Summit Awards [2018]

2019 marks the 19th anniversary of the HealthCare Service Excellence Conference and the prestigious Summit Awards. Since the inception of this program in 2005, we have presented 280 Summit Awards and 638 Pinnacle Awards 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 Summit Awards ceremony and Night of Excellence 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 Award. Pinnacle Achievers in each of the 15 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

Pinnacle statusis awarded to the top 3 or 4 nominees in each category.
Click on the Grey Bar to see the 2018 Summit Award Recipient.

Service Excellence Advisor

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

  • Jason McCullough, Adams Memorial Hospital, Decatur, IN
  • Bridget Hamm, Culbertson Memorial Hospital, Rushville, IL
  • Angie Johnson, Memorial Health System, Abilene, KS
  • Stephanie Colson, Union General Hospital, Farmerville, LA
The 2018 Service Excellence Advisor Summit Recipient is…
Jason McCullough

Jason McCullough Adams Memorial Hospital


Service Excellence Mentor

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

  • Kim Geddes, Artesian Valley Health System, Meade, KS
  • Phyllis Zilm, Grand River Health, Rifle, CO
  • Chelsey Crump, Minneola Healthcare, Minneola, KS
  • Brandi Bethke, Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD
The 2018 Service Excellence Mentor Summit Recipient is…

Phyllis Zilm

Phyllis Zilm from Grand River Health.


Exceptional Nurse

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

  • Peppa Stark, Good Shepherd Health Care System, Hermiston, OR
  • Tracy Keating, Providence Medical Center, Wayne, NE
  • Michelle Rogers, MA, Rio Grande Hospital, Del Norte, CO
  • Julie Ramstetter, San Luis Valley Health, Alamosa, CO
The 2018 Exceptional Nurse Summit Recipients are…

Tracy Keating

Tracy Keating from Providence Medical Center


Exceptional Employee

Provides exceptional service to both patients/customers and fellow employees

  • Dewayne Cook, Ozarks Medical Center, West Plains, MO
  • Molly Redden, Providence Medical Center, Wayne, NE
  • Kiley Wohlers, Providence Medical Center, Wayne, NE
  • Brigitte Dickey, Rio Grande Hospital, Del Norte, CO
The 2018 Exceptional Employee Summit Recipient is…

Brigitte Dickey

Brigitte Dickey from Rio Grande Hospital


Empowering Manager

A true leader who encourages individuals to achieve great results

  • Tami Holle, Community Memorial Healthcare, Inc, Marysville, KS
  • Martha Tibbs, Good Shepherd Health Care System, Hermiston, OR
  • Mandy Pender, Ozarks Medical Center, West Plains, MO
  • Shelly Fox, Unity Point Health Memorial Hospital, Carthage, IL
The 2018 Empowering Manager Summit Recipient is…

Tami Holle

Tami Holle from Community Memorial Healthcare


Customer Focused Physician/Provider

Professional and respectful, with compassion for those they serve

  • Dr. Bryan Grooms, Adams County Regional Medical Center, Seaman, OH
  • Dr. Mohamed Shanshal, Middlesboro ARH Hospital, Middlesboro, KY
  • Carissa Tripi, DO, San Luis Valley Health, Alamosa, CO
  • Rachelle Kaspar-Cope, MD, Tri Valley Health System, Cambridge, NE
The 2018 Customer Focused Physician/Provider is…

Rachelle Kaspar-Cope, MD

Rachelle Kaspar-Cope, MD from Tri Valley Health System

Accepting Award is Carri Hill


Service Excellence Advisor Team

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

  • CMH SEA Team 4, Community Memorial Healthcare, Inc, Marysville, KS
    Jessica Capp, Emily Dunsing, Scott Keller
  • The Dream Team, Minneola Healthcare, Minneola, KS
    Cody Smith, Jonna Evans, Brett Holler
  • Woosah, Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD
    Ashley Meyer, Jennifer Martinsen, Lisa VanderZiel
The 2018 Service Excellence Advisor Team Summit Recipient is…


