Read the inspiring stories below.
Haley Synold & Dawn Larabee
Haley Synold and Dawn Larabee
Their Story of Excellence: When a loved one dies of COVID-19 and family cannot be present with them, what can you do as a caregiver to ensure that family feels a part of the moment, even from far away?
This is the dilemma that faced our Neuro Trauma Surgical Intensive Care Unit (NTSICU) nurses at the peak of the first wave of COVID-19. Haley Synold, RN, wanted to give families a keepsake of their loved one’s heartbeat and talked to Dawn Larabee, Monitor Tech.
They found a way to encapsulate a loved one’s heartbeat that was simple to make and beautiful. Dawn, from her monitors, prints a paper strip of the patient’s heart monitor and places it in a red top lab tube, creating a beautiful personal keepsake for families. Today as I write this, 10 family members for two patients will carry their loved one’s heart home with them and won’t have to leave empty handed. What an incredible gift and innovative thinking by these two caregivers who worked together to make a huge difference for families.
Submitted by Sara Voigtritter, Infection Preventionist, Infection Control
His Story of Excellence: The CVU had a patient that was here for an extended length of stay. Due to the amount of time the patient was at the hospital, many of our nurses had the opportunity to care for him. There was one nurse, Casey Pevey, that particularly stood out for this patient. Over the many 12-hour shifts spent together, they created a unique bond.
Casey was scheduled to go on a vacation to Costa Rica and the patient was anticipated to be discharged to a facility. After returning from his vacation, Casey stopped by my office to tell me he was delivering this patient a beanie that he had brought back from Costa Rica. The patient had unfortunately been readmitted to Enloe so Casey was able to hand deliver the beanie that he had promised he would get him.
It is a simple act of human kindness like this, that can make an everlasting impression, especially during a time of need.
Submitted by Holly Abrams, Nurse Manager, CVU
Marie Daly, Robert Sutton, Shane Mariluch, Tyler Lombard & Nathan Clark
Marie Daly, Robert Sutton, Shane Mariluch, Tyler Lombard and Nathan Clark
Their Story of Excellence: Marie Daly, Lead RN Case Manager, received a call from Radiology asking for help with getting a patient his medications so he could have his procedure the following day. The patient and his wife live in Willows, and due to their age and the distance to Chico, didn’t feel comfortable driving in poor weather to get the medication. The courier was unable to assist due to being out of town. So Marie reached out to Robert Sutton, Dispatch Supervisor, explaining the scenario.
Robert came to the rescue with the help of Shane Mariluch, Paramedic Charge, and the Enloe EMS Willows crew, Tyler Lombard, Paramedic, and Nathan Clark, EMT. Marie obtained the patient’s medication, which our Outpatient Pharmacy passed on to Shane. Shane then met the ambulance crew, Tyler and Nathan, halfway between Chico and Willows. Tyler and Nathan completed the last leg of the journey and successfully delivered the needed medication to the patient’s home. Thank you to our first responders who answered the call to serve and did the right thing for the patient.
Submitted by Michelle Evans, Director, Case Management
Her Story of Excellence: On May 2, 2022, Ms. Hailey Peek, Surgery Services Scheduler, was instrumental in scheduling a complicated add-on case for the main GI department.
Hailey provided multiple options, updates, helpful information and clarifications, all while the clock was ticking toward the end of her shift late that afternoon (though she never said a word about it). She never got flustered and remained calm, friendly, and professional. Hailey was invested in helping this patient get the care they needed and wasn’t going to stop until she had all the pieces lined up for the main GI suite procedure (GI M.D., Anesthesia M.D., GI Room, Specialty RN Assist, supplies, CPT codes, information loaded from the Snap-Board, main GI charge nurse notified, etc.). She just kept going. It wasn’t until it was all confirmed by Hailey, and we hung up the phone, that I finally looked up at the clock and noticed the time. I could only smile to myself and take note of it.
The next day, the GI case went according to plan, and no one would have ever known the amount of work that went on behind the scenes to make it happen.
Thank you, Ms. Peek, for your amazing service to Enloe, our staff, our patients and our community.
Submitted by Leisa Ann Bunte, Supervisor, Digestive Diseases
Donna Larson, Jennifer Melo, Breana Feistel, Melissa Coulter, Megan Lyford, Jeff Beck, Amanda Lefor, Dave Smith, Baylee Martin, Elise Debord, Suzie Lawry-Hall and Buck August
Their Story of Excellence: On Wednesday, April 20, a patient was brought to the ED via EMS transport after suffering a medical issue while riding his bike in Bidwell Park. After a valiant effort to save him, the patient passed in our NTSICU unit. The family was grateful for the care they all received during this event.
