Coworkers Celebrated as Heritage Week 2023 Award Winners

As we take the time to honor and celebrate the history of our ministry during Heritage Week, we also recognize the wonderful coworkers we have throughout all of our CHI St. Vincent hospitals.

The following were selected as winners of our Leadership and Service Excellence awards for Heritage Week 2023.

Sister Margaret Vincent Blandford Leadership Award

LaValeria Saxton-Smith, CHI St. Vincent Primary Care-East Clinic, Clinic Manager

“LaValeria leads the East Clinic as a true ministry. She is the only clinic manager who didn’t experience turnover during the pandemic and I know this speaks to the passion and dedication she shows her employees. Her attitude is always positive and the love she shows her patients is truly an extension of the service of Jesus during his ministry. I’ve never met someone so selfless. LaValeria will work weekends, nights, and anytime when her patients and the community need her. She IS our ministry in action!”

Sister Teresa Joseph Babcock Service Excellence Award

Anel Guapo, RN, Emergency Department (Infirmary)

“From the moment she started at St. Vincent, Anel has been able to grow into a fantastic emergency nurse and an even better teammate. She shows such compassion for her patients and families, and she has had numerous “shout outs” in daily huddle. I have personally seen her take the time to feed an elderly patient with dementia, and I have been told by others about how she goes out of her way to keep family informed and works hard to keep wounds from her patients by making sure they are turned and cleaned. This is a part of a nurse’s job description, but she isn’t doing it because it’s in the job description, she is doing it because she knows it’s the right thing to do for the patient.”

Sister Teresa Joseph Babcock Service Excellence Award

Donna Ivey, Patient Services, Heart Clinic Arkansas (Medical Group)

“Donna has worked for the group for over 20 years. She always goes out of her way to help others. If someone comes to her for something, she will do it no matter if it is her job or someone else’s. Thank you, Donna, for your hard work and dedication!!!”

Sister Teresa Joseph Babcock Service Excellence Award

Tammy Smith, Administrative Assistant (Morrilton)

“Tammy wears many hats at this facility and executes each assignment with humility, grace and a heart of service. Whether delivering mail, information or goods to the staff she does so with kindness to each and every person. She has the most polite manners, always saying please and thank you no matter if you did anything for her or not. Tammy embodies Christ with flesh on by loving, serving and working for everyone she meets. She is a blessing to me and especially this facility.”

Sister Teresa Joseph Babcock Service Excellence Award

Megan Thompson, RN, PACU/OR (North)

“When I saw the email about this award the first person I thought of was Megan. Megan shows up to work every day with a smile and a positive attitude. It doesn’t matter how busy we are or how long the hours are, she never complains. She truly goes above and beyond in every aspect of her work. She is always the one that is willing to come in early, stay late, or pick up an extra shift if the team needs her. She embodies the core values of CHI St. Vincent with grace.”

Sister Dorothy Calhoun Service Excellence Award

Lauren Simpson, Patient Care Tech (Hot Springs)

“Lauren is a sweet, patient, loving, charismatic, hardworking tech. I’ve worked with Lauren many times and she always shows the utmost compassion to every patient and coworker. There was one day a patient was going home and they had somehow lost their favorite long sleeve shirt when they came in through the ER due to it being cut off. I just remember the patient being so upset about it, but she kept complimenting Lauren’s undershirt. Well, Lauren went to the bathroom took her long sleeve shirt off and gave it to the patient to wear home. She just truly shows how big hearted and selfless she is. I know there are so many amazing and deserving healthcare workers who deserve this nomination and deserve to be recognized, but I truly feel that Lauren is one of them.”

Sister Dorothy Calhoun Service Excellence Award

Lisa Simpson, Clinic Administrator, 70 West, Mt. Ida and Glenwood Clinics (Medical Group)

“Lisa always takes each of us into consideration, she cares about us as a person, she tries to accommodate to our individual needs. She is fair and kind. She addresses the issues we bring to her and does her best to find a solution. She also gives credit where credit is due. Thank you for all you do for us!”

Deacon Patrick McCruden Leadership Award

Debra Erwin, RD/LD, Manager, Patient Nutrition Services (Hot Springs)

“Over the past year, the food and nutritional services department has been challenged with many obstacles, but with Debra’s leadership, we have managed to come through on the other side. When our systems went down last October, we were very concerned about going through with our transition. The staff was hesitant, we didn’t have the right software for our menus. We had to go completely manual after being automated for so many years. Our patients didn’t have the options they once had, but Debra advocated for the safety of our patients and for choices for our coworkers and physicians. She competently led our dieticians and even helped expand their coverage to include the Morrilton facility. She and the rest of the nutritional services leadership team fought for patient choices on the menu and helped lead the rebound of our patient experience scores in dietary. She always has a positive attitude and a smile on her face no matter the challenges. She is a true example of dedication to our ministry, and we are so thankful to have her on our team.”

Dr. Michael Young Physician Excellence Award

Dr. Kyle Roper, Family Medicine, CHI St. Vincent Primary Care – Hot Springs – 70 West (Hot Springs)

“Dr. Kyle Roper is always here for us when we need him.  He is there as support for our physicians and APP’s. Dr. Roper works extremely hard and is always willing to step in and help with anything asked. He is caring and compassionate and truly cares about his peers, his clinic staff and his patients. He makes himself available for questions from the APP’s he supervises even with having a full patient load himself. Dr. Roper’s leadership has been instrumental in growing our Hot Springs Medical Group into one of the largest and most successful groups of providers in CSH and the state of Arkansas. Dr. Roper has dedicated his entire professional career to this ministry and this community. He has been a blessing to all of us. I know his friend Mike Young is looking down today with a huge smile on his face.”

President’s Award

This year, we gave out two very special awards to men who have devoted themselves to this ministry.  Both of them have gone above and beyond as representatives of CHI St. Vincent to the community and as leaders of this ministry as members and chairmen of the Board of Directors. They have been worthy stewards, great friends, and champions of the legacy given to us by the Sisters of Mercy.

For their years of noble and blessed service to this ministry, we bestow the President’s Award upon Eric Jackson and Bart Newman.

Eric Jackson, Board Member
Bart Newman, Board Member