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  GOLD -  Tied between Eddie Brandow and Pam Burnham

Eddie Brandow - Health

The Health Services Agency acquired cutting edge technology with the implementation of the EPIC practice management and health records system more than three years ago, providing better service to clients, providers, nurses and other users. Eddie is the Site Specialist for the County's clinics, working one-on-one with individual providers, teaching and training nursing staff in the County's various clinics, and working with the lead physician mentor and practice management specialist to keep the Health Services Agency staff up-to-date and well trained. As a skilled Registered Nurse, Eddie is well positioned to blend her sense of clinical demands and work flows and apply that knowledge for the benefit of users and patients alike. She is an empathetic guide who is able to assess individual employee skills and weaknesses so that she can teach staff to use the EPIC system to improve their abilities and increase their effectiveness. Eddie is also willing to share her knowledge with clinics outside of the county when they need a real expert in the EPIC system to solve a problem. Eddie has done a truly exceptional job supporting staff in the County's clinics as they continue to master the EPIC system, and her efforts are to be commended.

Pam Burnham - Health

As an Assistant Departmental Administrative Analyst with Health Services, Pam has consistently demonstrated her ability to adapt quickly to tackle an ever-increasing variety of difficult tasks--with seemingly unlimited capacity. She has taken on a number of key assignments, including personnel coordination; analysis of data systems for grants and reports; support for highly complex projects of the Health Improvement Partnership Council and the County, such as the federal physician shortage designation; and capacity building grants. Whether working with HSA staff or personnel at outside agencies, Pam uses humor, creativity, and teamwork to advance important community projects, serving as an example to all HSA staff while bringing praise and recognition to the County. At every turn, she is reliable and professional and draws on her excellent analytic skills to solve problems. As a result of her extraordinary talents, Pam is considered the hub of HSA Administration and a genuine asset to the work of the Health Services Agency and County government.

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  SILVER -  Members of the Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 2009 Team, including:

Back Row: Ruben Chavez, Will Forest, Marco Cabezuela
Middle (standing): Jessica Oltmanns, Fritzi Nelson, Denise Parodi, Angela Camunez
Front (sitting): Beth Landes, Gerrod Murai, Jamie Riggs-Nagy, Argelia Soria
Inset: Cece Reinhardt
Not Pictured: Socorro Gutierrez, Gerald Landers, Julie Rudge, Deborah Wechsler

On April 28, 2009, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency activated its Departmental Operations Center to coordinate the County's response to the H1N1 influenza, including enhanced surveillance, increased laboratory testing, and consultation with health care providers on treatment and prevention. This response also required coordination with local hospitals, community clinics, county schools, the Agricultural Commissioner, Environmental Health, law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services, as well as increased communication with local residents. Once the vaccine became available, effective measures were taken to ensure that the at-risk target groups could get vaccinated first, followed by opportunities for others to receive the vaccine. Members of the H1N1 Team planned and implemented several free, walk-in immunization clinics at County clinic facilities in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, and at various locations in the community, and consistently provided leadership and guidance to help prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza. As a result of the ongoing efforts of each member of the team, health providers and members of our community have been able to take appropriate actions to minimize the risks associated with the H1N1 influenza.

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  BRONZE -  Shared by Staff in the Watsonville Health Center, including:
Alice Arredondo, Richard Buddington, Gabriela Gallegos, Imelda Gallo, Lynn Johnson, Adrienne Keane, Alice Kollmann, Alice Lawrence, Gerald Landers, Aida Manjarrez, Neftali Mendez, Joann Moschella, Kitzia Orozco, Catalina Padilla, Andrea Ratto, Shelby Scott, Maria Vazquez, Michele Violich

Top Row, Left to Right: Michele Violich, Neftali Mendez, Richard Buddington, Joann Moschella
Bottom Row, Left to Right: Kitzia Orozco, Adrienne Keane, Andrea Ratto, Lynn Johnson.

In the face of the economic downturn and the resulting steady increase in patient demand during the fall and winter months of fiscal year 2008-09, the staff and management of the Watsonville Health Center agreed to expand the hours the clinic was open so they could offer evening appointments. In order to provide this extended coverage, all staff agreed to support the efforts of this team of employees who adopted individually tailored schedules and rotations that address peak patient demands and personal availability. As a result, nearly 20 additional hours of patient care are provided each week. Because of this extraordinary effort, parents of pediatric patients now have a choice about whether their children miss school to get health care, working adults no longer have to take valuable time from their work lives, and clinic patients are using the resources of the clinic rather than visiting the local Emergency Department for non-emergency services. These employees are true heroes for making modifications to their personal lives, asking their families to adjust, and adapting to accommodate these changes for the greater good of all concerned. By expanding clinic hours, the Watsonville Health Center has saved positions, increased revenue, and, most importantly, improved the care of patients.

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