COVID Hero Awards

The final COVID Hero Award winners were announced the week of June 29, 2020. We appreciate everyone who nominated these deserving COVID Heroes.

The Medical Staff through the Medical Executive Committee (MEC) sponsored the awards. Awards were announced each week through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each awardee had the option between an Amazon gift card or a gift card to a local business of their choice.

Read more about out winners:

COVID Hero Award Recipients

Jessica Stalvey, Laboratory Services
“Jessica displayed superb leadership skills in the absence of management. During the initial phase of COVID-19 when the amount of respiratory samples being tested ran over into the following shifts, Jessica took the time to train additional individuals to ensure critical testing did not get delayed. While the workload in microbiology was substantial during this time, Jessica remained calm and her attention to detail did not waiver. She has always been an excellent microbiologist and remained professional during one of the department’s most trying times. Thank you Jessica!”
– Nominated by Diane Dill, Laboratory Services

Andrea Weimer, Respiratory Therapy
"Andrea, you are a true HERO! For the times that you were there to help me with terminally extubating patients and comforting them on their way out, for the times you showed tremendous compassion to our vented patients with your gentle manner, running to ICU's aid when a patient is crashing, for searching high and low for a vent for my patients’ in order to deliver top care. You are a pro and a fantastic teacher, always offering knowledge and looking to learn more every day. I could go on and on and I would love to just pick you up and spin you around and around and tell you how wonderful you are! You are my hero and I love you!”
– Nominated by Melissa Bailey, Critical Care

Zully Rodriquez, ICU
“I would like to nominate Zully for the COVID Hero Award for her exemplary care, effort, and communication with a COVID-19 patient that passed away. Zully assisted the neuro staff in comforting and translating for a family that was distraught and mourning the sudden loss of their loved one. The family was desperate to come in and see the patient to pray for him. Zully from the beginning was at their side with palliative care to provide comfort and answers to their questions about what will happen next for their loved one. Zully spent a few hours helping the family of a patient that not only didn't belong to her but was in a completely different unit. Zully's compassion for helping others brought so much comfort and support to the family and Neuro ICU that day,”
– Nominated by Lauren Edwards, Neuro ICU

Kristin Brimmer, Surgical Services
“Kristin is an amazing circulating nurse who took on extra responsibilities during the COVID-19 surge. She took command of scheduling and planning for her peers for Incident Command. She did a fantastic job in helping everyone work through this together and building our new schedules. I know this couldn’t have been an easy task. All the while, she was also still helping the remaining staff with urgent cases in the operating room and taking some call. She was compassionate with those who got re-deployed and was great communicating our new schedules and tasks to us. We are grateful for her hard work and happy to be working together again.”
– Nominated by Staci Van Beveren, Surgical Services

Dr. Ravi Kasat, Diagnostic Radiology
"Dr. Ravi Kasat put endless hours into ensuring the Diagnostic Imaging department was a safe place to work during the height of the pandemic. Ravi put forth the same effort to ensure a smooth reopening of the department."
– Nominated by Dr. Freeman Hwang, Diagnostic Radiology

Matt Poore, Plant Operations
“Matt has been doing so much to help the COVID-19 situation. He’s been fabricating all of the sneeze guards for our Kent Campus, traveling to the off-sites, measuring for each application, and then driving back to his shop to fabricate the sneeze guard as needed. With no experience Matt has learned how to use new equipment so he can bend and form the material into the shape that's needed. From what I hear he is getting close to making 100 sneeze guards that he will also install. Thank you Matt for taking on this job and excelling at it beyond anyone's beliefs. Awesome job.”
– Nominated by Isaac Sapp, Plant Operations

Dean Fleming, Environmental Services
“Dean you are such a pleasure to work with! Thank you so much for always working so hard and having such a positive attitude no matter what is thrown at you. You have done so many COVID rooms and do them completely including moon beaming."
– Nominated by Lisa Bump, Environmental Services

Dr. Kelly Abbrescia, Emergency Medicine
“Dr. Kelly Abbrescia puts her heart and soul into her work as Emergency Department Medical Director. She has done and continues to do a fantastic job at disseminating information via every means (email, education, TELCONs, Zoom) surrounding this rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic. She leads from the front and has truly prepared the department so that we keep each other safe and patients safe during these unprecedented times. She has been tirelessly planning for COVID-19, reading everything she can get her hands on, in order to set up the department for success. This type of leadership and dedication deserves recognition.”
– Nominated by Dr. Veronica Rios, Emergency Medicine

