chad Dieterichs, MD
Seton Healthcare Family Austin, Texas

A Seton anesthesiologist, Dr. Dieterichs has helped lead Seton’s Best Practices Implementation Committee that champions the adoption of best practices to improve clinical quality. But it is with the Eels on Wheels Adaptive Scuba Club that Dr. Dieterichs truly expresses his commitment to the Ascension Health Mission. For 10 years, he has served as president of this nonprofit, which teaches children with quadriplegia, paraplegia and other disabilities to scuba dive. Through Adaptive Diving, he and other volunteers make it possible for these children to experience the freedom and excitement of doing things in the water that they are unable to do in a wheelchair. Those who witness this transformation have a totally different perspective of what life is like with a disability.

Emma “Marty” Dyson
AHIS/Shared Information Services Evansville, Ind.

Marty Dyson is a Senior Analyst who leads the Shared Information Services Custom Programming Team. In that role, she assigns and prioritizes work requests, collaborating with Health Ministry staff and her own team to meet everyone’s needs. Marty also leads most of her Health Ministry’s Mission activities, recruiting and encouraging others to participate in fundraisers, parties, special events and volunteer activities to help those less fortunate. Her dedication led to adoption of Caze Elementary School in a low-income area of Evansville. Under Marty’s leadership, AHIS has collected school supplies and teaching resources, and distributed Christmas gifts and clothing to the students. Her motivation? “To give these children a chance to succeed.”

Mohammad Ghazi, MD
St. Mary’s Healthcare Amsterdam, N.Y.

Outstanding leaders are those that have both vision and the ability to convince others to embrace that vision. Dr. Ghazi is that type of leader. As chairman of St. Mary’s Board of Trustees from 2006-2012, Dr. Ghazi guided the merger of St. Mary’s Hospital and Amsterdam Memorial, creating a combined healthcare system that benefits the local community. His gentle, open and persistent style won over a diverse set of stakeholders, with each group feeling its concerns and hopes were heard and addressed. Dr. Ghazi built a culture marked by collaboration, Mission focus, spirituality and continuous learning, and its impact will be felt for years to come.

Tracie Loftis
St. Vincent’s HealthCare Jacksonville, Fla.

Every day, Tracie Loftis demonstrates a commitment to serving all persons, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. It manifested itself in her mission trip to Haiti, where she purchased supplies and reorganized purchasing processes. It is evident in her role as System Director, Mission Operations, where she takes steps to ensure dignified care for patients and their families living in poverty, as well as associates in need of emergency financial assistance. Her commitment to the Mission and Values led to her being appointed Director of Pastoral and Vincentian Services, overseeing the Health Ministry’s chaplains even though she had no background or training in that field. That group now praises her for her inspirational leadership.

Debbie Perez
Daughters of Charity Services of San Antonio San Antonio, Texas

Debbie Perez is known around San Antonio as a “MacGyver.” In other words, she specializes in making something out of nothing. Working with seniors throughout the area, she often goes the extra mile to help them, whether it’s securing a much-needed air conditioner, lining up socialization activities for homebound seniors, or arranging for housing for homeless individuals. Debbie’s respect and compassion for those she serves reflect our Values of Reverence, Service of the Poor, Wisdom, Integrity, Creativity and Dedication. Client satisfaction surveys regularly sing her praises: clients trust her and know she will always treat them with respect.

Kevin Taylor, MD
Lourdes Health Network Pasco, Wash.

Dr. Taylor is a family practitioner and medical leader whose creativity and dedication motivate other physicians, associates and volunteers to experiment with new ideas. As champion of a new “open access model of primary care” designed to enhance productivity, efficiency and quality patient services, he was the first to initiate the model in his own practice. Dr. Taylor also championed an ambulatory clinic electronic health record, writing templates and experimenting with changes in his own practice to make it even better. His deep faith also inspires others. Dr. Taylor truly lives the Mission, not only as a leader, but as a caregiver, mentor and colleague.

Trissa Torres, MD, MSPH, FACPM
Genesys Health System Grand Blanc, Mich.

Within Genesys and across the country, Dr. Torres is known for her efforts to lead the transformation of patient care. She serves as Medical Director of Genesys HealthWorks, an innovative population health initiative. Over 15 years, she has evolved this model to help improve community health, contain costs, and improve the healthcare experience of patients and communities. HealthWorks seeks to “meet people where they are” with the appropriate support to adopt healthy behaviors and lifestyle choices. Under her leadership, HealthWorks has set the standard within Genesys and the community for care delivery, and Dr. Torres is working to share the model statewide and on a national level as a framework for healthcare reform.

Sr. Betty Veenhuis, CSJ
Borgess Health Kalamazoo, Mich.

When associates at Borgess Health seek comfort, wisdom, strength or support, they turn to Sr. Betty Veenhuis. One of her lasting influences has been an empathy training program she developed to help associates reflect on the reasons they chose a healthcare career and how our Values meet the needs of patients and their families when they are integrated into daily practices. Many staff have commented that this training has renewed their passion for healthcare and Ascension Health’s Mission. In this and many other areas, Sr. Betty has had a lasting effect on Borgess. Her legacy will benefit the organization and the community for many years to come.

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