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Human Resources

Human Resources

Employee Excellence Awards


2013 Awardees | 2012 Awardees

Each year, the Health System recognizes top performing employees at the Employee Excellence Awards and Diversity Celebration breakfast. 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 150 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.

The Travis Air Force Base Honor Guard marched and led the national anthem. Penny Herbert, director of strategic planning, provided the welcome. Tom Travis Nesbitt, UC Davis interim vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine, delivered opening remarks at the breakfast event.

Awards presenters included Heather Young, associate vice chancellor for Nursing and dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing; Darin A. Latimore, assistant dean for student and resident diversity; Vincent Johnson, chief operating officer of UC Davis Medical Center; Timothy Albertson, professor and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine; and Carol A. Robinson, chief patient care services officer.

Honoring Our Veterans   (pdf)

Nominees selected to receive an award by the review committee received a $1,000 monetary award, framed certificate.   

Award recipients received a framed certificate and $1,000. These are examples of 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.

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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Past Award Recipients - 2012 Awardees:

Excellence in Compassion:

  • Lori B. Bergemann, analyst in Health Information Management, performed lifesaving CPR while at the gym.
  • Patricia Bratten, clinical nurse in Pediatric Ambulatory Services, is an excellent mentor to volunteers, students and residents.
  • Michael Brockway, computer resources specialist in Dietary and Kitchen Production, donated over 200 hours of personal vacation time to co-workers who have exhausted their own leave due to a catastrophic situation.
  • Vanessa Brown, social worker in home health and hospice, co-facilitates free bereavement support groups in the community.
  • Michael E. Clarke, resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine, is the first one back at the bedside to check on a patient when a nurse expresses a concern.

Excellence in Diversity:

  • Marlia Braun, Jennifer Manning and Gregory G. Wine represent the health system at health fairs, educating underserved youth about nutrition.
  • Jann Murray-Garcia, assistant adjunct professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, coordinates the UC Davis Book Project.
  • Maeola Doran, Cheryl Richards and Elisa Tong spearhead efforts to reduce the number of smokers in Sacramento County.
  • Francis J. Sousa, assistant dean for admissions and student development, was instrumental in implementing the multi-mini-interview process for medical students.
  • Shirleen Bartido, administrative nurse for the Vascular/GI Surgery unit, contributes to the delivery of quality care to diverse patient populations.

Excellence in Leadership:

  • Patricia "Lynne" Almstrom, PCN Operations analyst, has assumed a leadership role for the Ambulatory Division in preparation for the future implementation of new EPIC computer systems.
  • Penny Brantley, clinical nurse in the Folsom GI Lab, assigned weekly duties to nurses and coordinated staffing schedules when the location was without a nurse manager for seven months.
  • Jita Buno, analyst supervisor in Clinical Operations, leads the coordination of groups and activities as part of the Creating a Culture of Service Excellence initiative.
  • Sheryl A. Ruth, administrative nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, is a leader in the field, serving on the California Prenatal Quality Care Collaborative.
  • Judith Turgeon, professor in Internal Medicine, provides outstanding leadership as the chair of the Committee on Education Policy.

Excellence in Social Responsiblity:

  • Rosy Chow, physical therapist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, is a tireless champion of our patients and individuals in the community who have suffered a loss in mobility.
  • Damia Dillard, licensed clinical social worker in the Department of Internal Medicine, treats patients with bleeding disorders.
  • Julie Gross, physical therapist in pain medicine and rehabilitation, works with amputee patients in need of training to learn to walk with new prosthetic limbs.
  • Pirko Maguiña, Kathleen Osborn, Leonard Sterling and Cheryl Wraa volunteered on humanitarian missions, providing free reconstructive surgery for the poor in developing countries.

Excellence in Teamwork/Collaboration:

  • Michael Inn, clinical lab scientist in the Pathology Department, shows great passion for his work and takes time to teach the students everything they need to know to become a clinical lab scientist.
  • Catherine Le, resident in the Department of Neurology, facilitates staff education and promotes great teamwork.
  • Brian Morrissey, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, teaches staff about the best practices for caring for cystic fibrosis patients.
  • Cheryl Busman and Roy Rai have made significant contributions toward the Dean's Recognition Reception.
  • Zachary Soucy, fellow in the Department of Emergency Medicine, shares his passion for teaching with fourth-year medical students.

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