STAR Awards

Our STAR (Special Thanks and Recognition) program recognizes employees for their outstanding work and commitment to safety, excellent outcomes and an unmatched patient experience.

2018-2019 STAR Award Winners 


July 2019
Cindy Karl | 4North

Cindy was nominated by a charge nurse: “Cindy recently had a patient who had foot surgery and was to be discharged that night. The patient's car was parked over a block away and he didn't have anyone to help him get home. After Cindy confirmed that the patient was stable to drive his car home, she personally wheeled the patient to his car to ensure he would be able to get in without difficulty. Not only did she show kindness and compassion to this patient, but she ensured their safety. We are very blessed to have her on our team and she is an inspiration to us all.”

Cindy has been at Swedish Covenant Health since 2016.

June STAR Winner

June 2019
Jennifer Ledesma | Emergency Department

Jennifer was nominated by a patient’s family member: “Recently, my grandfather was being cared for on your hospice unit and I received a frantic call from my mother telling me to hurry because my grandfather was still coherent and talking but we didn't know for how much longer. I ran to the ED very flustered. An ED staff member immediately recognized that I needed help and pointed me in the direction of public safety. After public safety verbally gave me directions, I began to cry because I was lost and afraid of losing precious time realizing how far away I was from the unit. Jennifer stepped in, comforted me and told security she would guide me to my destination. Because of her, I was able to say my "final goodbyes." I will forever be grateful for her because I can cherish the final moments I was able to spend with my grandfather. Swedish Covenant should be extremely proud to have such a valuable team member who went above and beyond her role and saw me as a concerned family member, not just as a patient or number.”

Jennifer has been at Swedish Covenant Health since 2017.

Dana Andersen - May STAR WinnerMay 2019
Dana Andersen | Social Worker

Dana was nominated by an employee: “One Friday afternoon, a complicated request came to a physician that had potentially volatile social concerns. In spite of the fact that it was after 4:00 pm, Dana fielded the call, contacted the key person who would know best how to deal with the situation and returned to the floor to be able to speak with the physician in person. She provided the relevant background information, contact numbers and advised the physician on next steps. She contributed to the safety of the patient and the staff with an expertise that only a social worker could bring. The circumstances and timing of this situation were not ideal, but she refused to let that prohibit her from providing the best possible care and outcome for this patient in the way that she could. She showed professionalism and dedication and did this all without complaint. Thank you for being an inspiration to your fellow employees."

Dana has been at Swedish Covenant Health since 2018.

Margareth April STAR WinnerApril 2019
Margareth Mohar | Emergency Department

Margareth was nominated by a patient: “I brought my daughter late in the evening and I was given medicine but I did not have money and didn’t know where to get it. I am a refugee, and my nurse Margareth talked to me in my language (Swahili). She made me comfortable. She called the pharmacy for me. She showed me how to give medicine to my daughter who does not like medicine. She even watched my daughter when I went to the bathroom and called the clinic to make a follow-up appointment. On top of that, she called a taxi and helped me carry all my stuff. The next day she even called me to check if my daughter was ok. Margareth truly made me feel at home.”

Margareth has been at Swedish Covenant Health since 2008.

Melanie STAR WinnerMarch 2019
Melanie Sempio | ICU

Melanie was nominated by an employee: “Melanie cared for a patient who had suffered a cardiac arrest and was admitted to the ICU with a very grave prognosis. Efforts made by staff and social workers to locate their family were unsuccessful. The patient unfortunately passed and preparations for organ donation began. Melanie made time to search the patient's belongings and in doing so, found a cell phone. The phone battery had died so Melanie searched for a compatible charger but was unable to find one among her coworkers. She thought to try the charger for the unit camera, and it worked. Thanks to Melanie's compassion and quick thinking, their family was notified of their loved one's passing, they were given time to be with them to say goodbye.”

Melanie has been at Swedish Covenant Health since 2016.

Paul Ibanez STAR WinnerFebruary 2019
Paul Ibanez | Inpatient Rehab Services

Paul was nominated by numerous employees: “Paul is a great example of a non-clinical employee who demonstrates care and compassion towards all employees, patients and visitors. He always has a smile on his face and gives you his all without any complaints. Whether you are a doctor, nurse, CNA, front line employee, housekeeper or visitor, he will treat you the same and help you however he can without any hesitation.”

Paul has been at Swedish Covenant Health since 2003.

January 2019 STAR WinnerDecember 2018
Nora Fragoso | Inpatient Rehab Services

Nora was nominated by a patient: “I was hospitalized with a broken hip for three weeks this fall. Everyone was outstanding, but I had one occupational therapist who was a Godsend to me. I looked forward to working with Nora on a daily basis. She went out of her way after her shift to get me a tray that would fit my walker. When I asked her how much she paid for it, she didn't let me pay her for it. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her kindness to me.”

Diego STAR WinnerNovember 2018
Diego Castro | 4East

Diego was nominated by a coworker: "Diego was caring for a patient on 4E that had been in the hospital for days with no way to reach his loved ones. The only number the patient could remember was his sister in Mexico. Diego was able to personally contact the patient's sister in Mexico, who then reached local family to come to the patient's bedside to be with him.  Diego treated the patient with respect and equality and went above and beyond to care for them in a small but significant way in their time of need .

Diego has been with Swedish Covenant Health since 2017.