Woosah, from Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital

Accepting Award is Lisa VanderZiel



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

  • Team “Talk About It”, Providence Medical Center, Wayne, NE
    Andrea Blecke, Kris Giese, Abby Wragge, Heather Frank, Alan Nissen, Janelle Fleer, Kathy Jasa, Marcia Spahr, Sandy Bartling, Christina Junck
  • SCOPE (Service Commitment Offered by Provider Engagement), Tri Valley Health System, Cambridge, NE
    Carri Hall, Julie Schultz, Kyle Minnick, Mary Jo Young, Keith Luedders, Anne McCarville, Mallory Palmer, Laura Kugler, Kitt Callaway, Teresa Wall, Jeri Powell
  • Keywords & Sentence Starters, Union General Hospital, Farmerville, LA
    Kelly Roberts, Darra Jung, Cindy Branch, Tina Haynes, Yolanda Phillips, Connie Ginn, Sheree Hicks, Patrick Peterson, Jamie Sheehan, Callie Nutt
The 2018 OASIS Team Summit Recipient is…

Talk About It

Talk About It from Providence Medical Center Hospital

Accepting Award is Nicole Haglund


DO IT Improvement

Defining dissatisfiers, taking action, creating improvement

  • Heartland Cardiology Clinic Day, Minneola Healthcare, Minneola, KS
    Nichole Capers, Chelsey Crump, Suzie Huggard, Deb Bruner, Chris Lang
  • Outpatient Department/Cardiology, Providence Medical Center, Wayne, NE
    Joan West LPN, Theresa Davis RN, Kristy Gensler RN, Gena Buhrman RN, Kate Kvols RN, Brittany Peters, Shawn Ford
  • SBAR, Tri Valley Health System, Cambridge, NE
    Carri Hall, Julie Schultz, Kyle Minnick, Mary Jo Young, Keith Luedders, Anne McCarville, Mallory Palmer, Laura Kugler, Kitt Callaway, Teresa Wall, Jeri Powell
  • WMC Rehabilitation Center, Wilson Medical Center, Neodesha, KS
    Lacy Kerr, Kira Frankenbery, Tiffany Sanders, Heather Odell, Megan Stewart, Emily Haynes, David Hoard, Katelyn Schenker, Lori Gore, Gail Billman, Taylor Rohleder, Courtney Kuszak, Erica Johnson, Jeff Carpenter, Pam Ysusi, Dan Wiziarde
The 2018 DO IT Improvement Team Summit Recipient is…

Heartland Cardiology Clinic Day

Heartland Cardiology Clinic Day from Minneola Healthcare

Accepting Award is Samantha Gillis


Super Coach

Provides exceptional leadership, encouragement and guidance

  • Susan Sefton, Adams Memorial Hospital, Decatur, IN
  • Jim Tomko, Culbertson Memorial Hospital, Rushville, IL
  • Rae Hensley, Middlesboro ARH Hospital, Middlesboro, KY
  • Dianne Davidson, Union General Hospital, Farmerville, LA
The 2018 Super Coach Summit Recipient is…

Dianne Davidson

Dianne Davidson from Union General Hospital


Service Excellence Program Director

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

  • Barbara Lewis, Adams Memorial Hospital, Decatur, IN
  • Lisa Adams, Culbertson Memorial Hospital, Rushville, IL
  • Caryn Hettler, Grand River Health, Rifle, CO
  • Pamela Greene, Middlesboro ARH Hospital, Middlesboro, KY
The 2018 Service Excellence Program Director Summit Recipient is…

Pamela Greene

Pamela Greene from Middlesboro ARH Hospital


Service Excellence Council

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

  • CMH Service Excellence Council, Culbertson Memorial Hospital, Rushville, IL
    John Kessler, Dan Wise, Rhonda Roberts, Jessica Hendricks, Tammy Gadberry, Leah Wilson, Jim Tomko, Lisa Adams, Amanda Wessel, Molly Sorrell, Mallory Moore
  • San Luis Valley Health Service Excellence Council, San Luis Valley Health, Alamosa, CO
    Janet McGinnis, Chad Chavez, Mandy Crockett, Julie Bryant, Jennifferr Baird, Sam Valdez, Shannon Muniz, Adam Lawrence, Billy Werner, Andrea Griego, Renee Gallegos, Patti Thompson, Konnie Martin
  • Tri Valley Health System Performance Excellence Council, Tri Valley Health System, Cambridge, NE
    Deb Herzberg, Becky Wallen, Bill Redinger, Maranda Lee, Angie Howard APRN, Shiuvaun Jaeger MD, Brad Nelson, Diana Swindler, Joyce Deaver, Wendy Witte, Kyle Broadfoot, Ross Ebbers, Jessica Roth, Keith Luedders, Cathy Kubik
The 2018 Service Excellence Council Summit Recipient is…

