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    Seven Intermountain caregivers are recognized as 2019 Healthcare Heroes

    Seven Intermountain caregivers are recognized as 2019 Healthcare Heroes

    intermountain healthcare heroes 2019

    Intermountain's 2019 Healthcare Heroes: Dr. Adam Balls, Joe Taggart, Dr. Brad Rasmusson, Joe Mott, Ana Call, RN, Dr. Marcella Smid, and Kristy Jones.

    Seven Intermountain caregivers have been recognized as 2019 Healthcare Heroes by Utah Business Magazine. The annual awards honor caregivers from around the state who've been nominated by their peers for going above and beyond for their patients, their communities, and their professions. Honorees are recognized in diverse categories, from community outreach to volunteerism. Recipients were recently recognized at a special awards ceremony at the Grand America Hotel.

    Intermountain recipients and the category in which they were honored include:

    COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Adam Balls, MD, and caregivers at Intermountain Medical Center's Emergency Department

    Skyler Gardner, a critical care tech lead in Intermountain Medical Center's Emergency Department, took his own life in March of 2018. "Skyler was loved by many and liked by all," says Dr. Balls, chair of the Emergency Department at Intermountain Medical Center. "He'd reached out to some people for help, but they didn't know what to do." In Skyler's honor, Dr. Balls and his colleagues created OASIS, a new mental health peer support system to provide peer support when caregivers face difficult encounters.

    "Caregiver fatigue and mental injury are being nationally recognized as significant problems in our busy and complex healthcare system," Dr. Balls says. "It's our hope that through comprehensive programs like our OASIS initiative, we'll provide caregivers with the tools and support needed to take better care of themselves and their patients."

    Other caregivers who helped develop OASIS include Gary Brunson, RN, Megan Frausto, RN, Jenn Avery, RN, Cheyenne Brown, RN, Nikki Deines, RN, Carolyn Anctil, MD, Chris Anderson, MD, Celeste Peterson, CCT, Steve Fultz, LCSW, Romina Bishop, LCSW, and police officer Brad Astin.

    HEALTHCARE EDUCATOR: Ana Call, RN, Orem Community Hospital Women's Center

    Ana has served as a labor and delivery nurse and night-time leader at Orem Community Hospital for more than 15 years. She’s aided in the implementation of regular educational opportunities to promote growth and expertise in her unit and takes every opportunity to share her wisdom and teach others. She supports the implementation of regular educational opportunities to promote growth and expertise in her area of nursing. She advocates for her patients and works to give them the care they deserve. “I love it when I bond with a patient and leave my shift thinking, ‘This is why I became a nurse,’” Ana says. “I love feeling as though I’ve truly impacted my patients for the better.”

    INNOVATION: Brad Rasmusson, MD, Thoracic Intensive Care Unit at Intermountain Medical Center

    Dr. Rasmusson is responsible for many innovations during his storied 30-year career. His achievements include development of the Cardiovascular Critical Care Medicine program for the Intermountain Heart Institute and creation of the triad model for cardiac care at the Intermountain Heart Institute, where cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists, and critical care physicians care for the sickest patients with cardiac disease. He’s also been part of the UTAH Cardiac Transplant Program since it began in the mid-1980s, which has since evolved to offering mechanical heart pumps to patients with failing hearts.

    LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Joe Mott, vice president and chief operating officer of Specialty-Based Care

    Joe has held multiple positions at Intermountain, including CFO, COO, and CEO of Primary Children’s Hospital and administrator at Intermountain Medical Center. He spent five years as Intermountain’s vice president of population health, where he helped achieve significant quality improvements and cost reductions, designed innovative provider payment models, and encouraged patients to increase their engagement in their healthcare. Despite his many contributions to ensure hundreds of thousands of Utahns receive safe, quality, affordable healthcare, Joe’s still eager to do more. “There’s so much good healthcare in America,” he says. “But there’s also so much that could, and must, be better.”

    Joe said at the award ceremony that he was grateful to work in a way that felt like it was “more than a paycheck,” and that what we do in our day-to-day work matters. “Regardless of what our work is, I hope we can all see a connection in our work, that we’re also bettering other people’s lives. Those of us who work in healthcare are really fortunate that our work is directly focused on other people.”

    VOLUNTEER: Joe Taggart, Intermountain Medical Center

    In 2006, when he was 24 years old, Joe Taggart suffered a severe spinal injury that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. He spent more than four months in hospitals on a respirator before he was transported to LDS Hospital for neurological rehab, where he worked tirelessly to gain movement in his neck and shoulders. Since his injury, he’s gone back to school, become a successful attorney, served on many non-profit community boards, is politically engaged, supports many disabled and human rights interests groups, and volunteers frequently for a peer mentor program at Intermountain Medical Center. “Helping an individual discover that they can continue to have a meaningful life post-injury is incredible,” he says.

    COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Kristy Jones, Community Health manager

    As a community health improvement area manager, Kristy Jones devotes her time to improving community health, specifically in northern Utah. Kristy was a founding member and is current chair of NUHOPE, a suicide prevention task force based at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden. She’s involved in and leads many community health projects throughout northern Utah including Women’s Health Connection (in partnership with the Midtown Community Health Center in Ogden), which provides hundreds of uninsured, underserved women with free preventive screenings and dental work every year. “Putting together events and programs that can ease someone’s mind makes me glad I chose public health as a career,” Kristy says. “I get to bring peace of mind to people. I ease their burdens. I help them find joy again.”

    HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER: Marcela Smid, MD, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine

    Dr. Smid is a caregiver in Intermountain’s Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine and an assistant professor of psychology and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah. “I’ve always known I was going to be a doctor,” she says. “It’s something I felt called to. Medicine picked me, and I’m so grateful it did.” She’s focused on helping women who struggle with addiction to have safe and healthy pregnancies and she’s a leader in the fight against opioid abuse. As the co-director of the University of Utah’s Substance Use and Pregnancy – Recovery, Addiction, Dependence (SUPeRAD) clinic in South Jordan, she brings her unique expertise to women with complicated pregnancies who need her. Dr. Smid is also on the board of the Utah Women and Newborn’s Quality Collaborative, where she works on initiatives to improve the care of women and their families.