Summit Awards [2015]

2016 marks the 16th anniversary of The HealthCare Service Excellence Conference and the prestigious Summit Awards. Over the past 16 years we have awarded 230 Summit Achievers and 473 Pinnacle Achievers (introduced in 2005) to individuals and organizations who represent the very “Best of the Best” in Service Excellence. We would like to thank everyone, past and present, for creating such a rich history of Service Excellence. Without you this Night of Excellence would not be possible.

The HealthCare Service Excellence Summit Awards and Night of Excellence ceremony is a North American-wide recognition program established by the HealthCare Service Excellence Conference. This unique celebration recognizes exceptional Service Excellence by awarding nominees a Pinnacle Achiever award. Pinnacle Achievers in each of the 17 award categories are also eligible to receive the prestigious Summit Award, which recognizes significant achievement and dedication in improving initiatives in the following areas:

• The quality of service to patients/customers.

• The quality of work life for professionals.

• The performance of organizations.

Summit Award Recipients
   2018        2018     2017     2016     ALL    



Pinnacle and Summit Awards Recipients for 2015

Pinnacle statusis awarded to the top 3 (or 4) nominees in each category.
Click on the Grey Bar to see the 2015 Summit Award Recipient.

Service Excellence Advisor

A team leader and role model who encourages and supports others to improve

  • Ray Knable, Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen, CO
  • Tara Laphew, CCR/Radford Health & Rehab, Radford, VA
  • Amber Sexton, Fredonia Regional Hospital, Fredonia, KS
  • Shannon Chrostoski, Harrisburg Medical Center, Harrisburg, IL
The 2015 Service Excellence Advisor Summit Recipient is…

Shannon Chrostoski from Harrisburg City Medical Center.


Service Excellence Mentor

A role model with a positive attitude, who assists, motivates and guides SEA’s

  • Tom Shelton, CNA, CCR/Gainesville Health & Rehab, Gainesville, VA
  • Andrea Morales, CommWell Health, Newton Grove, NC
  • Caye Mauney, Ochiltree General Hospital, Perryton, TX
The 2015 Service Excellence Mentor Summit Recipient is…


Tom Shelton from CCR - Gainesville Health and Rehab.

Accepting Award is Tom Curling


Exceptional Nurse

Provides outstanding levels of compassion and quality care. Is supportive, a good listener and is always improving

  • Shelley Kollman, CHI Carrington Health, Carrington, ND
  • Adam Porter, Harrisburg Medical Center, Harrisburg, IL
  • Mandy Bontrager, Holton Community Hospital, Holton, KS
The 2015 Exceptional Nurse Summit Recipient is…


Mandy Bontrager from Holton Community Hospital


Exceptional Employee

Provides exceptional service to both patients/customers and fellow employees

  • Jonna Hale, Harrisburg Medical Center, Harrisburg, IL
  • Season Brown, Holton Community Hospital, Holton, KS
  • Justin Weaver, Pulaski Memorial Hospital, Winamac, IN
  • Kyle Crawford, San Luis Valley Health, Alamosa, CO
The 2015 Exceptional Employee Summit Recipient is…


Season Brown from Holton CommunityHospital

Accepting Award is Gretchen Snavely


Empowering Manager

A true leader who encourages individuals to achieve great results

  • David Howell, CCR/Abingdon Health & Rehab, Abingdon, VA
  • Jodi Bosch, CHI St. Joseph’s Health, Dickinson, ND
  • Shannon Stanford, Clay County Hospital, Flora, IL
  • Janet McGinns, San Luis Valley Health, Alamosa, CO
The 2015 Empowering Manager Summit Recipient is…


Janet McGinnis from San Luis Valley Health

Accepting Award is Patti Thompson


Customer Focused Physician/Provider

Professional and respectful, with compassion for those they serve

  • Dr. David Kuylen, CHI St. Joseph’s Health, Dickinson, ND
  • Dr. Donald Bunnell, Clay County Hospital, Flora, IL
  • Dr. Daniel Anderson, Pulaski Memorial Hospital, Winamac, IN
  • Dr. Enrico Versace, San Luis Valley Health, Alamosa, CO
The 2015 Customer Focused Physician/Provider is…

Pat Thompson

Dr. Daniel Anderson from Pulaski Memorial Hospital

Accepting Award is Linda Webb


Super Coach

Provides exceptional leadership, encouragement and guidance

  • Jennifer Whitman, CHI Carrington Health, Carrington, ND
  • Staci Klein, Hodgeman County Health Center, Jetmore, KS
  • Carolda Edwards, Minneola District Hospital, Minneola, KS
The 2015 Super Coach Summit Recipient is…


