March 24, 2021

Pillars of Excellence: Join Us in Celebrating Our Exceptional Employees

March 24, 2021

We Couldn’t Do This Without You

Thanks to All of You for Your Valuable Contributions


Rose Ann Jarmolowicz, Coffee Shop Coordinator received an award for Optimizing Collaboration. Rose Ann made a huge difference during the COVID 19 epidemic going above and beyond the call of duty. When the decision was made to close the coffee shop, she quickly worked to make sure that food not able to be utilized was moved to the main kitchen. During the closure she was redeployed to the main kitchen and was an enormous help. Rose Ann worked in the cafeteria, as a tray passer, and even deep cleaned on the patient floors to be sure everything was sanitized efficiently. She then worked on reopening the coffee shop finding new ways to make it viable again. Rose Ann faced many difficulties throughout the pandemic including losing most of her staff of volunteers who have not been allowed to return. Even during these difficult times Rose Ann maintains a great attitude and positive outlook. She is a great asset to the organization and her efforts are greatly appreciated. Thank you, Rose Ann!

Congratulate Rose Ann by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

Mary, Behavioral Health RN, was honored for her commitment to providing an exceptional patient experience. West 5 can be a challenging place to work and deliver care and was even more stressful early in the pandemic, when there were so many unknowns for staff and patients. Mary’s unique mix of empathy, diligence, grace, and willingness to be completely available to patients, is especially worthy of recognition. Mary’s presence on the unit puts patients at ease, and although she was only specifically assigned to about a percentage of the patients during each shift, other patients on the unit would regularly request to specifically speak with Mary. Mary routinely defuses escalations, which creates a safer and more therapeutic experience for the patients and staff on the unit. Mary is consistently proactive; recognizing when a patient is struggling or heading towards an escalation. She instinctively checks in with these patients and helps them manage their feelings. Mary treats everyone as an equal, helps staff feel supported in their roles, and confronts difficult situations with a pleasant determination. Thank you Mary, for providing quality, coordinated and compassionate care.

Congratulate Mary by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

Telemetry RN Ryan Stefiuk was honored with an award for Fostering and Optimizing Collaboration. Ryan has the ability to serve as a superior charge nurse for the telemetry unit. He demonstrates every CDHC value every day as he fosters collaboration by working with patients, families, and coworkers, including management, to ensure patients are cared for with the highest quality while ensuring unit throughput is efficient and effective. Ryan is able to remain compassionate to both patients and coworkers in the face of a crisis, all while maintaining a calm demeanor and using his expert clinical skills. When he is charge, the unit has an overall feeling of calmness with teamwork and integrity being at the forefront. Ryan is respectful in all of his interactions with patients and colleagues and he is a true pleasure to work with. Ryan demonstrates empathetic and compassionate care toward his patients. His ability to connect and convey a calming kindness is exceptional. Ryan is always seeking what is best for the patient. Ryan has stepped into a role of charge RN on Telemetry at CDH. He is a source of support and guidance for the Telemetry team. He ability to display empathy and compassion towards his team members is appreciated. He makes an excellent charge RN.

Congratulate Ryan by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

The Cooley Queue Walk-In Ambulatory Queueing Interface Team (also known as the WAQI Team) is represented by team lead Ed Borowski. As Cooley started the process of reopening outpatient services, it became apparent there would be an issue with being able to properly social distance patients seeking services on a walk in basis. This became a significant problem at the laboratory drawing sites both at the main campus and the offsite locations. Ed and the WAQI team were able to develop and implement an electronic queuing system that can be used to keep laboratory patients in order of arrival while allowing them to either wait outside the building, in their car, or a less congested area of the building. This queuing system can be used as a phone app, as a web app, or can be used with pagers; assuring a solution for all patients. This has made sure that patients are properly socially distanced for their safety. This system is scalable and able to be adapted to other outpatient services if desired. This application has been demonstrated for MGB as a solution for other MGB facilities as well. Ed pulled a team together to work through the design, build, testing, and training to assure the application met the needs not only of staff but of patients. This team ensured our patients and community were provided convenience in their care while being kept safe throughout the pandemic and into the future.

