5th Varnum Awards Honor 'Deep Commitment' of 4 Caregivers at D-H

October 20, 2011
Lebanon, NH

2011 Varnum Awards

From among several dozen nominees for the 2011 James W. Varnum Quality Awards, Dartmouth-Hitchcock this year has honored four caregivers with a combined service of nearly 50 years to patients and their families.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Co-presidents Nancy Formella, MSN, RN, and James N. Weinstein, DO, introduced the recipients during the fifth-annual awards ceremony on October 19, which Varnum, former president of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, attended with his wife Cindy.

The awards went to Richard Fedorchak, RN, nurse coordinator in pediatric hematology/oncology; Amy Moore, MA, a certified medical assistant in orthopaedics at D-H Concord; Sara Roebuck, RN, staff nurse at the oncology infusion suite for outpatients at Norris Cotton Cancer Center; and James E. Tracy, manager of support services and education in the department of pathology.

"The selection committee was tasked with a difficult decision as it reviewed this year's nominations," said Weinstein. "We want to thank everyone who took the time to submit nomination letters in support of their colleagues' deep commitment to creating and sustaining an environment of high-quality, patient- and family-centered care."

In introducing Fedorchak, who will retire at the end of 2011 after 22 years at D-H, Formella cited the nomination letters of colleagues who noted that Fedorchak always takes the time to educate the families of young cancer patients about their child's diagnosis, treatment needs, medications, and side effects, and prepare them to take them home during perhaps the most stressful points in their families' experience.

Colleagues of Moore, a seven-and-a-half year veteran, credited her as one of the main reasons that D-H Concord earlier this year scored the highest ratings of patient satisfaction among the orthopaedic practices in southern New Hampshire.

In addition to her direct work with patients, Roebuck has spent a good part of her three years at the Cancer Center leading the effort to streamline the way the infusion suite assigns patients to nurses, Formella said in her introduction. The nomination letter points to Roebuck's work creating greater capacity within the infusion suite, improved morale of patients and staff, lowering the frequency of code initiations, and creating a more stable work environment.   

Tracy joined the department of pathology in the mid-1990s. Weinstein noted that Tracy has overseen the lowering of wait times in four outpatient lab areas from between 20 and 25 minutes to between three and four minutes. And under Tracy's leadership, 16 members of the pathology staff have earned national certification in phlebotomy.

The Trustees of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital established the endowment fund for the awards upon Varnum's retirement as president in 2006.

"This special award," Formella said, "was named in honor of Jim Varnum because of his visionary leadership as president of the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital for many years, and because of his commitment to ensuring Dartmouth-Hitchcock provides the highest quality of care - a foundation we continue to build upon today."

About Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Dartmouth-Hitchcock is a national leader in evidence-based and patient-centered health care. The system includes hundreds of physicians, specialists, and other providers who work together at different locations to meet the health care needs of patients in northern New England. In addition to primary care services at local community practices, Dartmouth-Hitchcock patients have access to specialists in almost every area of medicine, as well as world-class research at Dartmouth Medical School and centers of excellence including The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (TDI).

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