Bayhealth announces its top employees and leader of the year for 2011. Physical Therapist Kris Surdukowski, PT, DPT, has earned Employee of the Year for Bayhealth-Kent General, Peri-Anesthesia Care Unit Nurse Kim Campbell, BSN, RN, CCRN, has earned Employee of the Year for Bayhealth Milford Memorial, and Cardiovascular Surgical Intensive Care Unit Nurse Manager Susan Litchford, RN, BSN, CNML is Outstanding Leader of the Year.
Surdukowski, Campbell, and Litchford each receive an engraved crystal award, eight hours of paid time off, and a $200 gift card. The winners were announced on May 9 during the Employee Service Awards at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover. Bayhealth also honored long-time employees serving between 5 to 45 years.
Here is a brief profile of the Employees and Leader of the Year.
Northern Division Employee of the Year
Kris Surdukowski, PT, DPT
Bayhealth Kent General
Patients say Kris Surdukowski is outstanding in every aspect of care, and he helps his patients understand their treatment so they are motivated to recover more quickly. Surdukowski provides compassionate care so patients are rehabilitated emotionally as well as physically. He has been described as “a gifted, outstanding caregiver.”
A recent patient recovering from a knee reconstruction surgery remarked not only on Surdukowski’s clinical skills and knowledge but also on his ability to help the patient understand his injury and treatment plan. Before each knee exercise, Surdukowski fully explained to his patient what the exercise would entail, and what it would accomplish. He always provided the explanation in clear, layperson’s terms before starting the exercise so the patient would fully understand. The patient commented on how Surdukowski’s pleasant disposition and wry sense of humor made the time pass quickly and made physical therapy “fun.
“Kris is role model in the delivery of 5-Star customer service. He treats each patient with respect and he builds relationships of trust to ensure that the patients are comfortable with their care and receive the maximum benefit from treatment,” said Bayhealth – Kent General Hospital Manager of Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy Effie Elliott, PT.
During Surdukowski’s three years at Bayhealth Physical Therapy, many patients have commented on why he is an outstanding caregiver:
He gives his patients his undivided attention.
His interpersonal skills are exceptional and he makes everyone feel welcome and accepted at Bayhealth Physical Therapy.
Kris has empathy for the patients. He listens carefully and does everything that he can to accommodate patients and their family members and everyone else who is around him.
Physical therapy patients also benefit from Surdukowski’s extensive education and training in physical therapy. Surdukowski earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Wesley College, and also earned a doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. He joined Bayhealth Medical Center in August of 2009, and has earned the Bayhealth Employee Service Award in addition to Employee of the Quarter.
“What I like best is my interaction with people, getting to know them a bit, and finding out how I can best help them. For me, that is most gratifying,” said Surdukowski.
Southern Division Employee of the Year
Kim Campbell, BSN, RN, CCRN
Peri-Anesthesia Care Unit
Bayhealth Milford Memorial
She listens. She cares. She inspires.
For the past 12 years, Kim Campbell has left a lasting legacy with her peers and her patients. After joining the Milford Memorial Hospital Intensive Care Unit in October, 2000, Campbell quickly established herself as the ultimate patient advocate, a provider who truly listened to patients and patient families to ensure they receive the care they deserve. In addition to caring for the patients assigned to her, Campbell volunteered to assist other nurses in the ICU, PACU, Day Surgery and other departments. Campbell transitioned to the Peri-Anesthesia Care Unit in 2010.
“Kim always places the needs of patients above all else. She stays late regularly to assist with her colleagues’ needs, floating to other departments when asked (including) to the Peri-Anesthesia Care Unit at Kent General Hospital,” said Milford Memorial Hospital Day Surgery Nurse Manager Heidi Moore, MSN, RN, CNOR. “For Kim, it’s very much a labor of love.”
According to Moore, Campbell has also inspired her peers and takes a special pride in mentoring, teaching and helping new nurses. Campbell serves as a department preceptor and is known as a “great resource” to her colleagues. She encourages her peers to get involved with initiatives at Bayhealth and in the nursing profession. Campbell is credited with assisting PACU nurses in cross training for care in Day Surgery. She serves as co-chair of the Bayhealth Nursing Education Council, was instrumental in the Nursing Educational Needs Survey, and helped develop Technology Day for the nursing staff. Her contributions have helped lead to systemic changes which benefit patients in her department and throughout the hospital.
“Kim tries to make improvements for our department so that patients will receive better care. If she sees an issue that needs to be improved, she will work to find a way to improve it,” said Day Surgery Nurse Heidi Baustert, RN.
For Campbell, the greatest reward is knowing that she has made a difference for her patients and for her peers.
“The patient is always our first priority. Patients are treated like family (here). It doesn't matter what situation may be occurring, our staff rallies to deliver exceptional care to our patients. One nurse inspires another, who inspires another. I have been inspired by so many,” said Campbell.
Outstanding Leader of the Year
Susan Litchford, RN, BSN, CNML
Nurse Manager, Intensive Care Unit
Bayhealth Kent General
As an outstanding leader, Susan Litchford always sets a superlative example for her staff. Litchford frequently steps in at a moment’s notice to lead or provide support to staff members. During a period of recent transition in nursing management, Litchford successfully juggled responsibilities overseeing the Intensive Care Unit, as well as her original duties as nurse manager for Cardiovascular Surgical Intensive Care Unit (CV-SICU).
Litchford has also been a devoted and dedicated mentor to staff nurses and nurse managers.
“Susan helped me learn my new position as Nurse Manager for 2-North and CV-SICU. From knowing hospital policies, to helping with a difficult situation, to balancing a budget, Susan has been a great resource for me,” said 2-North/CV-SICU Nurse Manager Meghan Holland, MSN, RN, CCRN, ACNS-BC, who was among four nurse leaders who nominated Susan Litchford as Bayhealth Outstanding Leader of the Year.
According to Holland, the best testament to Litchford’s leadership is the outstanding patient satisfaction scores during her tenure overseeing the CV-SICU. Patient scores routinely exceeded expectations, as did the indicators on key clinical quality issues. Under Litchford’s leadership, the CV-SICU was voted HealthGrades’ top cardiac program in Delaware for three consecutive years. Litchford consistently exceeded financial and productivity goals without compromising the quality of patient care.
Litchford created and implemented several initiatives which have become models for other nursing units, including “Round About Four” which has improved patient rounding and the “No Falls Hall” which has reduced the incidence of patient falls. Litchford helped develop a new evaluation for nurses so that it is based on patient outcomes.
In addition, Litchford remains active in the nursing profession and in the community. She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the Delaware Organization of Nurse Leaders. In 2011, she completed the year-long American Organization of Nurse Executives’ Nurse Managers Fellowship. Litchford is actively involved in her church, the Mended Hearts organization, the Heart Walk and Go Red for Women.
In July of this year, Litchford will travel Haiti to serve in a clinic, fulfilling a vow she made following the Haitian earthquake in 2010. After 30 years as a nurse, including 25 years at Bayhealth Kent General, helping others is still the driving force for Susan Litchford.
“Nursing is who you are. Helping people will always be a part of who I am,” she said.