Find the full list of WAQI Team Members HERE.

Send a Kudos for Coworkers to the team to thank them for their achievement!

CDMG Medical Director Sari Miettinen was honored with an award for advancing Innovation & Progress. At the start of the pandemic, Sari took on the task of leading CDMG through the
development of the Respiratory Illness Clinic (RIC). This involved relocating one of the medical practices to make space for the RIC, developing the workflows, identifying and training staff, and developing EMR workflows. Sari’s ability to be innovative, and think outside the box all while leading her team through this unprecedented time, is one example of how she helped Cooley rise to the occasion to provide the care pathway for CDMG patients. Sari then expanded the role of the RIC to provide care for patients of community providers and engaged the onsite Urgent Care to partner in this endeavor. Sari not only provided coverage in the RIC as a medical provider but helped to develop and train not only the CDMG staff but also the Urgent Care staff and the nurse triage staff on the ever-changing workflow to meet the needs of the patients at the height of the pandemic. Sari worked countless hours to assure the RIC met the needs of our patients and that our staff were safe. Thank you Dr. Miettinen for your commitment to leading the development and implementation of new ideas.

Congratulate Dr. Miettinen by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

Laboratory Manager Dawn Gatzounas was recognized for her dedication to advancing Innovation & Progress. As we watched COVID emerge, one of the critical needs to patient care was providing test results in a timely fashion. Dawn has been an integral part in assuring that the patients at Cooley Dickinson are able to get a COVID result in less than an hour when the situation warrants it. Bringing new testing live is a labor intensive process due to the regulatory requirements that need to be met. Dawn worked diligently with vendors to get testing supplies for CDH so that testing was available to our patients. Dawn and her team worked to bring the lab’s first test platform live in six days this meant working virtually around the clock and then repeating the process to bring the second platform live. Being able to perform testing in our laboratory meant patients could be diagnosed sooner, which was very important for patient flow and care. Dawn also worked to develop reports that allow daily reporting of statistics such as total tests performed and total positive count. Through all of this, Dawn was calm, methodical and focused to assure all regulations were followed and staff felt comfortable in the work they were performing. The work Dawn has performed has made an incredibly positive impact in the way Cooley is able to care for their patients. Thank you, Dawn.

Congratulate Dawn by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

Inpatient Rehab Speech Therapist, Ally Jefferson, was honored for her commitment to fostering community. Ally was approached in the Atwood outpatient rehab parking lot at the end of the workday, by a very lost, and tearful elderly woman. The woman was requesting directions to a nearby nursing facility so she could visit a friend. The woman ultimately was not able to follow the directions, and Ally ended up driving to the nursing facility across town with the woman following behind her. Once safely there, the woman requested written directions back to Springfield, for her return trip home. Ally is a new full time employee at Cooley Dickinson, having worked per diem for the past 3 years. She is well liked by her colleagues for her bright personality and her compassionate and caring manner. Her recent interaction with a stranger, shows Ally’s commitment to serving the community and going above and beyond to assist a distressed person. Hopefully, the woman will spread the news of how much we at Cooley Dickinson, care about others in need. Thank you Ally, for improving the health and well being of our colleagues and neighbors.

Congratulate Alexandra by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

The Wound Care Nurses Duo includes RN’s Donna Davis and Rita Pickert, and they were recognized for providing quality, coordinated and compassionate care AND for advancing innovation & progress, by leading the development and implementation of new ideas. This dynamic duo is incredibly attentive and responsive to the needs of our patients and the nurses on the units. They are knowledgeable and approachable nurses. Rita and Donna have been instrumental in figuring out solutions for CCU patients who incurred pressure injuries due to COVID. They helped figure out what the problem was and came up with solutions to help. Rita and Donna were responsive to ALL needs and were extremely well informed and worked collaboratively with their coworkers. They are both active members on the Skin Savers team and are good educators to the nursing staff. Both Rita and Donna are experts in their field and Cooley Dickinson is so lucky to have them on our team!

Find the full list of Wound Care Nurses Duo Team Members HERE.

Send a Kudos for Coworkers to the team to congratulate them for their achievement!

