Customer service, listening, understanding and serving are the core of our service philosophy. These standards direct actions that radiate throughout the organization. It is our behaviors that touch everyone around us, and our compassionate care for our patients, each other, and our community that sets Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics apart.
Customer service is personal…and each of us is judged by our performance. But beyond that, our performance is the measuring stick for how our organization is judged as a whole.
We have the opportunity to touch lives every day. Ours are the words and actions that can bring comfort, hope and confidence. We are defined by the courtesies we extend, the attention we pay and the care we give.
In recognition of that excellence in customer service, we salute those who have been role models and "Shining Stars" for our organization and, more importantly, for our patients. Thank you, to all in our Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics family who have set the bar high and reached for the stars.
Click the names below to learn more about why these Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics employees were shining stars:
Angel wings and sunshine – helping hands and a saucy smile. Occupational therapist Lisa Curnow lights a room when she enters and brings hope to those she encounters.
“Lisa is a quiet hero,” offered a rehab co-worker. “There was a situation when visiting a home health patient where, upon arrival, Lisa had to call 911 for a medical assist for that patient. She stayed with the patient until the ambulance and family arrived. That is what Lisa does on a routine basis – service above and beyond the call of duty.”
“We have received several compliments from patients regarding Lisa,” offered Rehab Manager Mark Nylund. “She is an excellent therapist and is always so kind and affirming to the patients. She has a great deal of experience and fits in very well with our staff. Lisa is a very welcomed addition to our rehab team.”
Lisa also has gone above and beyond in securing donations to enhance the OT items available for inpatients. Her vision has allowed patients, many of them elderly, to enjoy puzzle book, cards, games and handheld items to assist in improving movement on their road to healing.
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes Occupational Therapist Lisa Curnow.
Some have said that AIR is a fruitful place to work. Some have said we are downright “nutty”. And in the forest of healthcare – if you look carefully – you may spot a busy little squirrel whose life’s mission is to gather, organize and implement.
AIR Medical Clinics Supervisor Linda Gicius wears a multitude of hats. Her mission in life is to assure that the clerical side of all AIR clinics runs smoothly, that best patient experience is a priority, and that communication and process improvement are primary initiatives.
“Linda has helped to solve a lot of stressful situations in the clinic,” offered Dr. Tess Ansay. “She defuses time bombs before they go off and shows great dedication to staff and detail.”
Another of Linda’s recent undertakings is assuring that the AIR clinics all receive Rural Health Clinic designation. A Rural Health Clinic is a federally qualified health clinic certified to receive special Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. CMS provides advantageous reimbursement as a strategy to increase rural Medicare and Medicaid patients' access to primary care services.
“Her attention to detail and diligence in meeting deadlines was crucial in obtaining this certification in the set timeframes,” reported Quality Risk Director Deb Han. “She works hard with her staff to ensure compliance with regulations and policy.”
“Linda always has a listening ear, and is an immediate problem solver,” shared a clinic staff member. “We can count on her to get things done.”
And in the forest of healthcare – there’s nothing squirrely about that!
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes Medical Clinics Supervisor Linda Gicius.
There are many tools needed to run a successful organization. At AIR those may include a scalpel, x-ray machine or stethoscope. They may also include a broom, dustpan or mop.
Housekeeper Chery Babcock has been recognized for the quality job she does day in and day out to keep the organization clean and shiny. And she has also been recognized for the sweet spirit that accompanies her day to day duties and assignments.
“We would like to commend Cheryl for always being so fantastic at her job,” stated one Crystal Falls Clinic employee. “She is so fantastic at her job and so pleasant and thorough when she works in our clinic.”
“We had an incident in Crystal Falls and she was here immediately to clean up the mess. She never once complained or made the situation worse than it was. And beyond that, she was so reassuring. We had no doubt that the job was done 110%.”
So what does a Shining Star do? They excel at their duties, they respond in an optimistic and helpful attitude. They encourage others to be positive by their very demeanor. A Shining Star makes others shine as well.
And the shine that Cheryl Babcock leaves in her wake – it only partly about clean fresh floors and windows.