Dr. Samer Alhindi, Medical Hospitalist
“There are several stories I could tell. Dr. Alhindi is always willing to stop what he is doing and help solve a problem or create a solution. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Alhindi changed the way the hospitalist practice by having the same hospitalist covering each unit. This has made a big difference in consistent care and trust of nurses. He also worked to update the order set for COVID-19 patients. On one occasion, we had a very difficult situation with a patient in the ED wanting to leave. Dr. Alhindi went to the ED and discharged a patient that had decided she wanted to go home instead of getting admitted even though it was not his patient or responsibility. Thankfully Dr. Alhindi is the voice of reason in this unsettled time. Also, staff is never afraid to call him. He is approachable and focused on the best for the patient.”
– Nominated by Brenda Blain, Administration

Natalyn Glessner, Med/Surg 1A
“During your phone conversation for a newly admitted patient who could not have visitors due to the COVID-19 restrictions, you showed compassion, empathy and integrity. You took extra time and care with a family member to reassure them that their loved one was in great hands and answered all of their questions in as much detail as necessary. In addition, you took time to learn personal details about your patient and family life, like favorite foods, previous profession, number of children, to ensure that you and other staff members could relate and interact with the patient and make the hospital stay a comfortable one. I know that this patient and family are grateful for nurses like you”
– Nominated by Christine Taylor, Wound Ostomy Continence

Renee Griffith, Med/Surg IMC 5A 
"Special Hero" describes a person who acts from the heart. Renee your heartfelt emotions really shines through when you're taking that walk with a discharged COVID-19 patient. Anyone can see from your pride that you're a very wonderful person with a truly gifted touch. Just watching you makes my heart fill with such joy for the patient, you and your staff. Amazing work at its best!”
– Nominated by Elizabeth Burke, Food and Nutritional Services

Meghan Holland, CV/SICU
“Meghan is a new nurse practitioner who started in the ICU just before the COVID-19 pandemic. Meghan was able to seamlessly adapt to the many challenges in directly caring for critically ill patients with COVID-19.  She provided support not only to the critically ill patients in the ICU but also, just as importantly, to their families who were unable to visit them during this trying time. Her caring attitude and her selflessness makes her a COVID-19 hero."
– Nominated by Dr. Vinoo Ramsaran, Critical Care Medicine

Christina Moye, ICU 
“Christina not only worked many overtime shifts during the peak of COVID-19, she also stayed bedside with quite a few who lost their battles. Christina is a very conscientious and competent critical care nurse as well as a team player. I observed Christina on multiple occasions care for as many as 3-4 ventilated COVID-19 positive patients, all of whom were very critical and she managed their care amazingly.  A particular patient who was actively passing upon terminal extubation was not able to have their loved ones bedside.  She contacted all of the patient's family members to allow each member to say their goodbyes. Christina stayed with this patient until their very end, holding their hand, playing calming music, and ensuring they did not die alone. Her kind acts are what make a world of a difference for our critical patients, especially in their final moments of life.”
– Nominated by Melissa Bailey, Critical Care
Laura Tolson, ICU
"Laura is truly a COVID-19 hero. Her input into the care of the many critically ill patients with COVID-19 was very valuable and made a tangible difference in many instances, improving the outcome in many patients. Her ability and willingness to perform high risk procedures for our COVID-19 patients was exceptional. She was able to coordinate care efficiently with other specialties. There were many instances where Laura was able to recognize that a critically ill patient was worsening and was able to take steps to improve their care."
– Nominated by Dr. Vinoo Ramsaran, Critical Care Medicine
Megan Stallings, ICU
“Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic Megan showed a remarkable willingness to help manage and coordinate care for critically ill patients with COVID-19. From ensuring schedules were done properly to make sure there were no gaps in care to performing high risk procedures in critically ill patients with COVID-19 and participating in family meetings. Megan is an invaluable part of our ICU team at Kent. Megan is a real COVID-19 hero.”
– Nominated by Dr. Vinoo Ramsaran, Critical Care Medicine

Mikayla Otto, Diagnostic Imaging
“Thank you, Mikayla, for stepping up and helping out with the temperature screenings at Sussex, especially with the weekend shifts!! Your willingness to help out at a moment’s notice is greatly appreciated. I am very thankful that you joined our team!”
– Nominated by Kelly Whitten, Radiology