CMH Service Excellence Council

CMH Service Excellence Council from Middlesboro ARH Hospital

Accepting Award is Lisa Adams and Jim Tomko


Inspiring Administrator

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

  • Elaine Gerson, Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen, CO
  • Nick Bejarano, Good Shepherd Health Care System, Hermiston, OR
  • Heidi Helgeson, MD, Rio Grande Hospital, Del Norte, CO
  • Patti Thompson, San Luis Valley Health, Alamosa, CO
The 2018 Inspiring Administrator Recipient is…

Elaine Gerson

Elaine Gerson from Aspen Valley Hospital


Medical Clinic of Choice

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

  • Good Shepherd Medical Group Rural Pediatrics, Good Shepherd Health Care System, Hermiston, OR
  • Minneola Healthcare Clinics, Minneola Healthcare, Minneola, KS
  • Stuart Avenue Primary Care Clinic, San Luis Valley Health, Alamosa, CO
The 2018 Medical Clinic of Choice Summit Recipient is…

Good Shepherd Medical Group Rural Pediatrics

Good Shepherd Medical Group Rural Pediatrics from Good Shepherd Health Care System

Accepting Award is Paige Baunach


Hospital Provider of Choice

A market leader for employee retention and patient satisfaction

  • Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen, CO
  • Middlesboro ARH Hospital, Middlesboro, KY
  • Minneola Healthcare, Minneola, KS
The 2018 Hospital Provider of Choice Summit Recipient is…

Midwest Pain Specialists

Middlesboro ARH Hospital in Middlesboro, KY

Accepting Award is Pamela Greene and team




The 2018 Founder's Award

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

The Founder's Award recipient is Jim Coombs, CEO, Grand River Hospital and Medical Center from Rifle, CO



Minneola District Hospital’s HCAHPS and ED satisfaction scores are evidence that they’ve had tremendous success in living their mission, vision, and values. News of their exceptional care has traveled far and wide, and their leaders are constantly looking for additional services that they can provide to their patients.

Middlesboro ARH Hospital has a lot to be proud of: a significant financial turnaround, a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade of “A”, and the most engaged workforce in their 11-hospital system. They look forward to continuing their journey - because the job of getting better is never complete.

Aspen Valley Hospital has attained patient experience scores that are among the best in the industry. They believe their team is both the reason for their success and the basis for their strategies. Employees not only find value in their work, but also bring value to the organization through their creative ideas.

Over the past year, the Primary Care Clinic at Stuart Avenue has worked hard to move toward a Team Based Care model of care delivery. By having patients see the same care team, the provider and care team get to know the patient more personally, improving patient outcomes and the patient experience.

The Minneola Healthcare Clinics strive to provide a quality patient experience to all patient populations. They consistently stay in tune with the needs of the customers. The staff and providers put extra attention into making the customers feel like family.

Good Shepherd Medical Group Rural Pediatrics considers the patient’s comfort and care while using new knowledge and technology to give top notch diagnosis and treatment. Pediatrics used to see about 15 patients per day - now they see close to 60 per day and are still adding new patients!

Patti is well-known for her refined patient-satisfaction skills and her empowering leadership style. She acknowledges each patient or employee in a cheerful, warm, genuine way. She is a Service Excellence champion, and truly leads by example.

Dr. Helgeson sees the potential in staff members and helps them believe in themselves. She is unfailingly compassionate and fair with employees and patients. She models the behaviors she wishes to see in employees, physicians and patients.

Nick is the “go to” for anything related to the Service Excellence Initiative. Employees often come to him for advice and counsel, and he makes them feel that their insights and opinions matter. His enthusiasm for improvement and growth is contagious.

Elaine is the epitome of service excellence. She is inspirational in her ability to share her vision and empower others while making everyone she interacts with feel that they are valued and appreciated for their contributions.