Carolda Edwards from Minneola District Hospital

Accepting Award is Jenna Persinger


Service Excellence Advisor Team

A team with positive attitude, who combine their frontline enthusiasm and skills for the betterment of all

  • Radford All-Stars, CCR/Radford Health & Rehab, Radford, VA
    Tara Lephew, Skyler Linkous, Tina Summers, Sandra Ratcliff
  • The Avengers, CHI Carrington Health, Carrington, ND
    Nikki Neumiller, Brooke Kutz, Taryn Schatz
  • SEA Team, Holton Community Hospital, Holton, KS 
    Dawna Leck, Sam Nolte, Krista Dierking
The 2015 Service Excellence Advisor Team Summit Recipient is…

The Four SEAsons

The Avengers from CHI Carrington Health

Accepting Award is Nikki Neumiller



An innovative group of leaders, working together, to effect improvement

  • Orientation and Onboarding, Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen, CO
    Dallas Gillespie, Marcelo Nicomedes, Alicia Miller, Elaine Gerson, April Boney, Stacy Curtis, Gabriel Muething, Annette Kremer, Vicki Weiss, Bert Holmes, Jamie Britt, Kelsey Musser, Alyssa Franklin, Lori Maloy
  • Eagle Excellence Flight School, CommWell Health, Newton Grove, NC
    Eagle Excellence Council, Pam Tripp, Sue Villnave, Andrea Morales, Regina Gainey, Christopher Vann
  • Momentum and Morale Team, Harrisburg Medical Center, Harrisburg, IL
    Hope Cockrum, Jennifer Bolin, John Price, Kim Greenwell, Kim Tate, Mary Owens, Natasha Barger, Rodney Smith, Jeff Smith, Stacey Watkins
  • Team TALC, Phillips County Hospital, Phillipsburg, KS
    Becky Levin, Danielle Bohl, Nancy Johnson, Angel Miner, Ashley Delaney, Cynthia Hammond, Sarah Miller, Mildred Hadley
The 2015 OASIS Team Summit Recipient is…


Eagle Excellence Flight School from CommWell Health

Accepting Award is Sue Villnave, Andrea Morales, and Christopher Vann


DO IT Improvement

Defining dissatisfiers, taking action, creating improvement

  • Discharge Planning Improvement Committee, CHI Carrington Health,, Carrington, ND
    Shelley Kollman, Jesse Rue, Jan Bakke, Jennifer Whitman, Tessa McConnaughey, RoxAnn Willey
  • Behavioral Health, Harrisburg Medical Center,, Harrisburg, IL
    Shayne Parks, Tiffany Tod
  • Transitions of Care, Holton Community Hospital, , Holton, KS
    Mandy Bontrager RN, Tammy Elliott RN, Dawna Leck RN, Zennie McClintock, Lisa Moore CPTA, Brandon Speer RN, Cody Utz
The 2015 DO IT Improvement Team Summit Recipient is…

Get Fit

Behavioral Health from Harrisburg Medical Center

Accepting Award is Cindy Ford


Assistant Program Director

Outstanding support for the Program Director while keeping the vision of excellence alive

  • Becky Pretzer, CCR/Carriage Hill Health & Rehab, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Melissa Price, CCR/Chase City Health & Rehab, Chase City, VA
  • Trish Stenger, CHI Carrington Health, Carrington, ND
The 2015 Assistant Program Director Summit Recipient is…


Melissa Price from CCR/Chase City Health & Rehab,

Accepting Award is Sherry Broussard


Service Excellence Program Director

A pillar in the organization; leads, motivates, listens, communicates and coaches

  • Amy Trubiroha Wells, Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen, CO
  • Nancy Waters, CCR, Roanoke, VA
  • Sue Villnave, CommWell Health, Newton Grove, NC
  • Megan Sparks, Minneola District Hospital, Minneola, KS
The 2015 Service Excellence Program Director Summit Recipient is…


Nancy Waters from CCR


Service Excellence Council

Dedicated, committed to the vision, ensuring exceptional teamwork with forward momentum

