These Awards of Distinction are HCA Healthcare’s highest honor for employees, volunteers and physicians.

The HCA Excellence in Nursing Awards (two categories: professional mentoring and compassionate care) recognizes the invaluable contributions our nurses.

The Frist Humanitarian Award (three categories: employees, volunteers and physicians) for their exceptional humanitarian and volunteer activities.


HCA Excellence in Nursing: Professional Mentoring

Sheandi Richins, RN, Educator, ER

Sheandi Richins

Sheandi has been a full time educator at EIRMC for the last few years, starting as the Medical/Surgical educator and then moving to the Emergency Department as their education expert.

Here are a few of the initiatives that Sheandi has led:

  • Created the “Outstanding Preceptor of the Quarter” Award: Sheandi created this award because there wasn’t recognition or differential for preceptors that work with new employees and students. Our preceptors play a key role in the development of new nurses.
  • Created a Primary Trauma Nurse Development Pathway: With the busiest ER in our division, it’s critical that our staff remain experts in their field: Sheandi created a process for a novice nurse to gain education in a trauma setting, so they can move to an expert nurse status.
  • Created New Graduate Emergency Room Program: This is a 6-month orientation and residency program for new grads to be hired in the Emergency Room. Sheandi has taken “grow your own” to a new level, dedicating many hours to ensure this program gives nurses the skills needed to take care of the complex patients they see on a daily basis.
  • Initiated Simulation skills lab for the Emergency Room: Sheandi has created skills labs for pediatric scenarios, precipitous delivery, full trauma patient in hypovolemic shock, a stroke simulation, a cardiac patient having a Myocardial Infarction, anda full trauma patient with the Massive Transfusion.
  • Developed Skills Lab for ER CNA’s: This skills lab focused on AIDET, lead placement for 12 lead EKG’S, safe transfers, vital signs, and admissions.
  • Monthly Emergency Room Education: Sheandi develops new and innovative training for the ER staff. One month she did a scavenger hunt of trauma equipment where the nurses had to find the trauma equipment listed and see if they not only find it, but set it up correctly.

And lastly, Sheandi was recognized by the Post Register in 2018 as “Best of Idaho Falls Nurse.”


HCA Excellence in Nursing: Compassionate Care

Richelle Stoddard, RN, NICU

Richelle Stoddard

Richelle began her health care career as a CNA and started working at EIRMC in 1995 as an LPN. In 2001, she obtained her RN degree and began working in our NICU. She worked as a NICU flight nurse before deciding to spend all of her time in our NICU. She can still recall August 8, 2008- the day when she helped care for our first micro preemie who not only made it, but is doing great today.

Richelle is passionate about her job, but she doesn’t do it for recognition or rewards. She does it because she truly cares about each patient and their family. She receives many cards and letters from families that still keep in touch with her months and years after their babies have been discharged. She also has an incredible ability to comfort families when the outcome is tragic.

Cindy Skinner is Richelle’s colleague in the NICU and the person who nominated her for this award. Cindy say Richelle “is an asset as a leader to her peers, but also to our community. She is excellent when interacting with patient families. She is able to celebrate with them and also have challenging conversations with love when needed. In a hospital setting we serve people of various socioeconomic levels and Richelle is kind, respectful and helpful to everyone. She helps moms feel like they can succeed and shows incredible love and support to those who are grieving.

Richelle also helps grieving families. She does casts of infant hands and feet when they have passed; she makes shadow boxes, scrapbookpages and hand and foot prints on baseballs for families.

We are fortunate to have someone of Richelle’s caliber right here at EIRMC. Richelle has chosen to designate a charitable donation to the EIRMC Auxiliary, which helps our patients with comfort care, gas and lodging.


HCA Frist Honoree: Employee

Heather Olsen, RN, L&D

Heather Olsen

Heather is an RN and Clinical Supervisor in Labor & Delivery. It’s noteworthy that Heather was nominated by two colleagues, Kandi Kidder and Marie Ritchie.

