Skip to Content

Published on June 15, 2011

KishHealth System Recognizes Achievement in Cancer Services

June 15, 2011 

At its award banquet in May, KishHealth System honored individuals, teams, and departments who have demonstrated significant achievements toward the health system’s organizational Pillar Goals in the areas of Service, People, Quality, Finance, and Growth. Kevin Poorten, KishHealth System president and CEO, said, “Our winners bring compassion, dedication, a love of their work, and a commitment to living our Standards of Behavior.” 

Jodi Diehl, patient navigator for Cancer Services received this year’s Service Pillar Award. The Service Pillar is dedicated to patient satisfaction. Jodi Diehl has demonstrated excellence in service to patients, staff, and physicians. Diehl’s work has impacted the quality of care and the experiences the patients are receiving. Under her direction, the retention of patients receiving a portion of their treatment, after diagnostic tests, at Kishwaukee Community Hospital has increased from 92% to 95% in the last two years. In addition, her leadership has been essential in cutting the average time from suspicious mammogram to confirmed diagnosis down from 18.5 days to less than five days, boosting Kishwaukee Community Hospital to the competitive average. 

Cancer Services of KishHealth System was also honored for their initiatives in patient care and safety improvements as the Quality Pillar Award recipient. The Quality Pillar encompasses organizational goals that focus on creating a safe, patient centered, outcome-focused environment for patients and staff. Last year, primary care nursing was implemented so that now each nurse treats the same patient throughout the patient’s cancer journey. Patient centered improvements have also been made to the education process. A patient will now bring their support system to a dedicated teaching appointment before the first day of treatment, reducing some of the uncertainty and anxiety the patient and their family experience. The decreased anxiety leads to better cooperation and increased quality outcomes. 

The Finance Pillar award was presented to Emergency Department Case Management team for its success in assessing and meeting patient needs. The Finance Pillar award recognizes fiscal responsibility which assists the health system in its ability to hire quality staff, obtain necessary equipment, and promote staff and customer satisfaction. Over the past year, the Emergency Department Case Management team covered the Emergency Department seven days a week. Their efforts in reinforcing education, following up after discharge, identifying and addressing barriers such as inability to afford medications or lack of transportation have resulted in improved compliance and reducing readmissions. In 2010, 894 patients were assisted by this team with a financial impact of more than $300,000.

The Growth Pillar highlights the health system’s goals for growing volumes and increasing market share. “The Marketing and Public Relations Department is the creativity behind the health system’s push to meet the goal of building long term community and customer loyalty and trust in the health system’s ability to meet medical needs” said Joseph Dant, vice president of Business Development. In an effort to boost market share and work towards long term goals the team implemented a new interactive strategy in health campaigns. A grass roots and experiential approach was used that included social media, yard signs, billboards, employees and business leaders as ambassadors, and interactions at many community events. Know Your Numbers and This One’s for the Girls campaigns experienced community wide success as businesses and individuals throughout the community got involved in health promotion. Goals extend beyond patent satisfaction and increased market share to employee work environment satisfaction. 

Valley West’s Manager of Respiratory Services, Glenn Podzimek was awarded with the People Pillar. “KishHealthSystem strives to be a great place for employees to work; the People Pillar is what helps us get there.” said Mark Thate, VP, human resources. Podzimek has been making changes, raising the standards, and implementing new technology and services. He is an active member of the clinical team; providing education to nursing staff and being a resource to the other team members. He has challenged his team to grow, develop and expand their knowledge and skills. Podzimek’s leadership, collaboration and technical and people skills were integral to the achievement of our Level II Nursery at Valley. 

The Can Do Attitude Award was presented to Pam Reifsteck, Valley West respiratory therapist, who was recognized for her commitment, initiative, and care as the top winner of the Can Do Attitude awards. Can Do Attitude cards are an employee’s way to acknowledge peers, to recognize someone for living our values, for demonstrating our standards of behavior. During this fiscal year, more than 2,285 Can Do Attitude nominations from employees, patients, and physicians were distributed.

Footer Curve