Our STAR (Special Thanks and Recognition) program recognizes employees for their outstanding work and commitment to safety, excellent outcomes and an unmatched patient experience.
2021 STAR Award Winners
Marianne Ojeda | 4 South
Marianne is a CNA on night shift who always goes above and beyond, whether picking up extra shifts or making sure all patient and staff needs are met.
Recently, Marianne was outside on break at 1:30 a.m. when a Spanish-speaking couple approached her asking for help. They were both very nervous and Marianne found out they were going into labor with their first baby and could not find the ED. Marianne ran into the building for a wheelchair, brought them safely to the ED and communicated to the ED staff what the couple needed.
Marianna is one of the best people I've ever worked with, we are all so lucky to have her!
Maria Rodriguez | Staff Nurse, OB/Labor & Delivery
A nurse from the ED called Labor & Delivery asking if an RN from L&D would be able to make handprints/footprints for a baby who had passed away in the ED as they were not comfortable doing them. I knew that this was a very hard thing to do even for OB nurses.
I placed a call to the postpartum unit and asked Maria if she could do this for the family who had lost their baby. Without question, Maria walked down to the ED and did the handprints and footprints. Additionally, Maria brought the memory box back to Labor & Delivery to have it decorated by another staff member. Maria knew this precious memory box would be all the parents had left of their child she wanted to make it special for the family.
This is only one example of how Maria demonstrates how much the patients and families at Swedish mean to her. Maria has been at Swedish for many years and she continues to go above and beyond for many patients. She always shows compassion toward all patients at Swedish. Our organization is truly lucky to have Maria.
Shira Blanton | Emergency Department
Nurse Shira is fantastic! I have never worked with a better nurse.
Shira was very supportive of a recent survivor and made the patient feel in control at every step, especially with the evidence collection kit. The on-call doctor was a male and Shira facilitated a pro-consent examination process by asking if the survivor was okay with him doing the vaginal/pelvic exam. When the survivor said she wasn’t, Shira made sure to get permission to do it on her own (the doctor was also very understanding).
Nurse Shira even stayed with the survivor past her shift to continue to provide compassionate care; instead of assigning her to another nurse. It was a long, difficult call but Shira made it so much easier. I wish every survivor could have her as a nurse.
Kimberly Amesquita | Administrative Assistant, Cardiology
One of our patients, recently had a stroke and needed to come to the office for a test. It was very difficult for him to talk and move around. Kim was so patient with him. After he was done with his test, he needed to see a cardiologist so Kim walked with him to the doctor's office and helped him make an appointment.
Later, he walked back into our office and walked straight over to Kim. He told her he had just passed out in the bathroom. I was not at all surprised when I saw Kim leap into action; she assisted him to a chair and called for help. I was so grateful that Kim was here because she remains calm and makes us all feel safe.
Brittney Garcia | Staff Nurse, AP2
Working in inpatient psychiatry can have its challenges, but when you work with someone who constantly shows respect to coworkers and every patient plus comes to work with a smile on a daily basis - it makes the days easier.
Brittney will go above and beyond for any patient. Specifically, there was a patient who was locked out of her apartment. Brittney took time to assist with identifying a locksmith and then sat with the patient multiple times over the next day and explained the situation. Whenever this patient saw Brittney you could see stars in her eyes in the way that her face lit up.
Upon discharge, Brittney highlighted specific things that were most important, such as medication details and home health care options so the patient had the education she needed when she arrived home. Brittney even made sure to follow up with the locksmith.
Brittney is someone you want to work with and a true example of the nurse you want taking care of your loved ones!
Melissa Tentler | Staff Nurse Level II, Maternity-GYN
I am writing this letter in regards to my care during the birth of my daughter.
What should have been one of the happiest days of my life turned out to be the saddest and most traumatizing days. As my daughter took her first breath of air, my husband was struggling with his and was gasping for air in the emergency room from COVID-19. My husband was stabilized and transferred to the ICU unit. I was in disbelief.
My nurse Melissa made it happen that I was allowed to see my husband. I got to hold his warm hand and tell him about the beautiful daughter that was brought in this world. I know he heard me. She took me back to the room only to have to take me back two hours later to say goodbye. This time his hand was not as warm. My husband passed away within a couple of hours of my daughter's birth.
The whole time Melissa treated me like her sister, not a contagious COVID-19 patient. She was very kind and professional. She held my hand, answered every question, and brought me Kleenex as we wept together. She took care of my baby and made sure that I was medically and mentally ok. She and all staff involved made sure that I received every resource available.
After I was discharged I thought I would never see this amazing nurse. I was wrong. Her kindness extended to a home visit from her and the manager two weeks after I went home, the day before Christmas. They brought me diapers, formula a beautiful gift basket for my three year old that keeps asking for her daddy and a monetary collection from the unit staff. Santa paid us a visit. I heard people say that Swedish is a community hospital that cares for their patients, but this was not anything that I was expecting.
