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.

The HCA Healthcare Innovator Award recognizes an employee who uses imagination and originality to solve an obstacle, improve patient care or business operations, or address an unmet need for the hospital.


Frist Humanitarian Award, Employee

Jared Lowry, Occupational Therapist

Jared Lowry

Several years ago, Jared Lowry traveled to Colombia on a mission trip.  He fell in love with the people of South America, and was moved to continue to help them.  In fact, he was so compelled to be a force for good that Jared established the JUST ONE Foundation to organize multiple volunteer mission trips each year to Guatemala.

Under Jared's leadership, the JUST ONE Foundation has made a tremendous impact on the lives of underprivileged children, particularly in regions where malnutrition continues to be a leading cause of death, where one out of two children suffer from chronic malnutrition, and where more than 75% of the population live below the poverty line.

They have provided essential items such as food staples, infant formula, and blankets to Hogar Luz de Maria, a small orphanage in San Lucas, Guatemala.  Additionally, Jared's foundation has collaborated with Nino's de Guatemala, a school for children whose families cannot otherwise afford an education.   The school identifies children who lack proper sleeping conditions, and the foundation contracts with local craftsmen to build  bunk beds, ensuring their safety and comfort.

One of his colleagues mentioned how his unwavering commitment goes beyond providing aid.

He fosters personal connections and creates a sense of community among volunteers, allowing them to connect with the people, culture, and children of Guatemala on a deeper level.

Through his tireless efforts, Jared has inspired a network of dedicated individuals who will continue spreading love and compassion.

Jared's exceptional efforts and his dedication to improving the lives of underprivileged individuals in Colombia and Guatemala has earned him the 2023 Frist Employee Humanitarian Award.


Volunteer Frist Humanitarian Award

JC Rushi

JC Rushi

Since 2018, JC Rushi has been a valuable member of our volunteer team. He treats everyone with respect and is always ready to lend a hand.

JC takes pride in ensuring patient rooms are well-stocked and approaches his tasks with careful precision. His engineering background is evident in his innovative approach to making our unit more efficient.

Before the pandemic, JC noticed the time wasted by staff searching for supplies in our storage rooms. He took it upon himself to create a directory that helped nurses and Patient Care Techs cross-reference items based on their descriptions and based by the name commonly used by staff. 

This helped staff more quickly locate items, especially ones that are infrequently used.

This simple yet effective solution significantly reduced search times and allowed staff to spend their time in better ways, such as directly with patient care. 

Then COVID-19 disrupted volunteer activities and the Par rooms were rearranged.  Finding supplies became more difficult again.  But when JC returned to his volunteer duties, he stepped right up to help us get back on track. JC went above and beyond by creating an updated directory cataloging all items on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors.

This comprehensive resource has made it easier for staff to find items across different floors, streamlining our operations and enhancing patient care. We are so grateful for your commitment to helping not only our patients have a great experience, but our staff, too! 


Physician Frist Humanitarian Award

Jacob Venesky, M.D.

Jacob Venesky

Dr. Jacob Venesky a board-certified OB/GYN practicing at Monarch Healthcare.  Time and time again, Dr. Venesky has performed extraordinary acts of kindness, going above and beyond the call of duty.

There have been numerous instances when patients have gone into early labor and specifically requested Dr. Venesky to deliver their babies, even if it fell outside his designated on-call schedule. Without hesitation, he commits to being there for his patients, often working extra days and even being present for middle-of-the-night deliveries.

His grace, kindness, and dedication to his patients, their families, and the hospital staff are exemplary. In every interaction, Dr. Venesky displays an extraordinary level of attentiveness and compassion. He takes the time to listen to his patients and addresses their concerns, no matter how big or small.

During the arduous process of childbirth, he consistently demonstrates patience, offering gentle encouragement and support to first-time mothers. It is not uncommon to witness Dr. Venesky congratulating families and expressing his gratitude for allowing him to be part of such a joyous occasion.

These acts of kindness and genuine concern for the well-being of his patients are integral to his daily practice.  Despite his notable contributions, Dr. Venesky remains remarkably modest and humble. His focus is not on recognition but rather on making a genuine impact in the lives of others.