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes housekeeper Cheryl Babcock.
It has been said that it takes a team to build a village. And in the AIR OR arena, it takes a team to conduct seamless surgical processes and to be rewarded with great outcomes.
In the AIR OR – there is a new kid on the block. And this RN is not afraid to dig in, get her hands dirty, and stay the course.
“Amanda recently got my attention in a big way,” stated OR Manager David Lorenson. “After working an emergency call case from midnight until around 5:00 a.m., she came back in to work at 7:00 a.m. and helped the team finish surgical cases. Then she stayed and made sure that pre-op calling of patients was complete before she left.”
Amanda’s team philosophy has been noted by her peers and those that assist with making the magic happen in the OR. She has fit in seamlessly to a smooth running healing machine and is a value added commodity to the surgical department.
“I am grateful and impressed to have Amanda as part of our staff. Amanda has consistently displayed a great attitude since her arrival in spite of the many challenging moments that our area of practice brings,” concluded Lorenson.
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes surgical RN Amanda Lambert.
High quality. Positive attitude. Caring Spirit. PA Andy Oberlin.
“Andy is the leader in the Ice Lake clinic,” offered AIR Clinic Director Robin Matchett. “He is the glue that holds the staff in place and is interested in making things better. He is such an asset to our clinics and our community.”
Andy is a relatively new-comer on the block, accepting a position with AIR after leaving a practice at the Mayo Clinic to move back to where he grew up and has roots. A West Iron County grad – Andy now gives back to the community – and the community is thrilled to have him!
“Andy is the perfect example of high quality mid-level provider and adheres to the Aspirus standards. Knowing our vision, passion for excellence, compassion for people, he lives and breathes it,” continued Matchett.
Andy is a team player and exemplifies the patient centered medical home model of care. He believes in quality and excellence.
“Andy provides excellent, comprehensive, quality care to our community,” stated Dr. Ron Dalton. “The staff feel his support in the team environment. He goes above and beyond, coming in on his vacation to be sure nobody needs anything in his absence. He will accommodate requests and does his level best to ensure that all who need him are worked into his schedule.”
Andy also provides express care coverage in the ED and inpatient arena. His helpful attitude is appreciated by all who work with him. And is dependable and easy going and it is unanimously agreed upon that we are lucky to have him as a part of the Aspirus family.
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes PA Andrew Oberlin.
In an effort to streamline and consolidate clinic operations, flexibility is the key. And one of the “key” players in this effort is LPN Mark Dembraski.
“Mark is one of the folks asked to help out in the many phases of raising the bar in the clinic,” stated Clinic Director Robin Matchett. “He gives a quiet confidence to his surrounds and is very adept at supporting our providers. He takes on projects and he has been instrumental in implementing huddle boards in the Genesee clinic adding his special touches to the board.”
And commendations for Mark also come from the providers he supports.
“Mark always is engaged, looking for ways to get tasks done better, and is a strong advocate for patients,” stated Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Steve Cline.
“In his mind the patient always comes first and he will go the extra mile to get that patient whatever they need to have the best outcome. He is a very selfless, caring, deeply moral person, and is a great team player,” continued Cline.
Every team needs a few clutch players, and it appears that AIR has found such a teammate in Mark.
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes LPN Mark Dembraski.
Radiology ballerina, scheduling queen and juggling extraordinaire.
Radiology Technologist Jenny Detterbeck wears many hats – and wears all of them well.
Jenny has been a valued member of the radiology department for many years. Recently, however, she has taken on a new role in that department including supervisor-related duties – and she has assumed those duties well.
“It has been a challenging position to take on,” stated Diagnostic Manager Eric Beauchamp. “Jenny has a lot of energy and a great work-ethic and she has taken on that role with gusto. She juggles a lot in her day – sometimes seemingly overwhelming lists of managerial chores, duties, phone call follow-ups, meetings and department employee scheduling (which can be a daunting task in itself). But then she also shoulders the complaints and frustrations of her fellow co-workers as transitions are made, problems are encountered and issues arise in their daily duties.”
