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Human Resources

Human Resources

Employee Excellence Awards


2014 Awardees | 2013 Awardees

Forty-three employees were honored Monday morning at this year's Employee Excellence 3peopleAwards and Diversity Celebration Breakfast for demonstrating excellence on the job. Nearly 200 health system employees attended the event.

The awards celebrate individuals who have demonstrated excellence in one of the health system's strategic guiding principles:

  • Compassion
  • Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Social Responsibility
  • Teamwork/Collaboration

More than 247 faculty, residents/fellows, and staff were nominated by their co-workers to receive an award. A selection committee of health system employees reviewed and ranked the nominations.

Awards presenters were Heather Young, associate vice chancellor for Nursing and dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing; Nathan Kuppermann, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine; David Acosta, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion; Ann Madden Rice, Chief Executive Officer, UC Davis Medical Center; and Julie Freischlag, Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis.
Award recipients received a framed certificate and $1,000. Nominators recognized award recipients for the following achievements:


2014 Awardees:

Excellence in Compassion Awards

  • Teresa G. Paglieroni, clinical lab
  •  science specialist, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Keith A. Williamson, groundskeeper, grounds maintenance
  • Grace R. Farr, MOS V supervisor, surgery clinic
  • Evangeline Bracero Nidoy, MOSC III, operating room
  • Gary W. McMillian, stores worker, Stores

Excellence in Diversity Awards

  • Alicia Gonzalez-Flores, resident, Department of Internal Medicine
  • Yvonne D. Delaney, access representative, financial clearance
  • Cynthia M. Wood, MOSC III, radiation oncology
  • Linda A. Zieghan, analyst V, Center for Reducing Health Disparities
  • Tyrone L. Damon, clinical nurse II, Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit
  • Myrene Andrea V. Abot, analyst, IT Business Operations
  • Lynn M. Loftis, administrative nurse, G.I./endoscopy
  • Yuriy Vorobets, clinical nurse III, D-12 Surgical Specialties Unit

Excellence in Leadership Awards

  • Valerie Renee Adame, manager, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Sheree E. Criner, senior vocational nurse, Otolaryngology Clinic
  • Sherry A. Allen, clinical nurse III, T-2 Surgical Intensive Care Unit
  • Kathleen M. Rowe, manager, Risk Management
  • Stacey L. Pasco, analyst VI, School of Nursing
  • Alison A. Nielsen, resident, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Kristi D. Cargill, clinical nurse II, Perioperative Services
  • Jayne M. LaGrande, community health program assistant chief, Department of Neurology
  • Stephanie L. Esparza, senior vocational nurse, UC Davis Medical Group, Folsom
  • Stephen A. Mathis, manager, Dermatology Clinic

Excellence in Social Responsibility Awards

  • Michelle S. Young, respiratory therapist, respiratory care
  • Laudy Y. Rizk, clinical nurse II, T-2 Surgical Intensive Care Unit
  • Christine M. Sitts, clinical nurse II, P-3 Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit
  • Julie A. Weckstein, licensed clinical social worker, Social Services
  • Geneva Vang, mental health therapist, Department of Pediatrics

Excellence in Teamwork/Collaboration Awards

  • Mark A. Robinson, analyst VI, Center for Health Aging
  • Christopher D. Pivetti, staff research associate, Department of Surgery
  • James M. Gudemann, operating room assistant II, operating room
  • John Grubbs, director of pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Services
  • Gerald A. Searles, operations supervisor, Distribution
  • Lori F. Kellogg, hospital assistant I, Distribution
  • Marsha A. McHugh, hospital assistant I, Distribution
  • Nicole L. Sainz, analyst V, Department of Pediatrics
  • Velma J. Davidson, licensed clinical social worker, Social Services
  • Harry Wong, senior pharmacist, IT applications
  • Sue Nadeau, senior pharmacist, IT applications
  • Abbey J. DeGraffenreid, analyst VII, operating room
  • Deeniece C. Hatten, assistant III, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Marie L. Barone, senior dietitian, Chronic Disease Management

Employees pay tribute to Principles of Community

Celebrating the UC Davis Principles of Community is the theme of this year's Thank Goodness for Staff/Diversity Appreciation Day. As part of that celebration, members of the health system’s executive leadership team, affinity groups, and Equal Opportunity and Diversity Committee, selected the statement from the Principles of Community that resonates the most with him or her.