  • Service Excellence Council, CHI Carrington Health,, Carrington, ND
    Kamae Anderson, RoxAnn Willey, Anne Vold, Renee Riedesel, Jodi Hovdenes, Becky Pretzer, Robin Simonson, Tina Jans, Kendra Beckley, Jessica Linderman, Brenda Rask, Jennifer Whitman, Hayley Wenzel
  • Eagle Excellence Council, CommWell Health, Newton Grove, NC
    Christopher Vann, Sarah Parker, Pam Tripp, Dr. Evelyn Salgado, Janet Stroughton, Sondra Daggett, Cheryl Stanley, Andrea Morales, Sue Villnave, Tammy Dunn
  • X-Factor Commitee, Holton Community Hospital, Holton, KS
    Shannon Henry, Pam Holaday, Nikki Rinkes, Cody Utz, Rachel Dillon, Becky Martin, Lisa Hill, Keri Brucken, Rhea Bertulfo, Ric Gengler, Carrie Saia, Katie Barnes, Kayla Brucken
  • Service Excellence Council, Middle Park Medical Center, Kremmling, CO
    David Solawetz, Carmen Covington, Janet Peters, Bethanie Reynolds, David Ross, Bridget Newman, Jason Bryan, Jason Stuerman, Laurie Lange, Theresa Vague, Tiffany Freitag
The 2015 Service Excellence Council Summit Recipient is…


Service Excellence Council from CHI Carrington Healt

Accepting Award is Brenda Rask and Jessica Linderman


Inspiring Administrator

An individual with energy, professionalism, and a commitment to improvement

  • Shannon M. Sorensen, Brown County Hospital, Ainsworth, NE
  • Zoie Nikov, CCR/Potomac Falls Health & Rehab, Sterling, VA
  • DeeAnna Opstedahl, CHI St. Joseph’s Health, Dickinson, ND
  • Albert Pilkington III, Johnson Regional Medical Center, Clarksville, AR
The 2015 Inspiring Administrator Summit Recipient is…


Albert Pilkington III from Johnson Regional Medical Center


Medical Clinic of Choice

A medical clinic that embodies Service Excellence in the capacity of compassion and education

  • Foster County Medical Center, CHI Carrington Health, Carrington, ND
  • CommWell Health of Newton Grove/Spivey’s Corner, CommWell Health, Newton Grove, NC
  • Minneola Community Clinic, Minneola District Hospital, Minneola, KS
The 2015 Employee Engagement Summit Recipient is…


CommWell Health of Newton Grove/Spivey’s Corner from CommWell Health

Accepting Award is Allison Hargrove


Hospital Provider of Choice

A market leader for employee retention and patient satisfaction

  • Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen, CO
  • CHI Carrington Health, Carrington, ND
  • Minneola District Hospital, Minneola, KS
The 2015 Hospital Provider of Choice Summit Recipient is…


Aspen Valley Hospital from Aspen, CO


The 2015 Founder's Award

An individual or organization who best demonstrates and lives the meaning of Service Excellence


The Founder's Award recipient is Rodney Smith, of Harrisburg Medical Center

  • Rodney Smith is a lifelong learner with more than 29 years of management experience in healthcare and industry. He re-designed Harrisburg Medical Center's pension plan to provide more benefits to employees with no additional cost, and established a tobacco free campus. Rodney knows what it takes to build a world class hospital, and he gives every employee the tools, resources, and support needed to reach that goal. In addition to being a gentle and kind caregiver, Rodney is a dynamic visionary leader who inspires his team to achieve greatness. His commitment to the employees and patients of HMC is second to none.

This organization is known for kind, compassionate people who take the time to listen to the patients.  Patients and employees are treated like family.  The equipment may not be the newest, but the caring employees outshine that.

CHI Carrington Health has taken an active part in providing excellent care to patients, and excellent service to employees.  Despite a bumpy year, they have decreased turnover and made 13 top HCAHPS percentiles. 

Through combined efforts, the HCAHPS Overall rating at AVH is in the 98th percentile, and they were awarded the CMS 5 star rating for quality.  Everything done at AVH is of excellent quality and thoughtfulness. 

This clinic treats everyone like family.  Their providers have made house calls, taken a meal to a family after the death of a loved one, and provided transportation to appointments out of town.  They go above and beyond to treat their community.

This clinic has the region’s only rural, interdisciplinary HIV care program, with more than eight quality awards in the last two years.  It is made up of some of the most compassionate and culturally competent people you will ever meet.

The staff at this clinic go above and beyond to provide excellent care.  Last year, they increased their “willingness to recommend” scores from 86% to 92%!  They believe in the work they do, and are proud of their steady improvements.

Since Albert was named CEO, he has increased patient satisfaction, employee morale, and customer service.  He is the head cheerleader of the organization, and he has empowered each employee to be involved in the change they want to see.

Since becoming CNO, DeeAnna has pushed for Service Excellence at every level. Under her leadership, overall HCAHPS scores have increased, and turnover is reduced in all clinical departments. Her positive energy and vision are contagious.