Amherst Radiology and Women’s Imaging Supervisor Robin Nally received an award for Enhancing Efficiency. Throughout her career at Cooley Robin has been committed to achieving outstanding outcomes with resourceful approaches. Robin embraces her position and completes each challenge she faces with ease. In recent months she has been tasked with not only being a supervisor to her site in Amherst but at the hospital as well. During this time, she has implemented new workflow tasks to ensure quick and efficient record keeping and organization. Robin is an asset to the hospital as she takes pride in working for Cooley Dickinson and will always go above and beyond for the organization, her patients, and her staff.

Robin is requested daily as patients look for her calm, reassuring demeanor. Patients have described her as “kind, knowledgeable, patient, and gentle.” When she is not caring for the patients, she is ensuring her techs are enjoying their day and are also taken care of. Robin genuinely wants everyone she interacts with to have a wonderful day and will do everything in her power to make it
true. Thank you, Robin.

Congratulate Robin by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

Director of Lab Services Cathy Reed received an award for Optimizing Collaboration among and across individuals, teams and the system. Cathy has collaborated across the system on multiple efforts which include drive thru COVID testing, RIC clinic, and drive up flu vaccination clinics. In all three occurrences, it required a collaborative effort between the urgent care, laboratory, medical group, eCare team, and/or hospital. With drive thru testing, she has been willing to explore adding flu, strep, and RSV testing to help care for our CDMG patients and protect our clinic staff and providers. For the RIC clinic, she has coordinated providers and staff to care not only for CDMG patients, but patients across our PHO and community. She has volunteered staff to CDMG to support our drive up flu vaccine clinics.

Anytime a collaboration is needed, Cathy makes it feel seamless. She is always positive and happy to help even when she knows it will cause her a mountain of additional work. Her openness and positive attitude make it a pleasure to work with her and her team. Cathy has in mind what is best for the patient, and this ease of collaboration helps our patients receive care in the way best suited to their needs. She has no responsibility to flu vaccines, but knowing our team was challenged with staffing levels, immediately stepped forward for the health of our community.

Congratulate Cathy by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

VNA & Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Shelly Lenn received an award for Fostering Community. It takes a special person to have the strength to reach out to people experiencing loss on a daily basis. Shelly coordinates the VNA’s bereavement services and works with people of all ages who are experiencing grief. For some, the loss is expected yet devastating and others it is sudden and shocking. Shelly works with the Hospice team to offer support during the initial phases and has resources for the ongoing process. If participating in a support group isn’t someone’s cup of tea,
that’s ok, Shelly has organized walking groups and expressive art projects.

Throughout the pandemic, Shelly immediately planned and scheduled Zoom meetings to reach her established groups. For the hospice team staff where loss is a reoccurring theme, Shelly remains the staff’s shoulder to cry on, inspiration and example for best practice. Thank you, Shelly for improving the wellbeing of our patients, family members and staff.

Congratulate Shelly by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

The Critical Care COVID-19 Team was honored for their commitment to providing exceptional patient care. While the staff and providers within the Critical Care Unit always provide exceptional and compassionate care to their patients, they truly rose to the occasion during the COVID pandemic. Faced with never before encountered challenges, the doctors, nurses, techs and respiratory therapists in the CCU consistently broke down barriers encountered during this difficult time to ensure their patients and their family members received top notch care. Concerned with the surge of patients expected due to the virus, staff from CVIR, peri op and endo joined the CCU team to help care for the sickest patients, working totally outside their comfort zone and giving their all to keep our patients safe. While learning to care for patients with COVID, the CCU staff welcomed and trained additional staff members and did all they could to make sure they were comfortable in their new setting. True collaboration occurred between the intensivist team and the anesthesia team, helping to make sure all of our critically ill patients received the necessary care. Faced with constant challenges and no evidence to base practice on, the CCU COVID 19 team members developed their own best practices routines for intubation, proning , skin care and multiple other treatments. tremendous work efforts and for your commitment to keeping our community safe.

Find the full list of Critical Care COVID 19 Team Members HERE.

Send a Kudos for Coworkers to the team to congratulate them for their achievement!

