Ocala Health April 12, 2016

Ocala Health honored several employees and volunteers during its recent Awards of Distinction ceremony, which included the HCA Frist Humanitarian Award, Excellence in Nursing Award, and Innovators Award. The ceremony was held simultaneously on the campuses of Ocala Regional Medical Center and West Marion Community Hospital via web conference.

The Frist Humanitarian Award was created to recognize individuals at HCA-affiliated facilities who demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and their community. The Frist Humanitarian Awards are given annually in recognition of the humanitarian spirit and philanthropic work of the late Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr., a founder of HCA. Virginia Dunbar and John Boardway were recognized in the volunteer category. Deborah Wright, RN in Ocala Regional's Surgical ICU and Brigitte Smith, RN of West Marion's Surgical Services received the award in the employee category.

Excellence in Nursing/Compassionate Care category went to Lorna Garcia, RN on West Marion's second floor med/surg unit. At Ocala Regional, Katie Sullivan, RN, third floor medical unit, received the Excellence in Nursing/Compassionate Care award. Robert Lonadier, RN, was awarded Excellence in Nursing/Mentoring award for his effort as a member of the Trauma Progressive Care unit.

The final honors went to three individuals who were recognized for their novel approaches to providing healthcare services. In the performance improvement category, Carrie Garay, a member of the Case Management team, discovered a more efficient way of processing certain patient information within Ocala Health's computer system. Karen Lynch, RN with Outpatient Services, developed creative ceiling tile messaging to communicate falls prevention information to patients while lying in bed. Lynch's ceiling tile concept in the quality and patient safety category also earned her recognition at the North Florida Division level.

Top honors went to Joy Joyce with Advanced Imaging Centers for an idea that has already saved Ocala Health nearly $53K. A nuclear medicine gastric emptying study requires a patient to consume a meal consisting of a scrambled egg that is tagged or bonded with a radioactive tracer. Most nuclear medicine departments purchase these special eggs from a nuclear pharmacy, costing upwards of $370.25 per dose. By having a nuclear medicine tech create radioactive eggs in-house, Ocala Health's imaging department is recognizing a $312 savings per study. Joyce's cost saving idea has earned her recognition at the North Florida Division and national levels, and will be implemented at HCA hospitals across the country because of its significant financial impact.