Zoie leads by example. She is an inspiration to her entire team, and she is the first person to stay late to accomplish a task.  She never hesitates to roll up her sleeves. Zoie embraces any disaster - no challenge is too much for her!

Shannon has been a driving force, steering Brown County Hospital towards a culture of excellence, caring and commitment. Her energy and passion to continually improve is unsurpassed, and she is an example for everyone.

These council members walk the talk and advocate for patient experience nor only at leadership meetings, but also at the frontline.  They believe they can make a difference, and they are influencing change one person at a time.

The X-Factor Committee is committed to their mission of enhancing not only patient but also employee satisfaction.  Each member is passionate about continuing to utilize the knowledge and skills developed through their leadership.

This council is now entering its 7th year of service, and it’s as every bit as dedicated to Service Excellence now as it was on day one.  They include perspectives from all levels to ensure the program is responsive to everyone. 

This Council makes each member accountable.  They’ve incorporated service excellence standards and behaviors into their annual evaluation process and new hire orientation, and added a role to their council specifically for service recovery.

Megan is an upbeat, great leader who treats everyone with respect.  She made a powerful video of SEAs talking about how the program has made them stronger in every aspect of their lives.  She lives and works by example!

Sue singlehandedly coordinates all quarterly trainings for CommWell, from curriculum development to employee scheduling.  No job is too complicated for her!  One colleague called her, “the glue that holds us all together.”


When it comes to being committed to Service Excellence, there is no other above Nancy.  She embraces every challenge and does so with a positive attitude and a smile.  Service Excellence is part of who Nancy is…..it’s in her heart!

Amy is a born leader, and she’s always a cheerleader for Project MATCH.  She rallies the Council and stays connected with every SEA.  If someone is struggling to understand something, Amy helps them find a way to be successful.

In many ways, Trish is the bridge that brings the leadership and frontline staff together.  She works with each SEA to teach them about their role in service excellence, and always has time to help, regardless of how busy her day is.

Melissa embodies the spirit of the Service Excellence Initiative.  Her positive attitude kept the vision alive, even when others had difficulty seeing beyond the end of a shift.  Melissa is a “cheerleader” who re-energizes the SEI every day.

Becky has an inspiring, encouraging personality that engages others.  She’s always there to offer a supporting hand.  When Carrington struggled with HR turnover, Becky kept everyone together and on track.  She makes everyone’s job easier!

This program has had a tremendous impact - patients are educated with written and verbal instruction, and a binder with information on their diagnosis and medications.  The all-cause readmission rate has been reduced by 50% in 2 years!

This team’s project is one-of-a-kind. It turns old toners into cash – the money is used to help homeless patients purchase their psychotropic medications, and the toners are kept out of a landfill.  With no startup or ongoing costs, it’s spectacular!

This team is very proactive - they meet monthly to find new projects, tools and services to assist with the discharge process, like planning forms and instruction sheets.  They continue to find new ways to improve the discharge process. 

Team TALC is composed of great leaders that want the best for their patients.  They selected communication as the root cause of many issues and errors, and they have succeeded in tearing down barriers that have existed for years.

One of the Momentum & Morale team’s best practices is the MASH Award: the team grabs some available staff and they overwhelm the honoree like a flash mob!  Everyone wants to be MASHED.  This team does everything they can to make HMC a better place.

Due to popular demand, the "Eagle Excellence Flight School" team provides preparatory instruction on team building, public speaking, expertise and education to engage colleagues who wanted to become Soaring Eagles. The first year class filled in less than one day!

The “Orientation & Onboarding” team revamped the hospital-wide orientation and onboarding process.  AVH now has a monthly 2-day orientation, and new employees have repeatedly said that they appreciate the organization’s focus on quality and the culture of safety.

This “SEA Team” has taken the bull by the horns with their enthusiasm and passion for the Service Excellence Initiative, and their emphasis on accountability. They are always willing to assist any patient, customer, or employee they see.

"The Avengers" team is persistent, hard-working, and knows how to have fun and engage a diverse audience.  Despite losing a member, the team didn’t even skip a beat.  When asked to present an additional workshop, these go-getters eagerly agreed.


The “Radford All Stars” team has been a breath of fresh air for their center’s customer service program.  They truly go above and beyond to make sure patients and customers are happy, and they understand what lies at the heart of service excellence.

Carolda took the SEAs under her wing and made sure they felt supported and encouraged.  She is a cheerleader for the SEI, and her exceptional work ethic, passion for health care, and bright personality set a great example for all staff.