Heather has volunteered with Camp Magical Moments for twelve years. This is very special place; it’s a summer camp in Swan Valley for kids with cancer. Camp Magical Moments gives these kiddos a week-long summer camp experience filled with social events, nature activities, arts and crafts, and most of all, laughter and joy.

For Heather’s part, she has completely embraced her volunteer role. Every summer, her and her husband volunteer a week to act as both medical support and camp counselor. She helps with fundraisers, planning activities, and readying the camp from a medical perspective for the kids.

Heather also throws her heart and soul right into the theme of the week, and part she is assigned. Last year the theme was Peter Pan, so Heather cut her hair shot and dyed it blue and pink to match her pixie costume!

Heather’s colleagues say she is an amazing nurse, and does an exceptional job working with patients and running the labor and delivery unit on busy days. They even shared that they love hearing Heather sing her favorite songs at work!

Kandi Kidder said, “ When I think of what it means to be "excellent in nursing" or even just "excellent." I think of Heather!” Heather has designated a gift to Camp Magical Moments.


HCA Frist Honoree: Volunteer

Rebecca Atkinson

Rebecca Atkinson

Our next honoree is Rebecca Atkinson, our 2019 Frist Volunteer Award. Rebecca has been volunteering at EIRMC since 1999 and has donated almost 6,000 hours in that time! Her special gift is that she sees what others may not; Rebecca sees when people are hurting even though they may appear to be holding it all together.

Rebecca stops to provide a kind word and encouragement whenever she sees a patient in need. She drops into waiting rooms even when not assigned to that area, simply to seek out those she can help.

Rebecca has even invited patient’s family members over to her house for a place of respite and a hot shower.

Here is a very beautiful Mission Moment that exemplifies Rebecca’s passion for our patients. During the summer of 2018, a couple from Korea were traveling in Yellowstone National Park. They were involved in a serious car accident that put them both in the ICU. Their car was completed totaled.

When Rebecca heard that all their belongings were stuck in Yellowstone, she traveled to the Park to salvage as much of their luggage as she could. This couple was so moved by Rebecca’s kindness, and they still keep in touch. Just recently the couple sent baby pictures to Rebecca of their newborn baby girl.

In addition to her volunteer work at EIRMC, Rebecca volunteers with her church and at St. Vincent de Paul’s thrift store. She also spent years volunteering at the City of Refuge.

Rebecca has requested that the Soup Kitchen receive a charitable donation in her honor.


HCA Frist Honoree: Physician

Dr. Wyc Cheatham

Dr. Wyc Cheatham

Dr. Wyc Cheatham is one of the most educated members of our medical staff, being double board-certified in both Neonatal Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care.

He’s been working in our NICU since 2015, and has been the Medical Director for two years. He also works shifts in the PICU to provide critical care to those children.

According to this two nominators, Iris Torvik and Jamee Talamantez, Dr. Cheatham’s first priority is always to take care of children and their families. He is never too busy to answer a question or spend time with a family who is struggling. Dr. Cheatham helps families learn, understand, and begin to cope with the health concerns of their children. He frequently answers the same questions several times as families learn to deal with their child’s health conditions.

Dr. Cheatham has been instrumental in keeping the PICU open and has helped create a consistent environment for the staff. He doesn’t hesitate to answer questions or concerns even when it’s his day off. Although Dr. Cheatham lives in Utah, he spends over 200 days a year working, attending meetings and providing administrative support to both the NICU and PICU teams and wouldn’t hesitate to get in his car and drive to EIRMC if one of his patients needed him.

His personality is gentle and kind and he is easily approachable by staff and families.

Dr. Cheatham is an excellent physician, leader, friend and humanitarian who exhibits so many of the virtues embodied by Dr. Frist. Dr. Cheatham is one in a million and we are so grateful to have him here at EIRMC.

He has asked that we designate his charitable gift to American Humanist Association.