Medical Assistant Khailee Paradiso received an award for Fostering Community. Khailee is exemplary when it comes to improving the health and well being of our colleagues and neighbors. Khailee is a very conscientious and knowledgeable CMA, but if there is a question, she has about patient care or something she does not know, she finds the answer. She frequently checks with the nurses to answer questions and in doing so improves the patient care and promotes collaboration with her team. Khailee steps up to help everyone she encounters, sometimes without being asked. She is aware of what needs to be done to keep the clinic running smoothly when the lead MA’s are not in the office and assists them when they are.

Thank you Khailee for your commitment to providing quality, compassionate, and personalized care for our community.

Congratulate Khailee by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

Operating Room Surgical Tech, Nicole Turner, received an award for Enhancing Efficiency. Nicky is one of the most engaged and reliable members of the OR team and is being recognized for the continuous efforts she makes to improve quality and efficiency in the operating room. She is forward thinking and very analytical, and almost always has good suggestions on how to smooth
out our service delivery. On many occasions, Nicky acts as a sounding board to help think through obstacles that don’t even relate to OR care delivery. She is able to think outside the box
and has the capacity to see things from multiple perspectives, not just her own, which is very valuable. Nicky is available, approachable, direct and helpful, and that is above and beyond her
delightful personality and evocative sense of humor. Even if you only work side by side with Nicky for 1 day a week, it feels like she is close at all times, and a great source of support to the
joint replacement program. During our COVID surge last Spring, Nicky completely jumped out of her comfort zone and helped support bedside care to some of our sickest patients in the ICU.
This is testament to her willingness to be useful and helpful no matter what the situation.

Thank you Nicky!

Congratulate Nicole by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!

The Infection Prevention Team is represented by team lead Jennifer Rivers. Heroes are all around us, and as each day passes in the COVID 19 pandemic, there are more and more examples of people going above and beyond to serve others. The Infection Prevention Team was instrumental during COVID. Their leadership and hard work were the backbone to operationalizing the Cooley Dickinson Healthcare response to the COVID pandemic. This team worked day and night to make sure all our staff, patients and community members were protected and knowledgeable about COVID. The team worked diligently with the Command Center to always make sure we were up to date on COVID policies and also worked with our local DPH providers and were instrumental in coordinating testing for our CDHC system and our local providers. This team has been the central point of contact for governmental regulations and the expertise is invaluable. They assisted with the daily DPH data collection, communicating with the community agencies and assisted in outreach to many departments in our organization. The Infection Prevention team members have been the clinical “guiding light” as we have maneuvered through the frequently unknown epidemic territory.

Thank you all for your tremendous work efforts and for your commitment to keeping our community safe.

Find the full list of Infection Prevention Team Members HERE.

Send a Kudos for Coworkers to the team to congratulate them for their achievement!

Respiratory Therapist, Heather Hammond was recognized for making a difference in the lives of our patients in the Outpatient Pulmonary Lab. Heather performs breathing test to patients who have a debilitating lung disease, our cancer patients who need to start radiation therapy, and patients who are being monitored for their lung function. She serves our patients and community with exceptional, compassionate and personalized care. Heather makes her patients comfortable and at ease even in the most difficult situations. She respects everyone who walks into the Pulmonary Lab and makes her patients feel at home, it’s just who she is. During the beginning of the pandemic, the Pulmonary Function Lab was closed, and Heather was redeployed to the inpatient side to help with the patient surge. When the PFT Lab re opened she played an instrumental part in helping to reschedule patients while following safety guidelines. Throughout her years at Cooley Dickinson, whether it was in the outpatient or inpatient setting, Heather has always upheld quality with constant focus on quality and safety with our patients.

Thank you, Heather, for never settling and always improving patient care.

Congratulate Heather by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!