Staci has embraced the role of Super Coach and invested a lot of time and effort in providing leadership and direction to the SEAs.  She is a positive role model, making herself available to every SEA with help, support, and encouragement.

Jennifer is trustworthy, compassionate, and accountable to help others strive for success.  Her background in psychology is a great asset.  She is a positive, forward thinker with perseverance and patience.  Making others successful is her mission.

Dr. Versace brings a wealth of experience to each patient.  He is always willing to do more, and he’s a true role model for the organization.  Seeing him work so hard and take on so much motivates others to lend out a helping hand.

Dr. Anderson is not only a high quality provider; he is uniquely personable and approachable.  He has a passion for medicine, and strives for perfection while helping others do the same.  He selflessly offers assistance when he sees a need.

Dr. Bunnell came out of retirement to help Clay County in their time of need.  He has dedicated his life to helping others, and his skills are second to none.  He has made a difference in the lives of providers, nurses, staff, and especially residents.

Dr. Kuylen’s number one concern is patient care and experience. He’s approachable and kind, willing to answer questions, and always calm in urgent situations.  Dr. Kuylen makes sure that ER care is consistent and excellent.

Janet has worked tirelessly to make each member of her team recognize the value they bring to their department.  Her door is always open, and she truly listens and acts on staff concerns.  The morale in her department went from 0 to 10.

Shannon is an outstanding role model for staff, managers, and patients.  She takes the time to build a relationship with staff and patients, and never settles for sub-par effort.  Shannon truly understands the value of accountability and improvement.

Jodi is exceptional in her job - always positive and encouraging others.  She always takes the initiative and steps up to the plate when others sit back.  Not only does she inspire her staff, but she inspires the whole hospital to make a difference.

David exhibits all the qualities of a strong, engaging mentor: a giving heart, a willingness to help, and a welcoming attitude to new members.  David never says no to a request for help – he’s always going the extra mile.

Kyle always comes to work with a can-do approach.  He puts 110% into trying to make all of his patients and their family members happy.  Kyle’s smiling face, positive attitude, and excellent care touch many people every day.

Justin is always smiling, and keeps a positive attitude during any situation.  Justin is invaluable – he’s always willing to pitch in and help.  He looks around, sees what needs to be done and quietly does it, making everyone’s job easier.

Season is a Master Trainer at Holton, and has been a champion with delivering workshops at the new hire orientation.  She has made a huge impact on employee morale and culture.  Season’s willingness and excitement to learn is indescribable.

Jonna is thoughtful, kind, compassionate, and always willing to go the extra mile.  She is quite simply amazing.  Her methodical approach sets the bar high and motivates others to improve their service to others.

Mandy has an incredibly caring heart, and treats everyone as if they are her own family.  Mandy is an outstanding role model and leader to peers, employees, and students.  Her dedication and appreciation inspires her employees.

Adam is a natural leader.  His skill as a nurse is only matched by his willingness to take on new challenges.  Adam’s professionalism and personality make him a wonderful asset, and his knowledge and experience make him a terrific nurse.

Shelley’s belief in teamwork and service excellence is truly exceptional.  Shelley is very passionate about providing high quality patient care; always treating the whole person, not a condition.  She always has the patient’s best interests in mind.

Caye is thoughtful, uplifting, patient, and kind.  She spent countless hours with the SEAs, meeting with teams in the early morning, late at night, and on weekends.  Her encouragement helped them find the confidence to develop new skills.

Andrea is a shining example of what can be accomplished with motivation, drive, and compassion.  She exudes an unparalleled level of confidence and brings a level of creativity and passion that is unmatched by other mentors.

Tom is an exceptional individual and outstanding Ambassador.  He exhibits the true meaning of Service Excellence, treating each day as an opportunity to serve his patients, residents, and co-workers with excellent hospitality and service.

Shannon is new to HMC, but her passion for service is obvious to everyone.  Her dedication to this position and to the hospital should be applauded.  Shannon is distinguished by her involvement in her department, hospital and community.

Amber is an advocate for the SEI process and takes the responsibility of being an SEA to heart.  She is very friendly and positive, and always has a smile on her face.  She has become known as a "go to gal" for SEI questions.

Tara has a servant’s heart.  She does her job well, with a smile and a can-do attitude.  Her attitude towards service excellence has left a positive impact on almost every patient, family, or staff member she comes in contact with.

Ray embodies the AVH core values of teamwork, respect, and integrity. He sets a positive tone wherever he works, fosters interdepartmental teamwork, and sets the example for high standards of performance.