2023 Outstanding Employee Acheivement Awards

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Encompass Health OEAA 2023 regional winners

Each year, Encompass Health recognizes employees who go above and beyond in their daily work in our hospitals through our Outstanding Employee Acheivement Award, also known as OEAA. The program recognizes one individual from each our company’s geographic regions. Out of more than 33,000 employees companywide, these eight finalists embody the Encompass Health Way, our company’s core values.

Isaac Masese, Registered Nurse II

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Memphis
Central Region

Colleagues admire Isaac Mases for his ability to uplift patients and create instant friendships. Patients know him by name, and many say he is the best nurse they’ve ever met. Isaac works night shifts and frequently fills in as a charge nurse or assists the day shift when staffing is challenging. With his calm and helpful demeaner, Isaac’s patients and teammates know they can depend on him to address any issues that arise with professionalism and respect. He sets the standard in the hospital, and other staff members look to him as an example for them to aspire to.

Fermin Castro, Occupational Therapist

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Princeton
MidAtlantic Region

Comfort, professionalism and respect are exemplified by OT Fermin Castro. Fermin’s top priority is making sure patients have an excellent experience. He knows exactly how to elicit information and get to the heart of a patient’s need, whether it be physical or emotional. He communicates well with families and can have difficult conversations in a gentle, considerate way. Fermin strives to find solutions rather than excuses when faced with difficult rehabilitation objectives. As a true team player, he is always willing to help nurses by answering call lights and assisting with patients ADLs and transfers. He provides individual mentoring to colleagues, always exceeds his OT CEU requirements and hosts multiple in-services throughout the year for staff. Fermin leads by example and finds no task beneath his participation.

Katie Gale, Registered Nurse II

Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital an Affiliate of Encompass Health

Kaitlin “Katie” Gale is the kind of colleague every new employee hopes to meet. In 2023, she was recognized as the hospital’s Preceptor of the Year, an inaugural award where the winner was selected by colleagues via a blind survey. She was the runaway winner because everyone recognizes how much effort she puts into orienting new team members. She is quick to volunteer, whether to precept new hires, answer clinical questions, participate in a committee or support departmental projects. Katie is also considered an LVAD expert who shares her knowledge without hesitation. With her can-do attitude, calm demeanor and a smile that is always at the ready, Katie has successfully conquered the next step in her career journey and was promoted to full time nurse supervisor in January.

Ellen Glazer, Senior Speech Pathologist

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Bluffton
South Atlantic Region

Colleagues say that Ellen Glazer models our value of “stronger together” because she collaborates effortlessly with peers. Ellen consistently seeks out ways to improve interdepartmental collaboration and communication with the patients’ best interest at the forefront, including educational sessions with kitchen staff and individual collaboration with the nursing team on dining program improvements and patient-specific dietary needs. Ellen has mentored students, oriented new employees, served on the hospital’s nutrition team, lead the stroke support group, and she has been instrumental in building the hospital’s new Parkinson’s program. She is always seeking out ways to help her colleagues, and she has even been recognized by patients as a Golden Bell Award nominee for providing excellent care.

Beatrice Smith, Nurse Manager

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Dothan
South Central Region

Beatrice “Bea” Smith demonstrates The Encompass Health Way daily. She leads with empathy by braiding patients’ hair, accommodating special meal requests and spending extra time comforting patients and educating families. She also mentors her colleagues, teaches GED classes and spreads positivity everywhere she goes. Bea has been instrumental in improving the hospital’s nursing engagement, and nursing turnover (including first-year turnover) has decreased more than 50% within one year because of Bea’s leadership. She is heavily involved in nurse recruitment, evening driving to local graduations to engage with new nurse graduates and instructors. Bea has an extensive ICU background, which helps Encompass Health Dothan provide even better care to patients with complex medical needs. Bea’s selflessness, willingness to act and commitment to excellence sets her apart as an outstanding employee and caregiver.

Jesús Robles, Therapy Tech

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Manatí
Southeast Region

Throughout his 16-year career with Encompass Health, Jesús Robels has treated his patients like family. He encourages patients to fully participate in therapy and reminds them that he and his colleagues will be with them throughout the rehabilitation process. Hospital leaders say he is always willing to work additional days if there are problems filling a shift. Outside of the hospital, Jesus is an active member of his community. He is known to collect necessities for the homeless and repair medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, for those in need. Jesús never hesitates to say, “Count on me,” even without knowing what is needed. He sets the standard for kindness and compassion in his community and is a true asset to Encompass Health.

Kyle Katz, Therapy Team Leader, Physical Therapy

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Austin
Southwest Region

Kyle Katz is a dynamic and talented team leader. He is a stroke champion, Bioness super user and advocate for fall prevention and amputee education. He independently worked with a vendor to loan several prosthetics to the hospital so he could educate staff about donning/doffing prosthetics. His passion for education translates to great patient care. It’s not uncommon for patients to visit the hospital after their discharge just to connect with Kyle and show him their progress. Kyle also steps outside of his role by helping organize hospital open houses where the therapy team can demonstrate rehabilitation technology. He has also spoken to physician offices to help them understand our level of care and has provided therapy education to local acute care hospitals. No matter who needs him, Kyle is always willing to help.

Julian Pradeep, Physical Therapist

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Northwest Tucson
West Region

Julian Pradeep takes pride in his work, never hesitating to go above and beyond for his patients. He once took a patient to a community outing in the evening after normal working hours so she could attend her son’s hockey game, which is just one example of how Julian leaves a meaningful impact on patients and families. Julian devotes his undivided attention to those he is speaking with and never makes anyone feel like an inconvenience. He has been known to stay longer than his scheduled shift if there is a patient concern that needed to be addressed, all to ensure the patient is taken care of and his colleagues are not overburdened. Julian’s cheerful attitude is contagious, and colleagues say he is the greatest advocate for a positive atmosphere and cooperation within the therapy team.

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