Karen Lipsey, Grateful Voices Award, Jayne Johnson, Open Mind Award, Viola Reece, Healing Presence Award, Galo Cruz, Pioneering Heart Award, Andrea Forster, Brave Spirit Award and Rafael Sciullo, President & CEO Empath Health

The early December morning last week brought a refreshing briskness to the day outside, while stories of compassion filled hearts with warmth and energized spirits inside at the 2019 Empath Health Catalyst Awards presentation.

These annual awards honor employees who are living the mission and making a meaningful difference in our community. They are nominated by the staff, selected by the President’s Council recognition committee and honored at a breakfast and ceremony.

Recipients of the Catalyst Awards have a keen understanding of not only the people they serve but of their colleagues as well. Their open hearts, comforting presence and dedication to the needs of others exemplify the spirit of Empath Health. Through the examples they set, they are leading the way to a brighter future.

Congratulations to the 2019 Catalyst Award winners. Here is a look at the awardees and words of support from their co-workers:

Brave Spirit Award:  Andrea Forster, Administrative Professional

Andrea has been a reliable resource to so many facets of the organization. A focused proofreader, a capable strategist, a multi-tasker with an internal supercomputer, she is a remarkably capable juggler who approaches her many diverse tasks and obligations with grace. At every turn Andrea provides an empathetic presence in the workforce, serving as a reminder of the value of persistence, camaraderie and enjoying each day.

Pioneering Heart:  Galo Cruz, EPIC Case Manager

Galo provides deeply compassionate care and is known for going above and beyond even in the most challenging circumstances. His work focuses on helping others gain access to essential care and medications. There are those who would not have survived without the education, advocacy and support he provides. Galo is a leader in honoring social issues and cultural competence. He is often called upon as a resource within our community to provide education, break down barriers and create new strategies to expand the mission.

Open Mind: Jayne Johnson, PACE Social Worker

Jayne brings a calm presence and compassionate heart to the most stressful of situations, which allows for healing and progress to occur. She deftly uses her clinical skills to deescalate crises and bring hope that everyone will be all right despite their present suffering. Jayne is a positive presence serving as a source of leadership, support and encouragement for others. She welcomes constructive feedback, remains motivated to continue learning and growing professionally and helps others to view their work from different perspectives.

Grateful Voices: Karen Lipsey, CTM

Karen is calm, peaceful, gentle and kind. She is a great listener, team player and problem solver. Karen inspires the best in people by being a role model. Her passion shows in all she does and her compassion for the employees she leads is remarkable. She has been there for countless others, through tears of heartache and through celebrations, always with a gentle word of encouragement or a heartfelt, “How are you doing?” Karen is always open to helping, leading and guiding others to work through issues and bring about positive changes.

Healing Presence:  Viola Reece, LPN

When we think of quiet strength and compassionate presence, Viola comes to mind. She is professional and patient with requests and questions. She gracefully holds a healing space for others and treats all with respect and dignity in a non-judgmental manner. Her work has a major impact on newly hired staff to learn and observe the very highest standard of care. Viola portrays the integrity, expertise, service and commitment that will lead us into the future of care.