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Two Emanuel employees recognized for national award
Bridgette LaMere

Two employees at Emanuel Medical Center have been singled out for a national award based on their dedication to patient care.

Registered Respiratory Therapist Bridgette LaMere, and Manager of Emergency Preparedness Jana Mitchell were named as “Tenet Heroes” for showing their commitment to quality, innovation and service. The two women were nominated by their colleagues at Emanuel Medical Center and are part of the 134 winners selected from Tenet Healthcare’s 130,000 employees.

“The Tenet Hero Award celebrates exceptional people who exemplify Tenet’s core values –quality, service, transparency, integrity and innovation,” said Sue Micheletti, chief executive officer at Emanuel. “These values set the foundation for delivering the best care to our patients and services to our customers. When colleagues personify these values, our patients, fellow colleagues, and communities benefit.”

The Tenet Heroes program began in 2008 as a way to recognize employees who exemplify the company’s core values and go above and beyond the call of duty. Micheletti said LaMere and Mitchell are deserving honorees.

“Bridgette and Jana are outstanding employees, and their commitment to their patients and their community extends well beyond work hours,” Micheletti said. “They volunteer a lot of time and effort to help others, and I’m very pleased they were selected as Tenet Heroes.”

LaMere has been a respiratory therapist with Emanuel since 2007, and has proven herself as a leader in her department.

“She is a team leader in the respiratory therapy division and has a high degree of experience,” said Toni Jardine, her department director. “Bridgette is an active and busy mom, a very good soul, and still has time to volunteer for charity in the Hughson community.”

Jardine, who nominated LaMere for the award, cited the death of a 35-year-old single father as an incident that truly highlighted LaMere’s professionalism and compassion. The 35-year-old man was a father to two young children and died of a massive heart attack in June 2015. He was an organ donor and was being kept on life support until the organs were to be recovered by a surgical team.

“The magnitude of his impending death grasped Bridgette and she kept thinking about the impact of the loss of their only parent for the 7-year-old son and 4-year old daughter,” Jardine wrote in her nomination. “With permission from the patient’s mother, and on her own time and at her own expense, Bridgette gathered the necessary supplies to make casts of the patient’s handprints.  She presented a set of daddy’s handprints to each of the two children, creating a precious memento of their father that those children will have forever in their own hands.”

Mitchell is responsible for Emanuel Medical Center’s emergency preparedness and as such it falls to her to plan and prepare for whatever kind of catastrophe that might hit Turlock – from a massive traffic pileup in February fog to a patient with a virulent disease showing up in the emergency department.

She is a volunteer member of the Stanislaus County Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Council and serves on its Winter Contingency Task Force and a new Patient Tracking Task Force. She is also a registered healthcare disaster volunteer through the State of California’s Medical Reserve Core, an initiative to pre-register, manage and mobilize healthcare professionals to volunteer and help in responding to all types of disasters.

“What I learned through my volunteer work in emergency preparedness and disaster relief is that there no price you can put on being prepared,” Mitchell said.

In 2015, Mitchell was also asked to lead the hospital’s first-ever “Healthy Over Hungry” cereal drive. She devised an employee-wide team competition and under her leadership, Emanuel employees donated 23,433 servings of cereal. That giving led to more than double the amount given by any other hospital in the region.