On Thursday, April 21, the patient’s family reached out to Enloe letting us know that the patient’s phone was not returned with his belongings. However the location software on the phone continued to report that it was at Enloe. A thorough search of every unit, in which the patient was cared for, was launched. Patient Care Vice President Donna Larson, ED Managers Jennifer Melo and Breana Feistel, Melissa Coulter, NTSICU Nurse Manager, Megan Lyford, NTSICU Charge Nurse, and Jeff Beck, Admin Nursing Supervisor, assisted with the search. Additionally, NTSICU’s Amanda Lefor, the patient’s bedside nurse in his final hours, also worked very hard to find the phone. Baylee Martin, Business Development Specialist, and Chelsea Watters, Marketing Intern, searched the outdoor area and flowerbeds near the ambulance bay entrance and visitor exits. The search continued though the day Thursday, to no avail.
On Friday morning, Elise Debord, Patient Experience Manager, contacted the family again to ask if the phone’s software still reported it at Enloe and they replied that it did, but that there was only 15% battery left so time was running out. Elise realized that the exact location, indicated by the location software, was in the vicinity of where collected waste is stored for pickup. Elise called Engineering Supervisor Dave Smith, who met her near the dumpsters. He informed Elise that some of the containers had been picked up for transport at 0600 that morning, approximately an hour earlier. Rather than give up, Elise called the phone’s number; Dave heard something, but it was very noisy at that time and he was uncertain where it might be.
I received another message from the family letting me know that the patient’s belongings, returned to the family Wednesday night, contained the remains of his coat. However, the part of the coat where the pockets were, had been cut off during treatment in the field. They believed the phone was zipped in the pocket. They sent a photo of the coat so that it could be identified. By this time, the family reported that the phone was still pinging at Fourth Avenue and Magnolia, but that the software showed there was 0% power left on the phone.
I shared that news and the photo with Elise. Not to be deterred, she again visited the trash storage area, this time with Suzie Lawry-Hall, Marketing & Communications Director, and Buck August, Women’s Services Dietitian. She dialed the phone number and again asked the family to “ping” it with the software. Buck “Bat Ears” August heard one of the trash bins buzzing. By process of elimination, they narrowed down the sound to a single bin and found a plastic bag containing the remains of the coat and the phone, at the very top of the bin. The phone indicated it had 1% power remaining and the screen read “Lost iPhone. This iPhone has been lost. Please call me. It belongs to (patient name). He passed away on 4/20/22. Please return to family.”
Elise took the phone and headed to her office to call the family, during which the phone lost all power and shut down. She contacted the family and was able to place the phone into the hands of the patient’s grandson that afternoon. I received a final message from the patient’s son as soon as they heard the news that the phone had been found. It read simply, “God bless you all. We are rejoicing.”
Without the extra effort taken by everyone involved in this search, both inside the building and out, this family would have lost an important connection to their loved one. I applaud everyone involved in blessing this family with something they thought was lost forever. Thank you all!
Submitted by Jolene Francis, Vice President of Philanthropy & Communications
Her Story of Excellence: I came into the labor and delivery unit with bleeding at 25 weeks of pregnancy. I have experienced loss in the past and was terrified and hysterical. I also have had cold experiences with medical staff, which makes a terrible situation feel even worse.
The moment Nurse Jenay Holloway came to get me from the lobby, she saw that I was crying, put her arm around me and told me everything was going to be OK. I instantly felt relieved that I was in the care of someone who was taking my concerns seriously. She validated every feeling I had while providing exceptional medical care. She advocated for me to the OB about what was going on.
Thankfully I was discharged the same day without any complications, but Jenay continued her care and compassion through all the hours I was there. She gave me a hug when I was discharged and told me to come back, without hesitation, if I had any concerns. She truly went above and beyond, and I will forever remember her kindness, during a scary moment, and be grateful.
