ICU Team, Department of the Year

Move over, Emmys—the BEMMYs are here.

In celebration of National Hospital Week 2022—and to honor employees, departments and providers singled out by their peers for exemplary performance over the past year —Beaufort Memorial presented the first of what will become its annual BEMMY Awards recognizing those who go above and beyond their job responsibilities to promote the organization’s mission, vision and values.

In addition to a Hollywood awards-style red carpet experience, the celebration, held last Thursday at twilight at Old Bay Marketplace, featured live music, drinks and hors d’oeuvres and a seated dinner before the awards ceremony.

“We wanted to show our employees in every way we could how much we value them and their service to our patients and our hospital,” said Beaufort Memorial President and CEO Russell Baxley. “We can’t applaud them enough for the good they do.”

Awards were presented in 10 categories. The top honor for Department of the Year was awarded to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which was dramatically affected by COVID-19.

“Across the country, many units fell apart during the pandemic, but that didn’t happen to the Beaufort Memorial ICU,” said Baxley. “Today, you’ll find the same doctors, nurses and staff advocating and caring for patients. This speaks volumes about their resilience.”

“It was a rough couple of years,” said ICU nurse Candice Chappell, BSN, RN. During her acceptance speech, Chappell acknowledged the other departments that played a pivotal role in Beaufort Memorial’s pandemic response. “We share this award with a lot of people. We would have never made it without them. It was definitely a collaborative effort.”

Sherri Rabon, BSN, RN
, an infection preventionist in the Quality & Patient Safety Department, was named the Vaux Clinical Employee

Sherri Rabon, Clinical Employee of the Year

of the Year, an award in memory of Ruthven Vaux, a longtime Bluffton resident and former member of the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, to recognize the spirit of Beaufort Memorial employees.

Mario Melendez, Non-clinical Employee of the Year

“There wasn’t a job Sherri wasn’t doing during the pandemic,” said Baxley. “Sherri was a utility player. It was never ‘No, I can’t do that. No, we can’t figure that out.’ It was always ‘Yes, we can get that done. Yes, I can do that. Yes, I’ll pull that extra shift. Yes, let me answer that question. Yes, let me do days’ worth of research on infection prevention around COVID-19 and PPE (personal protective equipment) protocols and isolation protocols.’”

“One thing after another was thrown Sherri’s way and she stepped up every time – stepped up with grace and true commitment to her employees, the patients and this organization,” he added.

The Nonclinical Employee of the Year Award went to Mario A. Melendez, the lead medical records clerk in the Health Information Services Department. Mario started employment with Beaufort Memorial in 2014 as a custodian and quickly advanced through many departments and leadership roles.

“I think one of the things that stands out most about Mario is his servant heart,” Baxley said. “He serves on a ton of committees. He’s always volunteering to help – whether it’s with committees, whether it’s coming in on Saturdays, whether it’s staying late. It is recognized among many – among his peers and among leadership. I think most specifically what I love about Mario is that he’s always smiling.”

Runners-up for the hospital’s top awards were the Beaufort Memorial Express Care & Occupational Health clinics and LifeFit Wellness Center (tied for Department of the Year); Tenaya L. Adams, laboratory phlebotomist (Clinical Employee); and Marion Arbuckle, chaplain (Nonclinical Employee).

Other BEMMY recipients were:

  • Leader of the Year: Ashley M. Hildreth, MSN, RN, CEN, SANE, corporate director of quality (runner-up: Shannon M. Adams, MSN, RN, Medical/Surgical Unit director);
  • Provider of the Year: Dr. Douglas M. Folzenlogen, Intensive Care Unit hospitalist (runner-up: Dr. Luke Baxley, Emergency Department physician);
  • Rookie of the Year: Brandon Z. Mantell, MOT, OTR/L, inpatient rehabilitation occupational therapist (runner-up: Jessie Specht, MSN, RN, clinical instructor);
  • Innovator of the Year: Angela M. Barber, Beaufort Memorial Physician Partners practice operations administrator (runner-up: Allison N. Murphy, MSN, RN, patient safety and quality specialist);
  • Community Champion of the Year: Roxanne J. Davis-Cote, MPH, RD, LD, CNSC, clinical nutrition manager (runner-up: Wendy Spano, surgery scheduler);
  • Patient Experience Champions (selected based on exceptional patient survey scores): Oncology Specialists, Progressive Care Unit, X-ray Services;
  • Zero Harm Patient Safety Champion: Wanda B. Jeffcoat, pharmacy tech and medication navigation supervisor (runner-up: Brandie M. Gillian, BSN, RN, oncology infusion center nurse).

The BEMMY Award winners were nominated by their peers. A subcommittee of the Employee Engagement Committee reviewed the nominations and recent You Shine Through employee award recipients then submitted the top candidates for the senior leadership team to select the winners.

“Each one of these employees really embodies our core values. I think they stand above the rest and have gone above and beyond – recognized by patients, by their peers, by leadership,” said Baxley. “We could not be more proud of these employees for what they’ve done this year – and really the past two years – through the pandemic.”