Skip to Content

Published on May 22, 2015

KishHealth System Recognizes Achievements with Pillar Awards of Excellence

May 22, 2015

DEKALB, Ill. – KishHealth System recognized employees, teams, and departments who have demonstrated significant achievements toward the health system’s organizational goals in the areas of Service, People, Quality, Finance, and Growth at the 13th annual Employee Recognition Banquet, May 11, at the Duke Ellington Ballroom, Northern Illinois University.

It was the ninth year for the Pillar Awards of Excellence that recognize those who show sustainability of results, a one-time major organizational contribution that has a major impact on a Pillar with above and beyond performance. All are role models of KishHealth System’s values and standards of behavior that were selected by a committee comprised of Administration, Human Resources, and Service Excellence.

Service Pillar Award

The Service Pillar Award was presented to the Maternity Suites Department of Valley West Hospital. This caring and talented team offers a level of personalized care that is unmatched by larger urban health facilities. Their success in consistently achieving high patient satisfaction scores is directly related to their dedication and caring manner in which they approach their patients. Over 200 deliveries in fiscal year 2015 have provided the opportunity to expose many new families to the quality and service of the hospital. This team performed their duties professionally and with loving compassion contributing to parent’s celebration and joy of the miracle of birth.

Ginny NashQuality Pillar Award

The Quality Pillar Award was presented to Ginny Nash, an outstanding pharmacist dedicated to patient care and clinical excellence. Nash was described as “a highly valuable member of the KishHealth System team” who “goes above and beyond what is asked in the areas of service, innovation, and quality, who consistently demonstrates passion for patient care.” A nominator also wrote, “she possesses kindness, warmth, and compassion that help foster team development and is a delight to work with.”

People Pillar Award

The health system’s People Pillar Award was presented to the Operating Room Kaizen Team, including team members: Lisa Ackland, Deb Angel, Kathleen Beetz, Karen Black, Xuyen Do, Terri Doty, Karen Ellis, Chris Frankovich, Jann Gingrich, Kristin Goff, Jean Hawkins, Elizabeth Johnson, Nancy Jones, Jennifer Lavoie, Connie Snider, and Amanda Waldron. Through its work, this team improved processes like starting on time have moved from 65% of the patients entering the operating room by 7:30 am to 90%. Turnover times have dropped from 38 minutes to 28 minutes. Patients’ satisfaction with amount time waiting in the facility has gone from 63rd percentile to 69th percentile. Door to OR time has decreased from 137 minutes to 95 minutes. Staff has been empowered to be part of process improvements that directly affect their work flow and satisfaction. The team has incorporated standardized workflow that has helped to drive these great measures of success.

Debbie Stade-Self and the Kishwaukee Hospital Y1/Y2 teamFinance Pillar Award

The Finance Pillar Award was presented to Debbi Stade-Self and Kishwaukee Hospital Y1/Y2 Team. The Y1-Y2 Team worked hard to find areas where they could impact costs in both supplies and staffing. The team successfully achieved annualized savings surpassing $256,000, a major contribution to the organization’s cost reduction goal.

Alice Freier and Michael BordenGrowth Pillar Award

The Growth Pillar Award was presented to the leadership team that was responsible the implementation and integration in the acquisition of the DeKalb Clinic. Working on a daily basis over a 16-week period from the end of October to the beginning of March this team not only worked through a project plan of nearly 800 items but also oversaw the work of at least twelve major sub-teams which involved staff across both organizations. It created a new arm of the health system designed to meet the population health needs of the communities we serve. The team included leadership by: Dr. Michael Kulisz, Pam Duffy, Abe Chacko, Heath Bell, Dave Proulx, Theresa Komitas, Loren Foelske, Cheryl Fisher, Joe Jarocki, Michele McClelland, Chris Cain, Angela Lovett, Michelle Schultz, Paul Springer, Erin Kersten, Dorrie Kasmar, Jodi Haeffner, Tom Warzecha, Brian Skwirut, Mindy Kempinski, Jennifer Fairbanks, Joe Dant, Alice Freier, and Mike Borden.

For more information about KishHealth System, visit


Footer Curve