The members and the statements they chose are available here. (intranet)

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Past Award Recipients - 2013 Awardees:


Excellence in Compassion:

  • Lauren Aloisio, registered nurse in the Department of Hospice, teaches the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium training and is one of the original hospice nurses at UC Davis. 
  • Patricia Doolin, administrative nurse in the D-5 Neonatal Units, has found creative ways to increase teamwork while ensuring patient safety.
  • Rita Decker, senior ultrasound technologist in the Folsom clinic, is recognized for being flexible to accommodate patient needs and providers' requests.
  • Karen Lynch, assistant nurse manager in the Same Day Surgery Center, helped facilitate free cataract surgeries for an elderly community in need.
  • Cathleen Madge, nursing supervisor in Patient Care Services, draws on her 21 years of experience as a nurse in the U.S. Air Force to provide compassionate patient care.
  • Mandy Schesser, clinical nurse in Surgical Intensive Care Unit, has been a tremendous resource for all of the incoming nurses in the unit. Her enthusiasm and compassion are tremendous assets to the unit.

Excellence in Diversity:

  • Tricia Tomiyoshi, senior public information officer in Public Affairs and Marketing, Dan Cotton, manager of Academic Information Systems, and Drew Pokorney, analyst in IT Applications and former U.S. Army master sergeant, demonstrated leadership, innovation and collaboration to support the UC system-wide Campus Climate Survey.
  • Judy Yamasaki, clinical nurse for the Surgery Clinic, motivates all patients to achieve success for themselves.
  • Jean Wiedeman, associate professor in pediatrics, specializes in the treatment of children with infectious diseases, especially complex clinical cases.
  • Elaine Nakata, outreach analyst in EEO/Human Resources, has reached out to the veteran community, partnering with veteran groups and leading this year's Veterans and Diversity Career Fair.

Excellence in Leadership:

  • Vincent Fong, licensed clinical social worker in pediatrics, took on the majority of the clinics when his department was understaffed.
  • Rick Frazee, senior vocational nurse supervisor in dermatology, spearheads training sessions for his staff.
  • Theresa Pak, nurse manager, has been integral in helping Tower 7's MS ICU receive the Silver Beacon Award by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
  • Laura Lester, nurse practitioner supervisor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, has been instrumental in expanding the clinical trial unit for Hepatitis C.
  • Brooke Coleman, clinical nurse in PACU, has developed a patient-centric process that allows family members to have real-time information about the status of their loved one.

Excellence in Social Responsibility:

  • Erica Goude, senior clinical research coordinator in physical medicine and rehabilitation, has enabled the UC Davis neuromuscular team to be the highest enrolling site in the nation.
  • Eboni Stewart, clinical nurse in the Department of Patient Care Services, led the outreach efforts of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to the Greater Sacramento and Northern California community since 2011.
  • Lori Peterman, clinical nurse in the operating room, spearheaded the development of a new donor policy.
  • Sarah Kerss, analyst in the Department of Patient Relations, assisted a colleague when she needed help finding a doctor and surgeon for her son.
  • Marina Podoreanu, Cheryl Burstiner and Deborah Albert have promoted a breastfeeding-friendly workplace, which led to the health system's Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Award from the Breastfeeding Coalition of Greater Sacramento. 

Excellence in Teamwork/Collaboration:

  • Duane Hicks, construction superintendent in Facilities Design and Construction, Eric Cross, senior parking supervisor, Wanda Brown, assistant manager in Parking and Transportation Services, and David Brooks, manager in Parking and Transportation Services, were instrumental in the design, implementation and development of operational procedures for Parking Structure 3.
  • Kathleen Dooley, analyst at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, chairs the School of Nursing's Team Engagement Committee.
  • Daniel Keister, programmer in the Department of Information Infrastructure, demonstrated outstanding teamwork, collaboration and planning for the Perimeter Project, which provided more robust and higher bandwidth connections for the health system.
  • Nancy Hernandez, central sterile technician in central processing, is a team player who will go above and beyond to help new employees.
  • Dong Bi, senior pharmacist in the IT Applications Department, demonstrated leadership while working with other Barcode Medical Administration to increase patient safety in medication administration.


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