Jameel Karamali, 2B, Ortho/Neuro/Spine 
“We can never thank you enough for what you did today to protect your coworker! You are a true hero.”
– Nominated by Staci Manning, 2B, Ortho/Neuro/Spine 
“Thank you for coming to the rescue for your peer and not even thinking twice about it. You are a true hero.”
– Nominated by Brenda Blain, Administration
“During a very terrifying situation, you somehow knew exactly what to do to keep your coworkers safe. I will never forget what you did and how much courage you had. You are definitely a hero on 2B for sure!”
 – Nominated by Erin Levrio, Care Management
Amanda Fisher, Nursing Administration
“Amanda is so deserving of the COVID Hero Award! Amanda serves our organization as the Advanced Practice Behavioral Health clinical nurse specialist and has worked tirelessly on discharge planning for our behavioral health patients during a time when state resources may be in question; she proactively contacted key stakeholders within the state to prepare for any adjustments related to care and treatment for behavioral health. Amanda is an active member of our Critical Incident Stress Management team (CISM) and has responded to multiple CISM's to provide peer support for our employees and has jumped in to swab patients in our drive through clinics. During this time, she remains consistent in wearing many hats and advocates for all.”   
– Nominated by Marianne Foard, Patient Advocacy
Dr. Bryan Villar, Bayhealth Primary Care, Georgetown 
“I would like to nominate Dr. Bryan Villar for exceptional patient care during this difficult time and also for volunteering at the hospital in the ED to help out the other doctors when they needed help. Dr. Villar shows he is a team player and tries to go above and beyond to help his staff when needed!”
– Nominated by Shannon Mumaw, Bayhealth Primary Care, Georgetown 
Kathy Wiegman, PACU
“Kathy has been a PACU nurse for over 20 years. With the COVID-19 reallocations she was reassigned to 5A, initially she, like most of us, had trepidations about working in a different area, and the fear of caring for COVID-19 positive patients. Kathy geared up and has been working diligently on the 5th floor assisting the nurses and caring for COVID patients. Kathy has also recovered phase I post op patients on the 5th floor to assist the PACU. Kathy is a hero to me!” 
– Nominated by Melanie Bauer, PACU
Barbara Studer-Baer, Bayhealth Medical Group Administration  
"Your versatility has been so appreciated throughout the COVID 19 crisis. Literally every opportunity I have presented to you has been met with a “can and will do” attitude. I am so impressed by the example you set to our nursing community. Thank you for all that you do."
– Nominated by Angela Lord, Patient Care Services

Dr. Srikrishna Varun Malayala, Medical Hospitalist
“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Dr. Malayala kept himself educated about the virus to help provide the best care for his patients. His knowledge helped him to analyze a patient’s condition and recognize the necessity for a higher acuity of care. Dr. Malayala was able to execute this transfer to ICU with minimal exposure to the staff and other patients. This decision to transfer the patient to a higher acuity floor ensured all proper resources were available to better care for the patient. It is an honor to work with such knowledgeable physicians like Dr. Malayala 
– Nominated by anonymous 

Elizabeth Hurley, Respiratory Therapy
“Elizabeth goes beyond the call of duty being in charge of the Better Breathers Club. She has made a goal to reach out to us to make sure that we are okay if we have any questions about the virus. She is a dedicated nurse who takes pride in her work and the hospital and is an asset to the hospital, her fellow workers and her patients. She is a hero to each and every one of us and should by all means be rewarded.”
 – Nominated by Patricia Wesch, Better Breathers Club member

Dr. Vinoo Ramsaran, Medical Staff
“Dr. Ramsaran provided an in-depth Zoom lecture [that was] several hours long reviewing ventilator management for COVID-19 patients. Very educational and evidence based, attended by APCs/physicians from many different specialties, recorded, and sent out to many in the medical staff. Great ventilator education in general, and wonderful suggestions for the management of COVID-19 patients. He went above and beyond to help educate the Bayhealth medical staff.”
– Nominated by Dr. Kelly Abbrescia, Emergency Department

Chelsea Artigliere-Torres, PCU
“I am nominating Chelsea for the love, passion and dedication she has for her job. Chelsea is that person who walks into work daily with a smile on her face and positive attitude. Chelsea is there to do her job and gives 100%. She goes above and beyond not only for her patients but her coworkers as well. Chelsea has help provide masks, scrub caps, sanitizers and meals for her fellow team. Chelsea is also a mother of two younger boys who she is caring for and providing homeschool for both as well. She is just as loving and dedicated to her family as she is her patients. This is a terrible time and family is unable to visit with their loved ones in the hospital which is terrifying for everyone involved. Chelsea treats these patients just like they are her very own family.”
– Nominated by daughter of recovered COVID-19 patient 

Dr. Kevin Geffe, Medical Staff
“Dr. Geffe is a genuine COVID-19 Hero. During initial days of COVID-19 he selflessly volunteered to help in any way needed with no anticipation of being compensated. In an email to his colleagues he wrote, ‘I know we are limited on the critical care physicians, so I wanted to extend my help in any way if needed. With elective cases being limited, it frees up time for me. If the hospital moves to a position or status that we need dedicated intensivists for each ICU given status, I’m happy to step in. I would do this without any need for stipend etc., in the spirit of helping my community and Bayhealth family. I know that we are also very focused on physician burnout and trying to balance that in the demands of this pandemic. Feel free to let me know if I can help in any way, I stand at the ready.’”
– Nominated by anonymous