This Council is dedicated to being one of the visible faces of the initiative. Although patients can’t always see the Council’s specific activities, they can feel the results of a group that is constantly striving for excellence.

This Council brings passion and enthusiasm to every project they are involved with. They understand the importance of empowering staff to support the Service Excellence Initiative. Their lead-by-example style is exceptional.

This Council built a strong foundation for their facility through their commitment to improving patient care and morale. They strive to keep a positive relationship with the community so that they can constantly improve.

Pam epitomizes the concept of employee engagement. She is our cheerleader, our coach, and our role model. Her passion for outstanding customer service, love for her fellow employees; and compassion for her patients set her apart.

Caryn inspires excellence in those around her and her attention to detail is unparalleled. She always keeps her cool and is incredibly creative in her approach. Caryn is always upbeat, positive and ready to lend an ear or a hand to anyone.

Lisa is exceptional both personally and professionally. She continually goes out of her way to ensure that every employee has the tools they need to do their jobs. She provides support and encouragement to all employees.

Barbara inspires others with her actions and supports them with her kind words. She has gone above and beyond to make service excellence a primary focus of our organization. She truly is a driving force for positive change.

Dianne encouraged and creatively inspired each SEA to fully participate in the program. Her coaching techniques build accountability, change management, and conflict resolution. She places patients first and exemplifies an ideal culture.

As a Super Coach for physician engagement, Rae makes personal weekly visits to the clinics and speaks with each physician about any issues and concerns. It’s not just a project – it’s a mission, and she will not be satisfied with mediocre results.

Jim is always upbeat and enthusiastic. He goes above and beyond to provide whatever the SEAs need to succeed. He knows the C.A.T.C.H. program inside and out, and he puts his heart into all he does for his job and the program.

Susan is set apart by her supportive nature and willingness to help at all costs. She makes a positive impact every day that improves morale, and the culture benefits immensely. Others aspire to be like her in every way

This team utilized each staff member’s strength to educate the community on services provided at their center. They continue to have a widespread positive impact through new monthly events to better their community and staff.

This group wanted the SBAR communication tool (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) to be used facility wide for all types of departmental communications. Efficiency has improved in all areas - from plant operations to nurses and providers!

This team wanted to provide consistency, precision and accuracy regarding procedure consent forms. As a result, patients are more informed, the admission process is faster, and it reduced extra work, which improved nurse satisfaction.

This group realized a chaotic waiting room, extended wait times, and numerous miscommunications reflected poorly on the organization. They came up with a plan that has improved efficiency, customer satisfaction, and employee morale.

This team rewrote the phone etiquette policy, educated hospital staff on how to appropriately page people overhead, and sets the tone for each day with an organization wide positive “word/phrase of the day” email. Even people that do not work for Union General Hospital ask if they can receive the email each day!

This team was challenged to help engage providers in the Service Excellence Initiative. They interviewed providers, broke down the surveys, and identified areas they could control and improve. Despite hurdles, this team provided opportunities for providers to be more engaged and improve their efficiency.

This team was charged with the enormous task of improving interdepartmental communication. They identified some of the root causes of communication breakdown between departments and broke them down into manageable solutions. Productivity has increased, and patients have noticed the positive environment.

This team did an exceptional job of presenting their workshops with unmatched enthusiasm. Speaking in front of their peers seemed to come naturally to them and their classes took on a very relaxed, fun and comfortable learning environment. They handle stress and inconvenience with grace and a continued positive attitude.

All 3 members of this team worked very well together, and workshop attendees agreed that they made learning fun, enjoyable, and relatable. Their inter-departmental teamwork reassures all employees that MHC is one healthcare system with the same goal in mind - patient/customer satisfaction.

This team always maintained a positive outlook, were very energetic in their presentations, and were always professional. They stepped up to present two additional workshops for new hires, and they are always helping others improve and are very positive role models.

Dr. Kaspar-Cope brings a positive energy and outlook to her clinic. She is always looking for ways to improve the lives of those around her. Because of her sincere commitment to the well-being of her patients, people are willing to travel quite a distance and book far in advance to see her – often purely on word of mouth!