Submitted by Sydney Pepper, Patient
Her Story of Excellence: I was born at Enloe Hospital 70 plus years ago, so my roots at this facility run deep. Dr. N.T. Enloe signed my birth certificate. Many, many times I or my family have been served by your medical community. I can say that almost every experience over the years has been positive. I recently was seen in your Emergency Department for what I thought was going to be a fairly routine follow-up to a common medical issue. I seriously hesitated going, as I didn’t think my problem was serious enough to take resources from your staff, but ultimately decided to be checked out. The wait in the ED was reasonable, and the care was exceptional. I had a nurse named Alyssa, and Brittney Dixon, M.D., Emergency Medicine, treated me. Both were professional and thorough.
My initial problem was addressed, but after a CT scan, Dr. Dixon informed me of an “incidental finding.” She instructed me to consult my primary physician for further investigation. I did that promptly, as I was and am quite concerned. My primary physician indicated that I needed a different CT scan and called Enloe to schedule it within 48 hours. I had that follow-up scan. The purpose of my letter is to single out one of your employees for the best, most compassionate care I have ever received. I feel so strongly that she deserves recognition for the care and concern she displayed. Her name is Royce Rhoda.
When I had the first CT, due to past surgeries, it had been excruciating to lay flat on my back and extend both arms above my head, but I managed to get scanned. I dreaded the next CT scan. When I arrived for it, Royce was briefed about my inability to lie flat. Royce was wonderful! She not only put a pillow under my neck to ease the neck pressure, but she placed a horizontal bar above my head for me to grab instead of having to place my arms behind my head. What a different experience — the CT was completed without back or neck pain. Royce’s act of compassion and understanding made all the difference. She not only listened but figured out how to relieve my discomfort. In today’s world, it is often easy to complain, and I do so when I feel justified.
In the reverse, I also think it is important to take time to acknowledge those who go above and beyond. I just wanted to share that Royce made an uncomfortable experience less so. She exemplifies the “Best at Enloe!” Health care workers and hospitals have had a rough couple of years, and from those of us who appreciate all you do for us as a community, I just want to say thank you!
Submitted by Vicki R. Patterson, Patient
Her Story of Excellence: My child made a very bad decision last month and overdosed. We spent the day in the Emergency Department, and he was admitted to Pediatrics. I hate to admit that I’ve forgotten the name of the sitter that was assigned, but this absolute angel accompanied us in the ED and on the fourth floor.
This is not the first time I have been in this position, unfortunately, but it was the first time here in Chico. This sitter and our nurse, Juliette Lindeman, RN, Pediatrics, were definitely the kindest and most supportive caregivers I could have imagined. They did not judge my child for questioning his gender identity; they simply accepted his name and pronouns. They did not judge my child for his emotional struggles; they just gave excellent, skilled care with affection, humor and kindness. Most of all, they made him feel safe and valued.
Our whole care team was great, but these two women, on our first scary night here, were really a cut above. I hope they will be acknowledged and celebrated by Enloe and emulated by their colleagues!
Submitted by the Mother of a Patient
Her Story of Excellence: I am a nurse, and as such, I am accustomed to being people’s point of contact on some of the worst days of their lives. I am not accustomed to being on the other side. On February 20, while I was traveling with my family near Sonora, my dad had a life-threatening accident on his property in Berry Creek and was pinned under a tree with what we would later find out were a broken back with a spinal cord injury, a broken scapula, an open leg fracture, severe scalp laceration, ear avulsion and a traumatic brain injury.
When my mom called me in hysterics, my husband called to ensure that a helicopter was dispatched, which it was. I cannot stress enough that there were many players involved in saving my dad’s life, but I would like to share my personal experience with a friend of mine who not only played a key role for my dad but impacted my experience as well. My dad was extricated from under the tree with valiant efforts from many. Then, he was stabilized and transported to the helicopter by Katie Duncan, Flight Care RN, and her team. My dad arrived at Enloe; it was quickly determined that he would need to fly to UC Davis due to the severity of his injuries.
My mom was able to fly with him, and given my location at the time, my husband and kids were able to drop me off (alone due to COVID) at the UC Davis ED to wait for the helicopter. When they arrived, I hugged my mom, and then she was pulled back to be with my dad. (Only one person was allowed to accompany him.)
I sat there in the UC Davis ED alone, under the weight of my grief. When I looked up, there was Katie in her blue flight suit. I was hugging her and crying before I could even register the movement. She told me everything I wanted to know and some things I needed to hear. She grounded me and hugged me until I felt strong again. So many members of my Enloe family lifted me up and let me cry while I struggled through this experience with my dad, but Katie was the first. I will never forget that.
Submitted by Sarah McFarland, RN Charge, Med Neuro