Ray Pelton Leadership Award presentation highlights St. Joseph’s awards banquet 

Press Release

St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center

Ray Pelton Leadership Award presentation highlights St. Joseph’s awards banquet

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center recently held its annual Service Awards Banquet at Oaklawn Jockey Club.

The highlight of this fall’s event came when Outpatient Services Department Executive Director Teresa Lambert, RN, OCN, became the first recipient of the hospital’s new Ray Pelton Leadership Award. Pelton, who retired in June after 15 years as St. Joseph’s Vice President of Human Resources, was on hand to present the annual award recently instituted in his name.

“I am extremely honored to have been selected as the first recipient of the annual Ray Pelton Leadership Award,” Lambert said. “All of the nominees were very deserving and it is wonderful to work for an organization where you have so many exceptional leaders. It made it even more special that my nomination came from staff members and Ray was there to present it to me.”

Other St. Joseph’s co-workers nominated for the award were Virginia Fortner, Director of Community Relations; Nick Utyesonich, Director of Pharmacy; John Campbell, Director of Respiratory Therapy; Michele Diedrich, Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services-Chief Nursing Officer; Norene Chancellor, Cardiac Rehabilitation Services Supervisor; Steve Henson, Emergency Department-Intensive Care Unit Executive Director; Yvonne Rogers, Heath Information Management Record Completion Supervisor; and Lisa Simpson-Jackson, Mount Ida Mercy Medical Clinic Office Manager.

In addition to the Ray Pelton Leadership Award presentation, a total of 237 co-workers – with a combined total of 2,860 years of service – were recognized and presented services pins by Randy Fale, St. Joseph’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Heading the list of those honored was 35-year co-worker Donna Wallace, a Unit Secretary on 2 East.

Seven 30-year co-workers – Thresa Cook-Arthur (Respiratory Therapy Department), Maryann Golden (Surgery Department), Betty Guinn (Intensive Care Unit), Rose Mary Merritt, LPN II (2 East), Candis Oliver, RN (4 West), Norma Smith-Williams (Laboratory) and Alice Williams (Mercy Breast Center) – were also honored and awarded gifts and gold Mercy cross service pins.

Twenty eight 25-year co-workers received personally engraved watches and gold Mercy Service pins, while 20-year gold Mercy Service pins went to 23 co-workers. A total of 39 co-workers were awarded 15-year silver Mercy cross service pins, while 35 co-workers were recipients of the 10-year silver Mercy cross service pin and 104 the five-year silver Mercy cross service pin.

Eighteen St. Joseph’s retirees – with a combined total of 262 years of service – were also recognized and awarded gifts.


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