Desiree Jeter - STAR WinnerOctober 2018
Desiree Jeter | SCMG Family and Internal medicine

Desiree was nominated by a patient: “During my visit to Dr. Matar, Desiree demonstrated extreme excellence in care and deserves to be commended. Not only is she friendly, empathetic and compassionate, but while taking my history, Desiree reacted to one of my comments by asking additional questions which I quickly picked up were probing for domestic violence. Thankfully, I'm not experiencing that; however, I've worked with abuse victims before and appreciate how Desiree went the extra mile to approach the subject with a level of sensitivity not often encountered. This speaks to her level of care and attention in all aspects of her job.”

Desiree has been with Swedish Covenant Health since 2018.

Lester September STAR WinnerSeptember 2018
Lester Vicencio | AP5

Lester was nominated by their manager: “Lester goes above and beyond to be pleasant and attentive to his patient’s needs as well as his co-workers. Once, a patient who was admitted to the unit with terminal cancer called me to her bedside to say how kind and comforting Lester was to her. Even though he was busy providing care to his other patients, he took time to go and sit with her and comforted her several times. She experienced peace and compassionate care from this wonderful nurse despite her circumstances.”

Lester has been at Swedish Covenant Health since 2017.

Faye Gandeza - July STAR Employee of the MonthJuly 2018
Faye Gandeza | Oncology

Faye was nominated by a patient’s family member: “My father was diagnosed with stage-3 prostate cancer in July 2016. Our family has been very blessed to have Faye as my father’s nurse. Faye exemplifies what a true health care professional should be—someone who is genuinely compassionate and goes above and beyond to help people who are sick and in need of support. We need more Fayes in this world and our family is forever grateful for the impact she has had in our lives during this time.”

Faye has been at SCH since 2001.

Cora Marcelino June Star Winner

June 2018
Cora Marcelino | Extended Care Facility

Cora was nominated by a Hospitalist-PA: “I work with nurses all over the hospital and Cora is one of the best. I often find her on the floor long after her shift completing tasks and preparing for the next day, regardless of the time. She is extremely knowledgeable, both clinically and logistically, and always willing to lend a hand. On top of all of this, Cora is such a delightful person. She has a sense of humor and manages patients with a smile on her face.”

Cora has been with Swedish Covenant Health since 1998.

Theresa Gaudio May Star WinnerMay 2018
Theresa Guadio | Emergency Department

Theresa was nominated by the CEO of a patient’s religious community: “On April 8th, our EMS service responded to a cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, despite the valiant efforts of the ED staff, our patient was pronounced dead. Theresa came to find us in the EMS room to ask if our patient was Orthodox Jewish, to which we replied “yes.” She proceeded to allow us to show the staff how we handle a recently deceased person in accordance with our traditions. The compassion and respect demonstrated by your staff is commendable, particularly how Theresa went out of her way to care for a patient who could not advocate for herself.”

Theresa has been with Swedish Covenant Health since 1999.

Karen Hofty - April 2018 STAR Winner

April 2018
Karen Hoftey | Women’s Health Center

Karen was nominated by her department: “Karen greets every patient like family. It’s not unusual to see her sitting down and listening to someone. Karen also encourages and makes every team member feel special. She models a lifestyle of gratitude and is an inspiration to our department.”

Karen has been with Swedish Covenant Health since 2014.

Arcia Moss March 2018 Star WinnerMarch 2018
Arcia Moss | Operating Room

Arcia was nominated by three surgeons and a coworker:

Doctor One: "The operating room is a very challenging department to manage. Arcia’s eagerness to develop relationships and problem solve has earned the respect of countless physicians, surgeons, nurses, techs and colleagues. I can focus on my job as a physician because Arcia is taking care of everything else.”

Doctor Two: “Arcia is among the best I have ever worked with. Aside from his technical competence, he always has a positive attitude and a smile no matter how difficult the case. He has a calming demeanor that brings a sense of peace to the OR and is the consummate professional who is kind, gentle and humble—a rare combination.”

Doctor Three: “I quickly grew to appreciate Arcia for his technical competence, his intelligence and the calmness he brings in challenging situations. Arcia possesses intangible qualities that make him a role model for the entire OR staff. In summary, Arcia is one of a kind!”

Coworker: "There are so many people who want to thank you for being such a great leader. We all agree that you deserve to be recognized today and do so with admiration."

Arcia has been at Swedish Covenant Health since 2012.

Nidia Julian February 2018 STAR WinnerFebruary 2018
Nidia Julian | 7 East!

Nidia was nominated by an employee: “A patient at the end of life was alone and Nidia happened to be her nurse. Nidia stayed right beside the patient, murmuring reassurances in her ear, tenderly stroking her forehead and wiping away tears. She did not leave the patient's side until the patient took her last breath and closed her eyes. The patient’s son arrived soon after, and Nidia was ready and willing to comfort him as well. Her attention was a comfort and true inspiration to her fellow colleagues.”

Nidia has been with Swedish Covenant Health since 2016. 

January 2018Sue OLeary January STAR Winner
Sue O’Leary | Radiology Services

Sue was nominated by a patient: “I want to thank Sue for her kindness during my first mammogram. From my arrival at the Women’s Health Center, I was impressed. The waiting room was lovely and spa-like. Sue met me and explained the process. She was so professional and created an environment that made me feel like I was with a dear friend. It is highly appreciated.”

Sue has been with Swedish Covenant Health since 2000.   

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