HCA Excellence in Nursing: Professional Mentoring

Emily Allred, RN, Director of Burn & Wound Services

Emily Allred

Throughout her tenure at EIRMC, Emily has identified quality employees to mentor into their own leadership positions. Her dedication to others' success and her unwavering focus on providing the best care for patients make her a leader whom others strive to emulate.

In fact, Emily was nominated for this award by Courtney Kelsch, Manager of Burn and Wound Services.  Courtney described the mentoring support Emily has provided her personally.

When Emily was the Director of the Idaho Cancer Center at EIRMC, Courtney was an ER nurse.  Emily recognized Courtney’s passion and recommended her to consider becoming the cancer care navigator.

As Courtney said, “I told her I had no idea what this job was or what it entailed.   She explained the job and at the end of the conversation, Emily said, “I’ll be with you every step of the way.”

That’s a pledge that Emily has faithfully upheld.   When Emily transitioned to oversee Burn & Wound Services, she again tapped Courtney to become the manager, another role that pushed Courtney out of her comfort zone.  Emily's guidance and support has remained constant, helping Courtney thrive in her new role.

What sets Emily apart as a mentor is her ability to see potential in others and provide them with opportunities to grow. She fosters relationships built on respect and trust, allowing her to provide honest and constructive feedback.

Emily has mentored patient care technicians into registered nurses and guided new graduates towards specialty certifications, particularly in wound and chemotherapy.  Her unwavering belief in others and her commitment to their success are qualities that have made her a revered mentor.

Emily has been described as the “epitome of a professional mentor.”


HCA Excellence in Nursing: Compassionate Care

Katie Cameron, RN

Katie Cameron

Katie exemplifies compassionate care at EIRMC, extending her caring and generous personality to both patients and colleagues. She received multiple nominations, each with unique stories about her integrity and commitment to our patients.

“A patient going through a very intense radiation and chemo regimen was incontinent in our facility, due to having to have a full bladder for treatment.   Katie was extremely discreet because they felt so incredibly embarrassed.  She took care of the situation and comforted this patient. 

Afterwards, Katie sat with the patient doing a puzzle, talking about other things while waiting for the patient’s bladder to fill back up.  This patient left the office laughing and smiling after this.”

And another story from her colleague:  “I recall her sitting with one of our metastatic prostate cancer patients shortly after he lost his wife, comforting him and talking about riding horses, their shared love in life.  I truly believe that she has done more to “cure” him than the medical treatments and radiation.”

Katie's colleagues wholeheartedly attest to her exceptional character, calling her as a "great human" and the embodiment of love in nursing.  She consistently goes above and beyond, ensuring that our oncology patients receive comprehensive and compassionate care.

Katie has truly left a mark on her colleagues and our patients. Her dedication, compassion, and extraordinary clinical care make her an exemplary nurse who serves as an inspiration to us all.


HCA Innovator Award

April Walker, RN, Infection Prevention Manager

April Walker

In her role as Infection Prevention Manager, April is focused on many initiatives, including reducing infections. This was such a focus for April that she created "ticket to test" forms and flow charts with clear guidelines when performing bladder scans for patients experiencing urinary retention.

But just as important, April was relentlessly committed to refining and improving these forms.  She incorporated feedback from leaders and staff to ensure that the forms were both user-friendly and effective.

And it worked! From 2021 to 2022, there was a remarkable 43% decrease in total infections. 

Her innovative approach, coupled with focus on the impact for bedside caregivers, led to the incorporation of her forms into the HAI prevention policy for the entire Mountain Division.

April's ability to collaborate with nurses, leadership, and administration sets her apart.       She recognizes that true success in her role requires a deep understanding of the needs and barriers faced by all stakeholders, and she actively seeks partnerships to find optimal solutions.

Moreover, April's personal connections with leadership and staff are remarkable. She is seen as a trusted partner, capable of identifying gaps and collaboratively creating solutions that address some of the most challenging issues faced by hospitals.