Integrated Medicine Service Line, Farquhar and Erickson Honored at Awards of Excellence Ceremony

By Kate Franks

Watch video of the award ceremony.

Steppe Mette, M.D., senior vice chancellor for UAMS Health and CEO for UAMS Medical Center, presented the Team Impact Award to the Integrated Medicine Service Line and its leaders, Michelle Krause, M.D., Sandra Meredith-Neve, RN, and Deanna Stiles, along with Robert Hopkins, MD, and Deb Hutts, RN, for their work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Service Line employees set up the one of the first drive-thru COVID screening sites in Arkansas and then took on the job of vaccinating UAMS employees, students and the public. At the pandemic’s height, the drive-thru clinic screened and tested up to 600 patients per day. To date, more than 100,000 patients have gone through this drive-thru site.

Susan Erickson, MSN, RN, a senior nurse recruiter, received the UAMS Nursing Legacy Award.

Susan Erickson, MSN, RN, a senior nurse recruiter, received the UAMS Nursing Legacy Award.

With a van donated by BlueCross BlueShield, the Integrated Medicine team conducted COVID-19 testing in underserved patient populations at 45 mobile testing events across Arkansas. They are now going out into the state to administer vaccines.

When the FDA approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine last December, the Integrated Medicine team immediately began vaccinating employees.  On Jan. 12, they opened a vaccination clinic for the public at the Freeway Medical Tower in less than five days. Within weeks, this clinic reached capacity, and they moved to a new site on West 12th Street.

Finalists for this year’s award were the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory Team and the E4 Medical/Neuro ICU Team for their work in fighting the COVID virus. Other nominees for the Team Impact Award included Hematology, the microbiology team in the Pathology Department, the Medical Surgical Float Pool, Infusion A, Infusion B, the Solid Organ Transplant team, Stocked and Reddie, nursing timekeepers and payroll team, the Infection Prevention team and the Specialty Pharmacy.

Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost for UAMS, presented the Helen May Compassionate Care Award to Rose Farquhar, a social worker in the Internal Medicine Clinic. Rose is bilingual and has been a tremendous resource for Spanish-speaking patients and families. She is described as a “helper” and often stays to make sure patients get rides from the Outpatient Center or One-Day Surgery.

The Helen May Compassionate Care Award was established in 2003 in memory of Helen May, who died in 2001 after working at UAMS for 11 years. Nominees are recognized for delivering patient- and family-centered care guided by the service standards of safety, respect, excellence, image and efficiency.

Other nominees for the Helen May Award include Debra Freeman, radiology technician; Haley Gass, RN, transplant coordinator; Tiffany Hadden, licensed master social worker in medical oncology; Whitney Hicks, RN, from F8; Souraya Irani, RN, from the Myeloma Center; Christianna Littell, medical assistant in COVID Triage; Donna Malone, RN Care Manager on F4; Amber Mayfield, RN, charge nurse in pre-op; Laura Phillips, RN, from the Myeloma Center; Amanda Stevens, APRN in Transplant; and Julia Talley, manager of the Specialty Pharmacy.

Mary Helen Forrest, MNSc, RN, NEA-BC, retired chief nursing officer, serves as inspiration for the UAMS Nursing Legacy Award, which is presented annually to a nurse who has demonstrated significant contribution to UAMS nursing, patient care, and the mission of UAMS. Nominees must also have worked at UAMS for at least 20 consecutive years. This year’s honoree was Susan Erickson, MSN, RN, senior nurse recruiter. Susan joined UAMS over 35 years ago and was UAMS’ first dedicated nurse recruiter. She has served as a mentor and role model to hundreds of nurses who now work at UAMS. Laura Phillips, RN, who works in the Myeloma Clinic, was also nominated for this award.