Tammara Sullivan, Emergency Department
“Tammara is amazing. As a clinical coordinator here in the ED she is just a pleasure to work with. Through COVID, Tammara arrives daily with a big smile and a huge heart. Tammara is always helping the staff and teaching every chance that arises. The ED has been challenging and Tammara is always cracking jokes and looking for ways to uplift our spirits. If anyone is a hero during this difficult time, it's Tammara.”
– Nominated by anonymous

Dr. Pedro Dammert, Medical Staff
"Dr. Dammert has provided AMAZING leadership and engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Available for consult to the ED, consult for hospitalists/private physicians, provided Zoom online meeting attended by many different physicians/APCs from all specialties. Great research and work/updates on the COVID protocols. Truly an amazing asset in this pandemic!"
– Nominated by Dr. Kelly Abbrescia, Emergency Department

Lawrence Clendaniel, Lab Services
“Lawrence, you are a hero for so many reasons. Not only have you put off your retirement at least twice to help Microbiology, but also you make your corner of Bayhealth a positive, caring, compassionate place to work. You show your concern and best effort for every patient you help diagnose. You were in the Dover Post as a hero who has helped diagnose infectious disease for over 35 years. That makes you a hero on the outside. Your concern for your patients and coworkers makes you a hero on the inside. You are truly one of the kindest people that I have ever met. That is why I consider you our Microbiology mascot.”
– Nominated by Laura Smoker, Lab Services

Elton Guzman, Respiratory Therapy
“Elton is very passionate about his job. He is great with patients. He explains everything he is doing and gives the patients options. When you call and you need him, he doesn’t hesitate. He comes right away. He’s very polite and considerate. Elton has been very busy with COVID-19 patients and handles each one with the greatest of care.”
– Nominated by Stephen Campbell, CDU

James King, Food Services
“James works night shift. Most nights he is the only one working in the cafeteria. He manages to get everyone what they need in a timely manner. He is kind, efficient and a pleasure to see in the cafeteria in the middle of the night. During this time of COVID 19, an individual like James play an important role for all of the night shift. James has helped us get through some difficult nights. Just to see his joyful demeanor is such a great thing to see. It’s a great night when James is working. He helps us get through the rest of our night, which is sometimes difficult.”
– Nominated by Stephanie Cannon, Med-Surg

Janelle Lap, PACU Redeployed to PCU
“Janelle is a redeployed nurse from PACU to an all COVID-19 or Rule Out COVID-19 floor. Very few redeployed nurses can say they were redeployed to an all COVID-19 designated floor. Although being redeployed to PCU is a scary and unpredictable time for every nurse, Janelle rose to the challenge and took this as an opportunity to help patients and staff. Janelle is an exceptional nurse and deserves every bit of this award! You’re a true hero Janelle! PCU is very lucky to have such a kind, intelligent and compassionate nurse by their side to help them during such a difficult time! You always know how to put a smile on someone’s face, which is much needed during these times! Keep your head held high! Proud of you girl! Keep up the EXCELLENT work! Much Respect!”
– Nominated by Trish Bauer, Surgical Services

Elisabeth Muse, IT
“Elisabeth Muse helped us create all the EPIC order sets for COVID-19 patients at the beginning of the pandemic when we were running against time and in an overwhelming situation. She did it in an efficient and very expeditious way. We had to manage many patients in the floors and in the ICU and the EPIC order sets were essential to put the clinical protocols in place and manage these patients. She was able to keep up with the constant changes in the order set as our knowledge of the disease grew and the management of these patients changed in real time. Thanks Elisabeth for all your help!”
– Nominated by Dr. Pedro Dammert, Critical Care, Internal & Pulmonary Medicine

Dr. Ellie Salinski, Emergency Medicine

“Dr Salinski contributes to her team at Dover facility Emergency Department full-time. She provides life-saving Interventions with COVID-19 patients during regular scheduled and on-call duties. There are exemplary staff at Bayhealth in every department who deserve recognition and validation. Dr Salinski goes above and beyond on behalf of her patients, because they are her first priority.”
– Nominated by Dale Pavich

Carol Harris, Chaplaincy 

“Carol, thank you for all the support you have given to patients and staff through our COVID-19 shutdown. You have been the voice of the patient and their families. A shoulder to lean on for staff and a friend to me! I thank the Lord for having you on our team. God bless! Thank you for your dedication to the fingerprinting of our patients who are passing. Providing a memory for their loved ones is priceless!”
– Nominated by Robin Maracle, Palliative Care and Jane Hewitt, Patient Advocacy

Dr. Cindy Siu, Primary Care Milford Airport Road
“Thank you for always going above and beyond with everyone you encounter! Your compassion and drive to help everyone is remarkable! #BayhealthStrong”
– Nominated by Amber Bishop, Primary Care Milford Airport Road

