Port Huron, MI – Each year we celebrate our employees during Awards Week. The agency honors several staff and volunteers with Volunteer of the Year, Leader of the Year, Bess MacCulloch, and Dr. Elmore Shoudy awards. In addition, a little competition between staff with gingerbread house and door decorating contests… just some fun for the holidays!
Volunteer of the Year Award
Tom Paull was named 2021 Volunteer of the Year. A volunteer since 2019, Tom is a Companion Volunteer. He sits with patients and families – listening, talking… being a kind presence in the Blue Water Hospice Home. Several staff echoed the sentiment that Tom “is invaluable to the Hospice Home…what he does is appreciated more than he knows.” They are extremely happy that he chooses VNA & Blue Water Hospice to share his talents and volunteer.
Bess MacCulloch Award
Larissa John, CNA was named 2021 Bess MacCulloch Service Award winner. This award is given to someone in the Health Services, Home Health Care, or Private Duty services who exemplifies the mission of the agency. They provide excellent care to clients in addition to their community service.
Larissa has been with VNA since 2016. She wears several hats at the agency – she is a CNA in the Hospice Division at Blue Water Hospice Home as well as doing intake for the overall agency. She was nominated by a co-worker who stated “Larissa is the most kindhearted and caring person I know. She is great with patients and their families, picks up extra shifts, stays late, and comes in early, if needed. She is funny, compassionate, and wonderful to work with.”
Dr. Elmore Shoudy Award
Lucie Gillespie, RN was named 2021 Dr. Elmore Shoudy Award winner. This award is given to an employee of the Hospice division who provides extraordinary care to patients and families dealing with terminal illness.
Lucie has been with the agency since 2015 caring for patients in residence at the Blue Water Hospice Home. The co-worker who nominated her said she “demonstrates compassion to each patient and family she comes into contact with. She often sits with patients at the end of life when no family is able to be present, so they are not alone. She even sang to a patient in German… her favorite Christmas Carol, giving the patient peace in their final days. Lucie attention to detail and critical thinking skills allow her to anticipate what a patient or family may need during this intimate journey in one’s life. She cares for patients as if they were her own family.”
Haley Walsh, LPN was named 2021 Kindness Award winner. This award is given to an employee for their dedication to other team members, upholding the agency’s charter exhibited by patterns of kindness through friendliness, generosity, consideration, and above all…integrity.
Haley has been with VNA & Blue Water Hospice since 2016. Nominated by several co-workers, they had wonderful things to say about Haley. “She is very attentive to the needs…sitting, listening, and explaining situations to a patient’s family, or just holding the hand of anyone in need. She conveys peace around the Blue Water Hospice Home.” Another nominator shared “Haley provides top quality care. On more than one occasion she has helped cover months of night shifts. She seeks out ways to grow and is working toward completing her RN degree.”
Leader of the Year Award
Jennica Kelly, RN, BSN was named 2021 Leader of the Year. To be named Leader of the Year an individual must demonstrate compassion, outstanding leadership, hold themselves and others accountable, while functioning with the utmost humility.
Jennica has been with VNA & Blue Water Hospice since 2016 and is currently the agency’s Quality Coordinator. The co-workers that nominated her said she “took on many challenges during 2021. She rose up to the challenge to take on responsibilities that were not her own, assisted in the CHAP survey preparations, all while doing her own work. Jennica is truly dedicated to the agency and is always willing to help others. She is a great leader who doesn’t realize she is leading…but has a great impact on others.”