For 53 years, PPMC has hosted an annual Employee Recognition Ceremony to celebrate the hospital’s longest serving employees and their many contributions. This year’s theme was Back to the Future, in recognition of Presby’s commitment to honoring the hospital’s history and legacy while also innovating for tomorrow.
Staff from departments across the hospital came together at Vie on Broad Street to toast their career milestones with dinner and drinks, including cocktails inspired by the event’s four 40-year veterans — a “Valerie Vanilla Martini” named for pharmacy inventory coordinator Valerie Davidson, CPhT, a “Johnson Julep” for emergency department nurse Lynne Johnson, BSN, RN, a “Mustang Sally” for post-anesthesia nurse Sally Stephens-Jefferson, BSN, RN, and a “Diane Daiquiri” for lab supervisor Diane Talemal, MT(ASCP).
In her keynote speech, Patricia Garcia Sullivan, PhD, chief quality officer for UPHS, praised PPMC’s long list of quality achievements — “You make my job a lot easier!” — and detailed the exceptional patient experience that PPMC offers. She also noted that when it comes to the key components that make for a high reliability organization — leadership, safety culture, and robust process improvement — PPMC is leading the way. “My office may be at Perelman, but Presby is like family,” she said.
One by one, members of the executive leadership team took the podium to read the names of the 309 honorees who reached special milestones this year: 151 employees celebrated five years at Presby, 44 reached 10 years, 58 hit 15 years, 22 celebrated 20 years, 15 reached 25 years, and 13 hit 30 years. Catherine Greco, administrative coordinator for the Department of Medicine, and Huey Pigford, RRT, clinical supervisor for Respiratory Care Services, were recognized for their 35 years of dedicated service, and the 40-year VIPs also received $1,000 each in recognition of their longstanding loyalty.
One of the employees who was recognized for hitting her 15-year milestone at the ceremony this year was CT scan technician Amy Anellia. Recently, a colleague wrote a letter describing Anellia’s compassion and adaptability when she comforted a severely anxious patient. She truly illustrates the everyday greatness that defines Penn Medicine.
Read more about her empathetic spirit in System News!
Between groups, prizes from Wawa, Iron Hill Brewery, Orange Theory, Freshii, and many other sponsors were raffled off, and staff were encouraged to commemorate the evening with team pictures in the photo booth. In keeping with the Back to the Future theme, each executive team member also shared fun facts about Presby’s history that reminded everyone of their earliest days on campus.
For example, those who started five years ago may have attended the grand opening of Penn Medicine University City, while 20-year veterans might recall the PennSTAR flight program first extending its rescue services to the Lehigh Valley. Staff who started in 2004 were likely talking to their coworkers about the latest episodes of Desperate Housewives or making plans for game day at the new Citizens Bank Park, while those who joined the team in 1984 were watching Ghostbusters and quoting, “Where’s the beef?” And Davidson, Johnson, Stephens-Jefferson, and Talemal were taken back to 1979 — the days when “My Sharona” was playing on their brand new Sony Walkmans, the Flyers won 35 games in a row, McDonald’s debuted their Happy Meal, and they first made their enduring commitment to PPMC.
“When I think about my first day at Presbyterian versus where we are now, it’s amazing how far we’ve come. We’ve built our volume and now serve the highest acuity patients in the region. It has been an absolutely fabulous journey with so many exciting and significant changes, but one thing hasn’t changed: the dedication of our workforce,” said CEO Michele Volpe. “You are what makes us so good. Our Presby Culture defines and differentiates us, and I am so proud to be a part of Penn Presbyterian and to work with the best staff in the region.”