Ascension St. Joseph Recognizes Extraordinary Nurses and Caregivers

TAWAS CITY, MI – May was National Nurses Month and Ascension St. Joseph Hospital presented multiple awards to nurses for the extraordinary, compassionate care they provide patients and families daily.

Susanne Somers, RN, was presented with a DAISY Award in recognition of her “unparalleled empathy towards patients as she listens intently to patients’ stories, holds their hand or shares a prayer with them,” as stated in the nomination. Over the past two years, Somers worked in multiple departments including surgery, coronary care, and the COVID-19 unit, while also administering monoclonal antibody treatments to COVID-19 patients and covering holiday shifts to support nursing departments. Her dedication and commitment earned the appreciation and admiration of fellow nurses. “Susanne is kind, selfless and reliable, consistently putting the need of Ascension St. Joseph Hospital first and foremost,” says Shane Hunt, Administrator, Ascension St. Joseph Hospital. Picture attached (l to r): Amy Torgusen, RN; Samantha Travis, RN; Susanne Somers, RN; Barbara Richardson, RN; and Shane Hunt.

The Lighthouse Award was presented to Becky Morand, RN, and Denise Whitford, RN, who live the values of Ascension St. Joseph Hospital every day.

Morand works in case management and was nominated for going above and beyond as demonstrated by coming in on a Saturday to assist a patient. She coordinated and expedited support from multiple local agencies to help the patient and stayed throughout the night to ensure everyone's needs were met.

During a COVID-19 spike, Whitford, an emergency department nurse, learned that all ventilators at Ascension Standish Hospital were in use on patients. She volunteered to deliver an available ventilator from Ascension St. Joseph Hospital to Ascension Standish Hospital on snow-covered roads. Whitford’s action ensured that should another patient be admitted to the Standish hospital requiring breathing support, there wouldn’t be a delay in care.

Other Ascension St. Joseph Hospital associates recognized with Beacon awards include:

  • Penny Cagle, Oscoda Health Park
  • Connie Smith, Huron Family Medicine
  • Sarah Segrest, Imaging
  • Kurt Ulman, Trimedx
  • Bob May, DO, Emergency Department
  • Allison Polly, RN, Emergency Department
  • Chris Black, Respiratory Therapy
  • Amy Torgusen, Oncology
  • Dorene Blaine, Laboratory
  • Robert Fettig, RN, CCU
  • Margie Hatfield, RN, CCU
  • Becky Barnett, Respiratory Therapy
  • Pam Gerber, Imaging
  • Theresa Wojahn, Imaging
  • Cynthia Blount, DO, Imaging
  • Linda Williams, Med/Surg
  • Jennifer Look, Physical Therapy
  • Megan Huebel, Bone and Joint
  • Joel Pestrue, PA, Oscoda Health Park
  • Suzanne Schulz, RN, Obstetrics

“Thank you to all caregivers and staff for putting patients’ needs at the center of all we do,” says Hunt. “The work they do has meaning and value in all our lives. Their dedication to excellent care is what makes them extraordinary.”