And Jenny does it all, according to her co-workers, without getting frazzled and often times dropping the numerous tasks she is working on to address staff issues immediately – assuring her team that they are important and valued. She has endless energy and is always willing to take on more.
“She addresses a mountain of duties and issues in her day and juggles sympathizing with critical issues while keeping everyone focused on their tasks at hand. She’s taken on her daunting role with success and deserves recognition for that,” concluded Beauchamp.
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes Diagnostic Imaging Supervisor Jenny Detterbeck.
Every good queen of finance needs a few financial elves to help keep the kingdom on solid ground. Controller Heather Maki has found one such elf to assist in running a tip top operation.
“There are a few people that we meet in our business lives that impress us from that first moment,” offered Maki. “Michelle is one of them. Her verbal communication skills are top notch and are supported by her ability to articulate her thoughts into words that easily convey what she’s trying to say. She has a quiet and calm disposition and truly thinks through every angle towards problem solving.”
Michelle is a unique individual who can take an issue, break it down into individual parts and build it back up in a way that others can understand and respect. She came to the fiscal services department at AIR in a part-time accounting position and proved her worth within months. She is now in a full-time position, contributing every day to the financial projects and challenges which are hallmarks of the healthcare industry.
“She truly supports the over-all good of AIR and openly welcomes any and all challenges,” stated Maki. “She never was a ‘new’ employee. She came in with the ability to adapt along with a quiet type of control that put the whole building at ease. She’s proven to be completely trustworthy and supports the ‘right’ way to do things where everyone is involved. She instructs others well and even color codes instructions that she gives out to others to help them do their job.”
A kingdom collaborator who serves with a smile and ready offer to help.
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes Fiscal Services Accounting Assistant Michelle Shamion.
Sometimes Shining Stars are found in unexpected places. And sometimes, they are polished and refined long before they come on board.
“I knew from the moment I interviewed Susan, that she was a star,” stated Lois Heikkila, Manager of Food and Nutrition. “She came to us with skills in the food industry as well as skills from her previous job at a call center. Susan is Always, so polite and pleasant to everyone!”
You can hear it in the soft spoken voice in the Café: “Can I help you?”, “It will just be one moment”, or “You are Welcome.” Susan has a genuine passion for what she does and treats everyone she encounters with dignity and an extra punch of customer service.
“Susan also has a great sense of humor and keeps the department laughing,” continued Heikkila. “She is a great asset to our department and is FUN to be around. I am so proud to have Susan as our Shining Star.”
“I think Susan is a worthy recipient,” offered HR Director Carol Bastianello. “She is always very polite and respectful to her manager, coworkers in the department and to those hungry people she serves! She seems to be able to keep a level head even in times of busyness and abrupt customers.”
Polished, refined, and value added to the team at Aspirus Iron River Hospital.
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes Food and Nutrition worker Sue Ketchum.
He may be slightly nocturnal, and he may come and go under the radar, but RN Brian Braden is already receiving rave reviews from those who cross his path.
Brian is also one of those nurses who likes midnights and would prefer to work weekends only. But his reputation for compassion and quality live on past the night shift.
“Brian joined our staff in October of 2015,” offered Med Surg Manager Kathy Sartorelli. “It is amazing how quickly he has made an impression on patients and staff. His patients certainly think he is wonderful and are forthcoming with positive comments. Notable comments from patients include; ‘Brian is a rockstar’, ‘I just love him’, ‘he is so kind and explains things’, ‘he checks on me all the time’, ‘he kept my pain under control so I could sleep’. We are so fortunate to have someone of Brian’s caliber join our team.”
Peers who attended Bay de Noc with Brian frequently use the term “compassionate” when speaking of him – and compassion is a cornerstone of the nursing profession.
“According to the recent literature, nurses still rank the highest when it comes to people placing trust in others,” continued Sartorelli. “Nurses like Brian are the reason why the nursing profession is still held in that highest regard. How lucky did we get?”
For excellence, commitment to customer service and for sharing freely of time, talents and resources, Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics salutes RN Brian Braden.