Maria Ramirez-Montero, Critical Care
“Maria, thank you for all of your hard work this weekend in ICU. Thank you for the extra care you showed my critical patient in order to keep her comfortable and stable. You are so great at your craft. You really know what may or may not work for a patient and collaborating with you about ventilator changes along with my different IV drips to support and achieve the best outcome for patients is stellar work! Thank you for taking the time to see how each patient and all of their systems are impacted by the ventilator and how to better their patient centered care. We are blessed to have you working with us.”
– Nominated by Melissa Bailey, Critical Care

Demetrius Sturgis, Materials Management Surgical Services
“Daily I see you run around nonstop. When in the STAT room, you ensure supplies are put away and whatever else your job consists of. On top of that, you are handing out mask to nurses, doctors and staff. When not in the STAT room, you are taking care of other important job functions to ensure patient care is not affected. On top of all that, you always find time to help others. The best part, you do it with a smile. You truly show compassion in your work ethic. Keep up the good work.”
– Nominated David Neisser, Material Services

Dr. Robert Fumento, Emergency Medicine
"During this time of COVID-19 and the Emergency Department adjusting to all the changes and preparing for the challenges we were going to face during this difficult time, Dr. Fumento came into every night shift and gathered all the staff together to give a motivational speech and words of encouragement to get through the nights. Even when we worked multiple nights in a row, had very critical patients, Dr. Fumento always knew exactly what to say to pull us together as a team to get through this pandemic. Even when he was not at work, he went out of his way to buy us dinner on numerous occasions."
– Nominated Brooke Johnston, Emergency Department

Megan Byler, Critical Care
“I am doing this nomination for the COVID Hero Award because sometimes it’s a little more than the physical care! I observed your phone conversation with a family member. It was truly remarkable! Your information to the family about their loved one was for me a teaching moment. You explained terms that would be used about the patient’s oxygenation as well as goals to help them understand terms that would be used during her stay in the ICU. While we have been busy in this trying time, you made it just as important to be a support for family! Truly an amazing experience to see! Thank you for being such an amazing caring nurse! Mostly thank you for reminding me and teaching me to be better.”
– Nominated by Casey Burch, Critical Care

Todd Hubbard, Environmental Services
“Todd works night shift and stops by every unit throughout the night and asks if there is anything he can do or if they need anything. If we do need something, he is the happiest man to oblige. His positivity is infectious and kindhearted. Todd always has a smile and a kind word to say to everyone he passes. During this difficult time this is so important to have especially on night shift. Just seeing or passing him in the hallway can lift you up when you are feeling down. This is very much needed during the COVID time.”
– Nominated by Stephen Campbell, Clinical Decision Unit

Ronak Patel and Elizabeth Bailey, Respiratory Therapy
“Early on in the COVID pandemic, I was providing anesthesia care for a rule out COVID-19 patient. We needed to take this patient to the 4th floor in order to extubate her in a negative pressure room. These were all new procedures to all of us in these trying times. I needed to have Respiratory bring a portable ventilator to our COVID room in the OR. Ron arrived, donned his PPE and entered the OR. He was extremely professional and knowledgeable. Elizabeth (Lizz) met us as we came out of the OR. He and Lizz accompanied us up to the patient's room. They were there to assist me in any way I needed when we were ready to extubate the patient. I realized how very important he and Lizz were to me at that moment. I want to thank them for their assistance, professional knowledge and for being a positive presence.
Respiratory therapists are indeed the unsung heroes of this pandemic! The nurses, the doctors, anesthesia providers, are honored and given recognition and thanks. Yet, right by their side are respiratory therapists. I had thought about this, but it was really driven home this week. While caring for a patient who needed to have a ventilator, I looked up and right next to me, on each side to help and assist was two respiratory therapists. I was so thankful for them at that moment and it struck me they are exposed every day, every minute of their jobs. But, they were cheerful, helpful and so important to the care of each of these patients. So a HUGE ... THANK YOU… to all of the respiratory therapists on the front lines...right there with us: the doctors, nurses, anesthesia providers... respiratory therapists...You guys rock!”
– Nominated by Constance Cook Pfeffer, Anesthesiology

Dr. Alvaro Toledo Rivera, Medical Hospitalist
“From the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Toledo has supported us on PCU. He has always been open to answering questions about COVID-19 and patient care. He voluntarily attends our daily unit huddle, answers our many questions, gives us advice, and has even drawn diagrams on our white board so that he could educate us about how the virus worked. His calm demeanor and knowledge sharing helped to keep our minds at ease so that we could continue to provide compassionate care to our COVID-19 patients while keeping ourselves safe. He continues to come to work every day with a positive attitude and we are very appreciative of all the support he has given us. He truly has been our physician hero!”  He has been holding down the PCU.  The PCU has all rule out or positive patients. He is doing an amazing job during this crisis.
– Nominated by Elisabeth Cote, Progressive Care Unit, and Michele Campbell, Medical Staff

