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

Rhett Wintch, RN

Rhett Wintch

Rhett is an RN in EIRMC’s ER. After many years at the bedside, he now serves patients through the Patient Call Back Team. After discharge, Rhett phones patients to provide education; assist with necessary follow-up care, such as appointment-setting and medication; answers questions and reviews discharge instructions.

Rhett’s path in healthcare hasn’t always been easy. During his last semester of nursing school, a teacher told him he’d make a much better grocery store manager. Rhett resigned from the program and instead obtained a business degree. Four years later, Rhett realized he was indeed meant to be a nurse. He found his way to EIRMC’s ER in 2001 and his passion for patient care has been evident ever since.

Rhett’s compassion for helping others is felt in our community, too. He’s cared for several elderly couples in his neighborhood. He helped with necessary household chores and gardening, and supported the wife as her husband passed away. He also assisted a neighbor who had dementia, including helping her with care after several falls, doing snow removal, fixing their fence, and other handy-man duties. When the husband passed away last year, Rhett took it upon himself to continue to care for the wife including transporting her to church, activities, and doctor’s visits.

In Rhett’s honor, EIRMC will make a donation to his charity of choice, Operation Underground Railroad.


Volunteer Frist Humanitarian Award

Eileen Wolcott

Eileen Wolcott

When Eileen retired from EIRMC after 14 years in the NICU, she couldn’t stay away long. Eileen found her way back to our volunteer program, and has since donated about 1000 hours of her time.

In addition to working at our Information Desk, Eileen is also a NICU “cuddler” – she holds babies when their parents are unable to visit. This cuddle time is so important to NICU babies’ ability to grow and thrive. When Eileen saw we didn’t have enough cuddlers to fill the need, she stepped right up and began mentoring and training new NICU volunteers. Her years of experience helped provide insight about how to keep babies safe, and most importantly, how to show them love. Thanks to her efforts, the number of cuddle-trained volunteers increased from 5 to over 45!

Eileen has a servant’s heart and goes out of her way to find ways to help those around her. Outside of EIRMC, Eileen shares her compassion and time with many other organizations, including Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, Hands of Hope Hospice, The Humanitarian Center, Mom's Day Out, and Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box.

EIRMC will make a donation in her name to the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission.


Physician Frist Humanitarian Award

Christopher Harker, M.D.

Christopher Harker

Dr. Chris Harker is a board-certified Radiologist with Medical Imaging Associates. He is also extremely committed to patient safety and care.

Dr. Harker has a particular interest in stroke care. He works closely with our Stroke Manager to improve outcomes for patients. On his own time, he has led educational sessions for EMS/ first responders in our region; helped with process improvement initiatives to reduce the time for stroke intervention; and been an active participation in EIRMC’s stroke committee.

Dr. Harker has been described as “an inspiration” and “a champion for improved quality and patient outcomes.” He was recognized for “thinking through the right thing to do, and the most ethical thing to do” and for “always having the patient’s best interest in mind.”

EIRMC will donate to Ronald McDonald Charities in Dr. Harker’s name.


HCA Excellence in Nursing: Professional Mentoring

Cheri Arnold, RN, Stroke Program Manager

Cheri Arnold

Cheri has vast experience here at EIRMC. She started as a bedside nurse at EIRMC almost 20 years ago. Since then, she has served as a preceptor/mentor to new nurses; was the Nurse Manager in Medical Imaging; and now serves as the Stroke Program Manager. In this role, she works to hardwire staff knowledge and processes so that patients experiencing a stroke have the timeliest interventions that can make a significant difference in patient outcomes.

To accomplish this, Cheri has:

  • implemented telestroke services for outlying hospitals,
  • enhanced the ER stroke protocol,
  • provided education and skills days to staff and physicians.

In fact, under her leadership, EIRMC’s stroke program is in the top 5% of HCA Healthcare, the world’s largest hospital company. Most importantly, her work has positively impacted patients’ quality of life.

Cheri has chosen Hospice of Eastern Idaho for a donation in her honor.


HCA Excellence in Nursing: Compassionate Care

Jamie Jensen, RN

Jamie Jenson

Jamie Jensen is an RN on the 5th floor. She began her nursing career later in life, after her youngest child went to school. Jamie made such an impression on her professors that they have asked her to come back and mentor new nursing students and teach them how to build trust with their patients.

One example of her compassion: Jamie took care of a patient who was nervous about going to a nursing home. After discharge, Jamie visited the patient each week at her nursing home. When the patient was later admitted to EIRMC, Jamie was able to care for her in her final days.

As it became clear the patient was passing, Jamie put her arm around her and said, “It’s Jamie. You know I love you right?” Surprising everyone, the patient responded, “I love you, Jamie.” Those four words show how strong the bonds and connections are with each patient.

In Jamie’s honor, EIRMC will make a contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association, Jamie’s charity of choice.


HCA Innovator Award

Chris Inskeep, RN

Chris Inskeep

Chris is an RN in the Cardiac Rehab unit at EIRMC. In her role, she creates personalized treatment plans for patients with cardiac-related diagnoses, with a focus on physical activity, nutrition, and stress management. Patients that attend Cardiac Rehab after discharge from the hospital increase their life expectancy, decrease risk of having another heart attack, improve physical strength and endurance, and improve quality of life.

But, all this can only happen if patients show up to their Cardiac Rehab appointments! Chris created a Cardiac Rehab Game Board to encourage patients to take an active role in their recovery and help them learn lifelong skills. Patient’s “win” through their own positive activities, such as education, lifestyle changes, and attending Cardiac Rehab.

Patients think it’s a fun game; Chris and the other nurses know it’s actually a way to track progress and motivate lifestyle changes.

In the first few months of using the game, the number of patients attending 5-12 sessions is up almost 10%. Additionally, the number of patients attending only 1-4 sessions (when they should be attending more!) is down 12.5%.

Chris has designated her donation to Committed Hearts – a heart disease support and education group established by former Cardiac Rehab patients.