Dr. Tripi has been a leader of patient satisfaction at San Luis Valley Health. She always does everything she can to make patients feel comfortable, and she is consistently courteous, professional and relatable. Patients love her, and comment that “The San Luis Valley is lucky to have her.”

Dr. Shanshal exudes kindness and humility with everyone he encounters. He follows all patient transfers, personally gets to know family members and support caregivers, and treats all patients and staff with the utmost compassion and empathy. Happy patients and staff make for improved scores!

Dr. Grooms is always focused on his patients. He has open communication with them and calls them personally to give them results and check on them - even if he does it from home. He speaks to the patients in ways they understand, and he also does a monthly “walk with a doc” to spend time with the community.

Shelly has always stepped up when her department is behind or troubled. She puts all her effort into solving problems, and if the result isn’t the desired outcome, she takes it upon herself to correct it until what is wrong is made right.

Mandy has been empowering her staff to think outside the box since Day 1. She asks the “why” questions and doesn’t accept a status quo answer. Working hand in hand with others, she is constantly helping improve the culture.

Martha empowers her co-workers to strive for excellence and goes above and beyond to help others. Her office door is always open for anything personal or work related. She is always helping her coworkers reach their goals.

Tami supports her staff and works with them to ensure a positive patient experience. Although she manages an offsite clinic, she makes sure her staff feel included, even if they are not always able to participate in hospital functions.

Brigitte never hesitates to stay late, pick up an extra shift, or make a hot meal for a newly admitted patient. Patient and family care are her priority, and she puts her heart and soul into all she does. Brigitte sees the bright side of every situation.

Kiley will go above and beyond to make the patient and family experience a positive one. It’s amazing how quickly she can make an impact on someone’s life. Kiley gives the same compassion and energy to staff, patients, and her community.

Molly is ALWAYS ready to take on extra tasks to help the organization, her patients, her co-workers or the community. Her fun attitude helps her patients work hard - she always has a smile on her face and makes every day enjoyable.

Dewayne exudes excellent customer service. All employees could learn from his heartfelt and true approach, which is why he trains new hires! Patients leave knowing that he cared about their situation and what they had to say.

Julie is a solid leader and exemplifies patient satisfaction at the highest level. Wherever she’s working, she makes a positive impact through her leadership, positive attitude, and willingness to make an extra effort.

Michelle is an outstanding nurse and an incredible team player. Even on a bad day, her positivity warms the hearts of patients and encourages her coworkers. To Michelle, patient care is not a job that she shows up to everyday; it’s a calling.

Tracy makes a difference with every person she meets. She is always a positive influence on her patients, encouraging them to focus on their healing. She knows laughter is the best medicine and can always get a smile out of her patients.

Peppa is always willing to learn and improve. She cares whole-heartedly for her patients and has been a great advocate for them. No matter the situation she keeps calm and helps lead her team when needed. Her work ethic is unmatched.

Brandi is always advocating for our patients and finding ways to provide safe and efficient patient care. She provides care with remarkable skill and extraordinary compassion, and her honesty, fairness, and sincerity set her apart.

Chelsey "walks the talk" in all that she does! She listens to all who come her way and assists them with whatever is needed. She leads with enthusiasm and cultivates a positive outlook each and every day.

Phyllis models service excellence behaviors throughout the organization. Her patients absolutely adore her, and she isn’t afraid to hold coworkers accountable to the highest standards. Her enthusiasm is infectious!

Kim took on her role with no complaints and a positive attitude. Her ambition and smile set her apart from other ambassadors. Kim’s willingness to work with other departments displays just what it takes to satisfy customers and patients.

Stephanie embodies the heart of a true servant. She never complains and always asks what more she can do. Stephanie was selected by the SEAs as their #1 choice of someone who exemplifies the Service Excellence Standards.

Angie has helped her coworkers understand that customer service is something we live every day. She encourages others by listening, helping them overcome challenges, or giving them the encouragement they need to achieve their goal.

Bridget is always there to uplift anyone she encounters in any situation. She finds the best outlook and then passes it to her co-workers. She always has a smile on her face and an encouraging word - her enthusiasm and work ethic set her apart.

Jason is always happy and spreads that happiness to all who come in contact with him. He gives 110% to every assignment he is given, and his passion for service excellence is readily apparent to patients, staff, and visitors.