Donna Henderson, Patient Advocacy
“Thank you for spending time on the PCU helping us out over the past few weeks. We appreciate all that you did for us. I am sure you learned more than what you wanted to about the world of nursing and patient care. It is a journey and we appreciate you jumping in for the ride.  We thank you and we appreciate you.”
– Nominated by Deborah Hines, Progressive Care Unit

Dr. David Roberson, ENT
“Since the first days of this pandemic in Delaware, Dr. Roberson has been a visionary leader and has helped shaped Bayhealth's response as much as any other individual in the organization. Dr. Roberson took the lead and created much of the backbone of the Coronavirus Management Team. He has been a great source of information regarding projections for the disease on a national and local level. He has been the bridge between the inpatient and outpatient worlds regarding the donation and use of convalescent plasma. Dr. Roberson has spent many hours re-acclimating himself to the ICU in preparation to support that team. All the while, he has maintained a clinical presence for his ENT patients. Most recently, Dr. Roberson has embraced his role as an educator, engaging third year medical students to provide them with a unique opportunity for education at the CMT.”
– Nominated Dr. John Fink, Physician Practice and Dr. Craig Hochstein, Emergency Medicine

Donna Martini, Ultrasound Tech
“Donna has been one of ours to always step up, PPE ‘gear up’ and head out to do portable ultrasound exams on positive COVID patients and rule out COVID patients throughout the hospital without any hesitation. Before the reprocessing of N-95 masks, she was keeping track of how many times she put that mask on by marking her brown paper bag. IT WAS A LOT!!!  Radiology staff all know that once you are in the room with a patient, you are the one who can help them with everything they need. Donna always shows her compassion while in their rooms, often calling their nurses to ask for things the patient wanted, like a simple blanket or other comforting things that the patient needs. It's the small things that help the most and I want to make sure everyone is aware that it doesn't go unnoticed.”
– Nominated by Mary Mayer, Ultrasound and Kristian Ashman, Ultrasound

Dr. Ramesh Vemulapalli, Infectious Disease
“Dr. Vemulapalli has been an amazing resource to the Infection Prevention committee. He has reviewed multiple cases as part of case investigations and contact tracing. He also acts as the physician of record when investigating employee-patient case investigations. Most importantly he is a strong advocate for patients and following best practices and CDC guidelines.”
– Nominated by Dr. Parvathi Somasundaram, Occupational Medicine and Michele Campbell, Medical Staff

Pauline Zacco, Primary Care, Airport Road – Milford
“As our office has transitioned to providing telehealth services, many of our patients who are at highest risk of complications from COVID-19 infection are having difficulties navigating the new technology. Pauline went above and beyond (even standing in the pouring rain) to make arrangements to help a patient set up WebEx on his mobile device in preparation for a virtual telehealth visit. Because of her kindness and willingness to help, this patient and his wife were able to participate in telehealth services to address their medical needs without the risk of being exposed to others in our facility that could potentially spread infection to them. Pauline is always a patient's strongest advocate, and this has only become more evident as we all work to get through this pandemic together. Thank you, Pauline!”
– Nominated by Dr. Siu, Primary Care, Airport Road – Milford

Madeline Thompson, Primary Care, Airport Road – Milford

“Some of our patients are having difficulties navigating the new technology. Maddie has quickly become the WebEx expert in our office. When patients are struggling to set up the program properly, Maddie walks them through the process step-by-step. Because of her patience and expertise, our patients are able to participate in telehealth services to address their medical needs during this difficult time. Countless patients have commented to me about how helpful Maddie has been to them. Thank you, Maddie!”
– Nominated by Dr. Siu, Primary Care, Airport Road – Milford

Karen Murphy, Critical Care 
“Karen is such a Hero to the night shift of 5A since turning rooms into ICU rooms. Karen was one of the first ICU nurses to take care of the ICU patients on our unit. She did it alone with the assistance of the 5A staff. She did a GREAT job taking care of our very sick and vented patients. She did this without the usual support of her ICU team although they were a phone call away. She is my hero because she is an awesome teacher, compassionate nurse, and a healer!”
– Nominated by Regina Schilling, Med-Surg, IMC 5A

Frankie Bell, Progressive Care Unit (PCU) 
“I wanted to share how you always go above and beyond for your patients with an example; during a patient's last moments of life you were in his room reading Bible verses! You truly are an inspiring nurse!” – Nominated by Ashley Boney, PCU

“I have seen you push through a VERY hard time at work and it encouraged me to continue providing care during this time! You're GREAT!” – Nominated by Avis Falden, PCU

“Your smiling face and personable manner and helpfulness does not go unnoticed and is always truly appreciated! You rock all the time! Thank you for being the BEST NURSE ever!”
– Nominated by Kurl Ann Roary, Food Services

Krista Martinez, Med-Surg, IMC 5A 
“Krista is the most amazing representation of the ideal nurse. She is caring, thoughtful, hardworking and knowledgeable. During COVID, she has continued to offer a helping hand regardless of her patient load, working on the main COVID floor. She has been an amazing mentor to new nurses during this time, offering both education and compassion. One situation that stuck out the most was her advocacy for her patient whose primary language was not English. She took the time to understand the patient's needs when no one else was listening about a serious situation. Thank you for being you, Krista!”
– Nominated by Maddi Powers, Float Nurse

Kaitlyn (Katie) Bang, Day Surgery
Bang received nine nominations in total. Here are just a couple of the nominations submitted.