Melissa is an amazing smart nurse that Swedish Hospital should recognize, if she isn't recognized already. Please let her know that she will never be forgotten for her care. She was a blessing during my worst nightmare.
Chandra Ramroop | Staff Nurse Level II, AP2
Chandra demonstrated the values of Swedish and human kindness in taking care of her patient. A patient came in to the unit with only a gown. He was embarrassed to come out of his room because his gown was too short for him since he is tall. Chandra bought new clothing for him. After the patient was discharged, his mother sent thank you card mentioning, “A very kind nurse who helped him get through a very difficult time. She even bought clothes for him as he had nothing with him. I just want to thank her, with all my heart, for showing kindness and compassion to my son above and beyond her duty. Thank you to this kind nurse and to all who cared for my son when I couldn’t be there.”
A very wonderful gesture from Chandra that helped with a patient’s healing and wellbeing.
Chandra has been at Swedish since 1992.
Tranqui Dimagulangan | Staff Nurse Level II, 5 East
Tranqui was nominated by a patient, who said: "I am writing to commend one of your nurses, Tranqui Dimagulangan. I was admitted to your hospital after suffering a TIA at home. My care was complicated by the fact that I was COVID positive and am a Parkinson's patient. My Parkinson's had already been exacerbated by COVID. I was disoriented and extremely anxious about my situation.
"Tranqui cared for me both days that I was hospitalized on floor 5E. I grew to thoroughly trust her. She was compassionate beyond the norm. Her persona was natural, authentic, and totally sincere. She transformed my mental state. She understood my situation in multiple factors that were compromising me. She advocated for me and truly made a difference in my hospital stay.
"My wife was not permitted in the hospital, but Tranqui extended herself to stay in communication with her. She listened to my wife's concerns and kept her informed of my condition and my treatment.
"I am very grateful that I had a nurse as competent and caring as Tranqui. Nursing is a revered occupation, a true calling. I was beneficiary of the great tradition. I regard Tranqui as an exemplary professional, and a classic example of doing for others."
Juvenal Reyes | Housekeeper, Environmental Services
Juve was working in the ED when he learned a patient who was being discharged had no shoes, but wanted to leave anyway. The ED donation closet did not have shoes. Juve took off his shoes right there and gave them to the patient who was urgent to leave, so he would not have to leave in hospital socks. Juve walked back to his locker in his socks where he had a spare pair of shoes.
Juvenal has been at Swedish since 2018.
Melissa Tentler | Staff Nurse Level II, Maternity-GYN
Melissa, who has been with Swedish Hospital since 2011 was nominated by a patient who said:
“What should have been one of the happiest days of my life turned out to be the saddest and most traumatizing days. As my daughter took her first breath of air, my husband was gasping for air in the emergency room from Covid-19. Melissa made it happen that I was allowed to see my husband and hold his hand.
He passed away within a couple of hours of my daughter’s birth. The whole time Melissa treated me like her sister. She held my hand and brought me Kleenex as we wept together. She took care of my baby and made sure that I was medically and mentally ok. She and all staff involved made sure that I received every resource available.
Her kindness extended to a home visit with her manager 2 weeks after I went home, the day before Christmas. They brought me diapers, formula, a beautiful gift basket for my 3 year old who keeps asking for her daddy and a monetary collection from the unit staff. I heard people say that Swedish is a community hospital that cares for their patients, but this was beyond anything that I was expecting.”
Mikhail Krasnopolskiy | Staff Nurse Recovery Room
A patient said:
"I had a procedure and unfortunately came in with a horrible Migraine. I was in my room crying from the pain while waiting. Mikhail walked by and saw me crying and came in to see if I was okay, even though he wasn't my nurse at the time. I informed him of the migraine and how much pain I was having with no relief.
He turned off the light in my room, went to get me an ice pack to place on my neck, a towel to cover my eyes, and offered me a heating pad. He then sat with me and explained different pressure points on the hands to help reduce the pain from the migraine and attempted to relieve the pain for me. I overheard him telling the desk how much pain I was in and requesting when being brought into the OR that they have the lights dimmed until I was asleep, which they did end up doing.
When I woke up I was in a dark room covered with warm blankets and I again overheard him stating he was going to let me sleep until I was ready to ensure I got adequate rest as I was not feeling well. His heartfelt and genuine display of compassion meant so much to me. He genuinely cared about my mental, physical and emotional well-being and made this one of the best experiences I have had at Swedish, despite feeling so awful. While we waited for my son to arrive he continued to give me methods I could work on at home to help lessen the effects of my chronic migraines.
Mikhail is an exemplary employee and he is proof that a genuine act of kindness no matter how small can have a huge impact on a patient’s experience.
Mikhail has been at Swedish Hospital since 2008.