Within the past year there have been a lot of changes in the behavioral health division – from a new space to a new name: Lois and John Orr Family Behavioral Health Center. These ‘new’ beginnings inspired the department’s leadership team to add one more new thing – staff recognition awards.
“Our Behavioral Health Ambassador award, which is selected by our leadership team, honors someone who exudes positivity and goes the extra mile demonstrating service above self, teamwork, collaboration and is involved in division/community activities,” said Dr. Steven Jewell, director of the division of pediatric psychiatry and psychology.
Dr. Jewell further explained that it was important to the department to have one award that was peer selected as well.
“Our Excellence in Patient Care award honors an individual who provides high quality care to patients and families on a daily basis,” he said. “Both of these awards represent the best of what we are all about.”
This year’s Excellence in Patient Care recipient was Gregory Hoefler, mental health therapist, and the Behavioral Health Ambassador awardee was Ramona Coleman, patient liaison.
“As we received nominations from staff within the division, both Greg and Ramona were consistently recognized by their peers and division leadership alike for their hard work, but more importantly, in the way in which they approached their work and those they work with,” said Doug Straight, clinical operations director. “Both embody the spirit of service above self and always go the extra mile for patients and families. They are passionate about the work they do and approach each day with the sole purpose of helping those in need.”
Greg Hoefler: Excellence in Patient Care Award
Greg, who has worked in the field for 25 years, said he was surprised to receive the award.
“There are so many good people who work here so it was an honor to be nominated by my peers,” he said.
As an outpatient counselor, Greg sees kids from kindergarten age on up for things like stress, anxiety and emotional, behavioral and relationship issues. Greg’s nominators cite him as kind, consistent, positive and hard working.
“Greg walks through the door with confidence, determination and a strong compassion for not just his job, but a sincere love to help people,” said one nominator. “He always goes the extra step for all his patients – patients love him and parents thank him.”
“Greg is an excellent therapist, a supportive co-worker and a devoted father,” said Operations Supervisor Sarah Groves. “He comes to work every day with a positive attitude and works tirelessly to provide the best therapy services to his patients. He is also quick with a joke to lighten the mood, which is very much appreciated and needed in our line of work.”
Greg says what he enjoys most about his work is running into former patients and seeing the impact he had on them.
“When they are my patients I try to make them see they have a lot of life in front of them and to give them new ways to look at things,” he said.
Ramona Coleman: Behavioral Health Ambassador Award
Ramona Coleman was equally praised for her contributions to the division.
“Ramona consistently displays kindness, helpfulness, respect and support to all she encounters,” said her nominator. “I have heard staff, clients and families make positive comments about Ramona’s way of interacting.”
Ramona’s role in the department is pivotal because she is the one giving the first impression as the first voice patients hear when scheduling an appointment. Ramona is cross trained as a patient liaison, scheduler and also works in Partial Hospitalization when needed.
“Ramona is a great asset to our division,” said Cheryl Layton, operations manager and Ramona’s supervisor. “She is hard working, dedicated and always goes above and beyond to help when needed. She is dedicated to helping our patients and ensures their needs are taken care of on a continuous basis. We are blessed to have her as a part of our team.”
Ramona says she is equally blessed with amazing co-workers and likes being able to help parents get their child or teen scheduled for services.
“Sometimes the appointments are far out, but getting an appointment is half the battle to getting the child on the road to recovery and managing his or her mental health appropriately,” she said. “I have been on the other side so I understand what these parents are going through.”
Ramona remembers trying to get her own child in to see a professional because of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. She recalls feeling like the bad days would never end.
“I try to share my experiences when appropriate to let parents know that it will get better once you have the services in place and the child accepts the help,” she said. “It takes time and lots of prayers.”
Doug says it is evident to all who work with Greg and Ramona that they embrace each day with purpose and passion and in doing so they inspire others to do the same.
“Working hard for something you don’t care about is called stress,” said Doug. “Whereas working hard for something you do care about is called passion.”