“Katie Bang has been one of the nurses that has been re-deployed during this pandemic. She normally works on day surgery but has been re-deployed to CVSICU. She has been talking assignments and helping the load in that unit. She's been rocking it and you never see her complain. She deserves to be recognized because even though it’s been hard, she has worked each shift with a smile on her face, no matter what she has been handed.” – Nominated by Ashley Carrol, Day Surgery

“I want to nominate Katie because during the COVID pandemic, she has been deployed from Day Surgery to CVSICU to provide care to critically ill patients. She has previous experience working in CVSICU, but I feel like she's been one of the deployed nurses that has really seen the firsthand effects of COVID-19. I'm proud to be a co-worker of hers!”
– Nominated by Berline Sylvain, Day Surgery

Melissa Bailey, Critical Care
“My team of respiratory therapists frequently express how working with Melissa Bailey, RN, has been a positive experience, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Melissa consistently displays compassion for her patients and works diligently with other healthcare providers to ensure the patient receives the best care possible. Recently, Melissa assumed the care of a COVID-positive patient who was extubated and was receiving BiPAP. Melissa was quick to recognize that the patient was struggling to breathe despite being on BiPAP and was actively dying. Melissa urgently called the RT to assist her, and, after confirming the patient's code status, Melissa and the RT were able to remove the BiPAP and provide the patient comfort care, alleviating both the patient's discomfort and the family's anxiety about the patient's final hours. As always, Melissa treats each of her patients as her priority, whether providing life-saving care or dignified end-of-life care. Melissa is a Hero!”
– Nominated by Rachael Ali-Permell, Respiratory Therapy

Caitlyn Timko, IT 
“Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the build for the rapidly changing COVID testing. Your long work hours and tireless testing have been able to keep pace with the demands for new tests as the COVID pandemic evolves.”
– Nominated by Margaret Breeding, IT

Michelle Jones, Materials Management, Surgical Services 
“I wanted to thank you for working diligently to maintain the standards for the distribution of the N95 masks in the STAT supply room at Kent. I know that you have been patient and kind as you have explained the new procedures to those who come to the area. Thank you for bringing up the issues and opportunities for process changes that will allow for smoother operations. We all need to work together to conserve this precious and valuable resource which is needed for staff safety during this pandemic. Thank for demonstrating our Bayhealth values and HRO principles during this trying time. You do make a difference! We value you!! Thank you!!!!”
– Nominated by Debbie Watson, Administration 

Dr. Barry Turek, ED Physician 
“With all the negativity going on among our community it's important that our ER doctors remain positive and bring enlightenment to our patients – to remind them that this will pass and we as a team at Bayhealth are here to support not only them, but our community. Dr. Turek treats his patients with the upmost care making sure that all their emergency medical needs are met, and that they are aware of how to follow-up with the care that each individual needs. Dr. Turek also goes beyond the standpoint of patient care by being a great team player among the ER staffing and thanking the nurses, unit clerks, and techs nonstop for their part in patient care. Dr. Turek keeps the positivity and hope amongst our patients and department.”
– Nominated by Anonymous 

Steven Ordonez, Med-Surg/IMC 5A 
“Amazing work yesterday calming down our Spanish speaking patient who was confused and scared. What a big asset you are during these times! I appreciate you! I'm out of points so please BOOST Steven for the great work he did all weekend!”

“Thank you for being there for a patient that was terrified and didn't speak any English. You helped calm her while she was in tears and you are so very much appreciated!”
– Nominated by Krista Martinez, Med-Surg/IMC 5A and Andrea Weimer, Respiratory Therapy

Dr. Jonathan Banibensu, Hospitalist 
“My family and I cannot give enough praise to Dr. Banibensu and the care that was given to my mother-in-law. He was very attentive and listened to all her concerns and kept her reassured about the disease process, symptoms and goals. Dr. Banibensu continuously kept my husband and I informed. He called several times throughout her stay to ensure we were comfortable with the plan of care and eventual discharge. When she was able to be discharged, he made sure we were all comfortable with the discharge plan along with quarantine measures that were set in place. We could not have asked for better care. Thank you for all that your physicians are doing during this time. This crisis has truly shown how much our Dr.'s care about the patients and families. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express the gratitude that my family and I have at this time.”
– Nominated by Anonymous

