Iris Yasso, CNA/HHA

Congratulations to our April Impact Award winner, Iris Yasso, CNA/HHA, health aide for Suncoast Hospice, a member of Empath Health.

Yasso joined the organization nearly 17 years ago. In her role as a nursing aide, she attends to patients in assisted living facilities and in their homes. Her specialty is working with dementia patients, ensuring they receive the gentle care and patience they need. She also acts as the eyes and ears for the patient’s care team.

“I love my job,” says Yasso. “It’s always amazing when you learn about people’s story and background. They’ve all had good lives, and it’s my honor to treat them with dignity.”

The monthly Impact Award recognizes and celebrates staff for their positive impact on others, demonstration of our values and above-and-beyond service.

Yasso was nominated by a colleague who shared:

Iris Yasso provides life-changing care by bringing her positivity and compassion into every visit. Recently, a family specifically requested her services at end of life because of her calming presence and rapport with the patient. Upon arrival, she recognized the stress levels in the room and encouraged the family to take time for self-care during her visit. One of the patient’s daughters credited Iris with life-changing care not just for the patient, but for the impact she had on supporting family relationships as well. She takes the extra time to get to know a patient and family and the things that are important to them so that when she leaves, they are not only clean but their spirits have been lifted as well.

 Iris consistently exemplifies the Empath Health values in her work with our patients. She demonstrates an open mind and brave spirit when presented with challenging situations, listening and exploring patients’ needs with their family members and facility staff to discover how she can best serve the patient in her time with them. Her healing presence is routinely acknowledged by patients and their supporting family and facility staff. This month, a patient was readmitted to hospice services after an extended absence and the family requested her by name. One of my favorite examples of her pioneering heart is with a patient who has cognitive deficits, and while physically able, does not want to get in a shower, with or without help. Iris learned that this patient loves horses, so she found a plastic toy horse for the patient to hold and play within the shower. This simple act changed the dynamic of the task, calmed the patient and built trust with Iris. She uses her grateful voice with colleagues to reinforce the importance of the work we do and is an advocate for her patients at every opportunity.

 Iris is a shining example for all who have the privilege of working with her. She lifts the spirits of colleagues and works well with everyone. She volunteers to pick up shifts for others, even on the weekends, and is flexible in her scheduling to ensure her patients’ needs are met. A valuable member of our interdisciplinary team, Iris identifies and recognizes the significance of small functional declines, helping us anticipate patient needs. Her team can trust that she will give her very best in every situation, inspiring team unity and peace of mind.

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