North Texas hospital employees awarded at April 25 Luncheon

Farhenaaz Ajani (center), a trauma nurse at Parkland Health & Hospital System, was one of the top recipients at the Employee of the Year Luncheon.

HURST, TX – A salute to the North Texas hospital workforce, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation’s 23rd Annual Employee of the Year Luncheon was held April 25 at the Hurst Conference Center. More than 700 attendees turned out to honor 130 nominees and 14 announced winners from a pool of 55 area hospitals.

“We hope this is a memorable day for these great North Texas hospital employees,” said Kristin Tesmer, president of the DFWHC Foundation. “The goal of this luncheon is to make a difference in the quality of care by boosting the morale of our hospital staffs, maintaining retention of a strong workforce and recognizing the importance of each employee. All of these nominees deserved to be recognized and it was our honor to applaud every one of them.”

Chief Richard Picciotto served as keynote speaker in support of the theme “Engage your Heart.” Chief Picciotto was the highest-ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He discussed his attempts at attempting to save both civilians and fellow firefighters prior to the collapse of the buildings.

Charles Gressle, chief executive officer of Medical City Plano and Frisco and chair of DFWHC, and Pam Stoyanoff, chief operating officer of Methodist Health System and chair of the DFWHC Foundation, served as masters of ceremonies.

One of the highlights was the Rex McRae Scholarship presented to Palma Savala, a nurse extern at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and a student at Tarrant County College. Savala will be the first in her family to obtain a college degree, graduating in May with an expected 3.12 GPA.

Additional recipients included:

Physician Award
Dr. Dustin Loveland, Children’s Medical Center – Plano

Volunteer Award
Gene Anderson, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth

Preceptor Award
Mindy Rodriguez, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville

System Award
Olicia Day, Contract Administrator, Parkland Health & Hospital System

Community Service Award
Heather Scroggins, EPIC Clinical Liaison, JPS Health Network

Special Recognition Awards
Loraine Erwin, Recreational Therapist, Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation
Robby Fuson, Maintenance Specialist I, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance
Eli Cruz, Food Services Host, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth
Aaron Gonzalez, EMS Program Manager, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

Employee of the Year Awards
Jennifer Roady, Senior Child Life Specialist, Children’s Medical Center – Plano
Jennifer Waters, Physical Therapist, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano
Matthew Hatcher, Security Services Investigator, Cook Children’s Health Care Center
Farhenaaz Ajani, Trauma Nurse Clinician II, Parkland Health & Hospital System

Board members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Healthcare Human Resources Association judged nominations on March 27. Individual and hospital names were removed in advance and selections were based entirely on the facts presented within the form letter. Nominees were separated into four categories of hospitals including 1-99 beds, 100-250 beds, 251-499 beds and 500-plus beds.

Top sponsors of the event were Hall Render, CampbellWilson, LLP, GroupOne Background Screening, Konica Minolta, Baylor Scott & White Health, Cook Children’s and Texas Health Resources.

Chief Richard Picciotto

Palma Savala

Eli Cruz (center)

Gene Anderson

Jennifer Roady (right)

Olicia Day (center)

Robby Fuson (center)