Encompass Health’s Outstanding Employee Achievement Award program recognizes hospital employees who go the extra mile in their daily work. This process begins with each of our inpatient rehabilitation hospitals naming an employee of the year. Next, one employee of the year is chosen from each of our operating regions as the region’s overall winner.
Going the extra mile can be challenging under any circumstances, but working in healthcare during a global pandemic has created additional trials for our staff, both personally and professionally. We’ve seen our winners rise to the occasion and put their best foot forward despite these obstacles, never losing sight of the goal of providing the best care for our patients.
On behalf of Encompass Health’s board and executive leadership team, we extend a sincere thank you to the 2020 recipients for leading by example and demonstrating our Company’s values. You’ll find a short summary of each individual below.
Rocio Lopez, Environmental Services Aid
Central | Van Matre Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital
As an unsung hero during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rocio consistently answers the call to cover shifts. Operating single-handedly at times due to coworkers being sick or quarantined, her dedication to the job has always shown through. Rocio’s work is described as “flawless” and she sets the same expectations for everyone she trains. Rocio was instrumental in updating the hospital’s staffing schedule in a way that has expanded coverage and streamlined the scheduling process. Because of her dedication, the EVS department has become more efficient. Rocio is consistently recognized by coworkers throughout all departments through rewards point nominations. She has a warm personality, an infectious smile and is committed to ensuring the hospital environment is clean, safe and comfortable for all who enter.
Paris Gore, Nursing Staffing Coordinator
Mid-Atlantic | Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Rock Hill
Paris believes in exceeding expectations and holding herself to the highest standards. She is quick to stop whatever she is working on to assist patients, pick up a floor shift or otherwise fill a need. Paris is involved in all nursing interviews, new employee orientation and is often called upon to teach various aspects of clinical orientation. In her current role, Paris developed a new staffing process that allows her to track schedule changes in order to ensure the same employees are not repeatedly impacted by potential staffing shortages and schedule swaps. Paris is active in many groups, including the hospital’s I&D Committee, Employee Engagement Committee and more. Hospital leadership recently discovered that Paris had been purchasing haircare and skincare products for African American patients who require items that were previously not stocked by the hospital. She has a passion for identifying gaps where care could be improved.
Demetra (Demi) Dooros, Occupational Therapist
Northeast | Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Tinton Falls
Demi was the first OT at Encompass Health Tinton Falls to volunteer to care for patients suffering from or recovering from COVID-19. She quickly developed a number of evidence-based educational materials for patients to utilize after discharge. Exemplifying her knowledge, Demi recently authored an article for Rehab Management Magazine about COVID-19 recovery in the inpatient rehabilitation setting. Demi motivates others to collaborate with colleagues across all departments. She is a key partner of the nursing and respiratory teams working on the pulmonary program and has even worked with a group of therapists to develop a virtual COVID-19 support group. She is empathetic in every facet of her work, and patients often ask for her by name.
Jun-Yi Lai, Physical Therapist / Therapy Team Lead
South Central | Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Jonesboro
Jun-Yi is a dedicated employee who always steps up to meet the needs of others. She is a highly requested therapist. Many incoming patients have not been able to have consistent grooming since the COVID-19 pandemic began, so Jun-Yi volunteers to cut patients’ hair. Before the pandemic, Jun-Yi would take PTO to help transport former patients to and from medical appointments when she knew the family would struggle with the transfer. When there were staffing shortages early in the pandemic, Jun-Yi would volunteer her time off to care for patients and minimize COVID-19 exposure risks for other employees. She routinely arrives to work early to pick up tasks typically done by rehab technicians, including stocking supplies, sanitizing the therapy gyms and passing out patient schedules. Jun-Yi is described as a “uniquely selfless human being.”
Hailey Kamin, Nurse Manager / Wound Care Coordinator
Southeast | Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Bluffton
Hailey is a nurse manager who does whatever it takes to help the team. She recently became the hospital’s wound care coordinator and was tasked with creating a wound care program. Hailey created a wound team, wound rounding process and wound care education materials for staff. Through these efforts, the hospital’s wound rate for the second half of the year was reduced by 78 percent. Hailey is also active in planning employee recognition events and hospital celebrations, contributing creative ideas and engaging activities for staff. Her efforts are cited as a contributing factor of a reduction in the hospital’s nursing turnover rate by almost 50 percent. Hailey is often seen walking patients around the building, and she takes a particular interest in cognitively impaired patients, forming kind and trusting relationships with ease.
Brooke Follett, Occupational Therapist
Southwest | Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Pearland
Brooke has a habit of going the extra mile to make patients feel special. On one occasion, Brooke set up a date night for a patient and his wife. Set up in a “private room” using partitions, Brooke decorated the space with holiday lights and table decor and provided the couple with a steak dinner. After starting her career as a rehab tech, she attended school for occupational therapy and stayed with the Company upon graduation when she accepted the role of PRN-OT. Brooke has since transitioned into a full-time role and even trained her first OT student last year. Committed to learning, she also takes an interest in the business aspect of the hospital and has attended operations meetings to learn how the hospital’s metrics impact the therapy team. Brooke frequently receives patient shout-outs during discharge celebrations and leadership rounds. For these reasons and more, she is an outstanding asset to Encompass Health.
Morgan Bretzke, Wound Care and Infection Control Coordinator
West | Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Colorado Springs
Morgan started as a floor nurse and worked her way up to the wound care coordinator role, obtaining certifications along the way. With a hands-on leadership style, Morgan leads the hospital’s flu shot program, is a point person for the COVID-19 vaccine program, is always available for FIT testing and even comes in early to help take staff temperatures. She has been instrumental in the hospital’s COVID-19 infection prevention response, actively researching, sharing information, assisting with PPE sourcing and supporting staff as they adjust to new protocols. A natural educator, she takes pride in making sure staff are well-trained in infection prevention measures. Colleagues are drawn to her go-getter personality and willingness to help wherever needed.