Jessica Taylor, CNS, Palliative Care 
“I recently saw Jessica Taylor in action and was so impressed how she spoke with a family regarding their loved one. She gracefully helped them understand the situation. She was honest. She was compassionate. She made me feel proud of where I work. She even recently came up with a gift for the families to remember their loved ones when they passed away and their family could not be at the bedside. There are not enough words to explain how lucky we are to have Jessica on the team. She has special super powers; an art to talk to the patients and their families during difficult times and situations.”
– Nominated by Anonymous

Joesphine Jackson, Registrar, Eden Hill Outpatient Imaging 
I would like to nominate Josie from Radiology Dept at Eden Hill.  I had to have an ultrasound of my leg to rule out a blood clot from surgery on my foot. I was so afraid of entering a medical facility during this time that I initially refused. However, because of the seriousness of my condition, my doctor convinced me to go to Eden Hill. Still extremely anxious I was met as soon as I arrived by Josie who immediately took me back to a small room where I could wait without having to be in the large waiting room out front. She assured me that she had cleaned and disinfected the room herself and even offered to get my gown early so I could put it over the chair and not have to sit on the chair directly. I cannot tell you how much all her efforts meant to me and eased my fears. Josie checked on me several times while I waited. Then she took me back for the procedure. When we were finished, Josie returned and even walked me out to my car because she saw how much I was limping and how upset I was. She said she didn't want me to fall. She did everything she could possibly do to make me feel comfortable in these scary times when it would have been risky for me not to have the procedure. I know that Josie was doing her job, but the effort she displayed to make me comfortable was above and beyond. Your kindness will NEVER be forgotten!!
– Nominated by Sandy Coveleski, Patient

Joseph Snowden, Clinical Engineering
“I want to give a huge shout out to Joe!  While I was quarantined Joe picked up my prescriptions, grabbed groceries for me, and made sure I had everything I needed so I did not need to leave the house.  Thank you, a million times, over!”
– Nominated by Diane Hayward, IT

Erin Kistler, Child Care
“Erin it was an heroic moment yesterday when you worked the school age program in the morning (while staff were taking CPR and first Aid) and then were willing to drive back to Maryland, decontaminate, shower, change your clothes and then drive back to the Center and work the remainder of the day in the Center. Thank you for not cross contaminating between programs. I know it was a long day! Thank you!”
– Nominated by Brenda Kibler, Child Care

Dr. Venkata Angirekula, Physician Hospitalist
“I would like to nominate Dr. Angirekula. Working in the ICU he is seeing the sickest of the sick. I see him every day he is here, and you would never know what he is dealing with in this crisis. He always asks how you are doing, smiles, and is so friendly. We are very lucky to have such a calm demeanored physician working in the position he is in.”
– Nominated by Leslie Passwaters, Medical Staff

Tim Dignen, 2 North IMC
“Today I met a HERO, Tim Dignen. There is not enough room here to tell the entire story, so I'll just say, I required Tim's immediate help prior to a procedure. I will forever have an image of Tim in full iso gear, holding this patient's hand, talking in an easy, calm reassuring voice, coaching this patient to breathe effectively and seeing this patient gradually respond and improve. It was an honor for me to observe. Afterwards, when I told Tim he was a hero, he stated simply, no, we all have a part in our patient's treatment. I'm one of many. And so, he is. There are many more stories like this that are not observed by folks like me yet happen every day. This recognition is for Tim, but also shout out to the entire community of healthcare individuals who are each HEROS in their own way.”
– Nominated by Mary Wood, Cardiology
Dr. Brian Perry, Emergency Medicine  
“I would like to nominate Dr. Brian Perry. Not only has he been on the front lines during this crisis, he was able to purchase some cleaning supplies while at the store recently. He thoughtfully brought these supplies to the ED and gave them to staff, asking for nothing in return. He is truly a COVID Hero.”
– Nominated by Dr. Craig Hochstein

Andrew Hollinger, Lab
“Andrew you are truly a lab hero. In the time of having difficulty getting Viral Transport Media for our specimens, you found the recipe and was able to make some. Nothing like Homemade!  And now, you have brought in and validated a COVID 19 test so that Bayhealth can get these results to those critical patients sooner. It is true that not all heroes wear capes...some wear lab coats!! So proud to be a part of your team!!!!”
– Nominated by Wanda Hampton, Lab; Jeffrey Kimble, Lab and Altrenia Wright, Pathology

Doyle Horsley, Public Safety
“You would probably say ‘I was just doing my job,’ but the way you deescalated the code grey tonight was amazing. Your calmness and compassion for that person was truly evident. From first encounter everyone stayed safe and in the end the person allowed the other staff to help him. He just needed someone like you to listen to his needs. Well done!!”
– Nominated by Kathleen Steindl, Day Surgery and Beverly Clarke Scott, Concierge