Critical Care RN, Oksana Anohina was nominated for her work in advancing innovation and progress by single-handedly getting the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Age Friendly Health System (AFHS) initiative off the ground at CDH. Oksana has been working on her advanced nursing degree and chose to make her Capstone project about delirium. Oksana created a learning module on delirium, created a pre and post-test, and started a 21-day PDSA cycle with the goal to have nurses complete the EPIC-based Confusion Assessment Method for every adult older than 65. She calculated the results daily, monitored accuracy and was available to answer any questions and provide further education for any nurse who needed it. Because of Oksana – we achieved AFHS recognition and can now further develop this great work. Oksana poured her heart and soul into this project and didn’t let the challenge of COVID stand in her way. She educated the staff about the initiative, planned a kick-off celebration, and worked diligently with the Geriatrics team, IHI and her instructors to ensure this pilot went off successfully. Over 81% of the staff voluntarily participated in the learning module, the pre-and post-tests, and gave feedback on the initiative. Because of Oksana, we are growing closer to becoming an Age-Friendly Health System.

Congratulations Oksana!

Congratulate Oksana by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!


Sofia Buford, Nurse Practitioner at Hadley Family Practice, was awarded for her commitment to improving the patient experience. In her everyday practice Sofia demonstrates a deep caring and compassion for her patients and is always willing to go the extra mile for them. She frequently stays after hours to make a phone call to a patient or talk to a specialist. She is very thorough and thoughtful about her evaluations and never leaves a clinical question unanswered. The quality of her care is always excellent. Sofia likes to work collaboratively, and often asks thoughtful questions of her colleagues and helps to solve other’s questions. She is always thinking about her colleagues and willing to help others when she can. Throughout the pandemic, she has worked at the RIC and has been enthusiastic about helping her colleagues in the clinic when changes in scheduling are needed. Sofia is a true asset to the Hadley Family Practice and our community, and we are honored to recognize her for her outstanding work.

Thank you, Sofia.

Congratulate Sofia by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!


Critical Care Unit RN, Tsering Dhundup received an award for his exceptional work with providing quality, coordinated and compassionate care. Tsering exemplifies the values we all hope to have: He is caring, compassionate and patient. His outstanding characteristic is that he spends time with patients listening to them as well as anticipating their needs and going out of his way to meet them. Tsering can often be found sitting by a patient’s bed just listening. Tsering builds important connections with patients that is valuable for developing trust and supporting healing. This process can be challenging on the Critical Care units, as patients are often too sick to make that connection with others. But because of who he is and the values he expresses every day, he is able to be there for patients, providing strength and support. Tsering is a valuable member of the CCU team and is a strong collaborator with others. His combination of warmth and kindness helped the CCU team during the incredibly stressful times we have been through during the pandemic.

Thank you Tsering, for your commitment to providing an exceptional patient experience.

Congratulate Tsering by sending a Kudos for Coworkers!


VNA and Hospice Rehabilitation Team

The VNA & Hospice Rehabilitation Team are being recognized for their dedication to fostering community and improving the health and well-being of our colleagues and neighbors. The VNA & Hospice rehab Team is represented by team lead Jenny Hutchinson. The rehab team collaborates successfully, communicates well, and cares for one another both at work and outside of work. During the COVID outbreak, they quickly transitioned patients with warm handoffs to ensure the best care. Then half of the team were redeployed, but even this didn’t fracture the team – in fact the pride in those who were at the hospital shined through the difficulty. Even though the team members weren’t doing what they were hired or licensed to do, they recognized that the work they were doing was essential and critical to the safety and wellbeing of our patients, our community, and each other. Since then the team has come back together, supporting one another, thankful for the chance to make a difference and grateful for the ability to be taking care of our patients.

Find the full list of VNA & Hospice Rehabilitation Team Members HERE.

Send a Kudos for Coworkers to the team to thank them for their achievement!

3 thoughts on “Pillars of Excellence: Join Us in Celebrating Our Exceptional Employees

  1. Hello, i wanted Tatiana at Urgent Care Northampton to get recognition for her taking the extra steps to help me with my elderly father today. If not for her my father would not be getting surgery tomorrow. Amazing young lady went over and beyond we thank you Tatiana,

    1. Hi Rose,

      Thank you for leaving a comment. We’re glad Tatiana could help get your father pointed in the right direction for the care he needs, and we’ll definitely forward your kind words to her and the Urgent Care staff.

      Tom Sturm
      Cooley Dickinson Health Care

Comments are closed.