The annual Frist Humanitarian Awards, EIRMC’s highest honor, recognizes five of our own for their exemplary caring spirits, not only here at EIRMC, but also in the community.

To be selected for this honor, each had to meet the following criteria:

  • Show remarkable concern for the welfare and happiness of patients.
  • Perform extraordinary acts of kindness.
  • Have a positive effect on others.
  • Demonstrate a level of commitment to community service.

To put is simply, they live the I am EIRMC values, even when they aren’t at the hospital. Our recipients this year are:

Nicole Willey

Nicole is an incredibly compassionate, kind caregiver who has dedicated her life to helping others. Here are some of the phrases used to describe Nicole:

  • Model employee
  • selfless
  • caring and compassionate
  • humanitarian
  • Outstanding leadership potential

Nicole has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to an organization called HOBY (Hugh O’Brian Youth). The program develops high-schoolers into innovative, service-oriented leaders.

Nicole serves on the national planning team for volunteers across the nation. It requires countless hours planning, arranging, scheduling, performing background checks, ensuring safety, planning programs, researching, collaborating, networking.

Nicole’s passion for to lead youth doesn’t end there. She is also active in her faith, volunteering her time at Watersprings Church for a teen program called Thrive. Nicole is even brave enough to host pizza and movie nights in her home! She provides a safe place for teens to hang out and have fun, but not necessarily be with the "old people"… like their parents!

Nicole has designated her award money to the Old Faithful Christian Ranch.

Chaz Houpt and Milli

Together, Chaz and Milli been volunteering through our Pet Partner program for over 5 years - nearly 600 volunteer hours! They are well known throughout the main campus, spending time with speech and physical therapy patients and pediatric patients. Additionally, the team participates in three group sessions each week, working one-on-one with teens and adults.

Volunteers are an incredible asset to our facility; they often add a personal touch to caregiving. Chaz and Milli are a team that lifts spirits and lightens worry for patients and staff. But truly, the work they do is so much more than simply bringing joy; they can aid in recovery and improved outcomes. Here’s an example:

"Robert had suffered a stroke, but his recovery was complicated by Morbid Obesity which prevented him from walking for over a year. The therapist set a goal for Robert to sit up on the side of his bed with assistance.
Milli jumped on a chair next to Robert’s bed and performed tricks. While discussing Milli’s feats, Robert was assisted by the therapist to the desired sitting position. Then, Milli moved to the floor in front of Robert and performed a turn-around trick. Robert was so pleased that he reached down to Milli to pat her.
But then Milli slowly pulled backwards, causing Robert to lean forward until he bared all his weight on his feet and had fully lifted himself from the bed.
With a surprised look on his face, Robert slowly turned toward the Therapist and moved into a fully upright, standing position. On the next visit a week later, Milli assisted Robert walking down the hallway with his walker."

It’s also noteworthy that Milli was awarded the AKC Distinguished Therapy Dog Award in 2017 and the Silver Medallion Working Dog. These are the highest honors a dog can receive.

Chaz has requested that Intermountain Therapy Animals receive a charitable donation in his honor.

Michael Lemon

Dr. Lemon is a board-certified trauma and general surgeon and Chair of the Department of Surgery.

Here is an excerpt from his first nomination: "Dr. Lemon is a human being focused on service and compassionate care to all mankind. He constantly goes above and beyond in his profession pointing out teaching and learning moments for the staff to raise the bar."

And an excerpt from the second nomination: "I truly believe that Dr. Lemon practices medicine for all the right reasons and gives his best every day he works."

Dr. Lemon has taken his passion for medicine to people less fortunate. Dr. Lemon was an original founder, board member, and medical director of an organization called ZimbabWEcare that provides food, medical supplies, medical treatment, and humanitarian items to the people of Zimbabwe. On these trips, he sets up clinics in fields, out of the backs of a truck, under bridges, in huts.

On his most recent trip, Dr. Lemon arrived at a village late at night and discovered a woman delivering a child with shoulder dystocia. With maneuvers learned in medical school, he delivered a lifeless, pulseless baby. Using a neonatal resuscitation kit delivered two years earlier and with the help of two nurses, another physician, a respiratory therapist, and an act of God, they resuscitated the child, and within minutes, was rooting and showing normal signs of life.

Here locally, Dr. Lemon has been an adviser for a Boy Scout troop of 12-14 year old boys for the last five years. He spends two hours with the boys each week, goes on camp-outs every other month, and attends a week long summer camp each year. Dr. Lemon is an excellent physician, leader, and humanitarian who exhibits so many of the virtues embodied by Dr. Frist.

He has asked that we designate his charitable gift to ZimbabWEcare.

Bevan Burnell

This award is for a nurse who advances nursing practice by guiding or supporting career development and by advancing evidence-based nursing knowledge.

Bevan is the Manager of Day Surgery. In this role, he must wear many hats. Bevan ensures safe and high-quality patient care in his department. He works to improve the patient experience. He improves employee morale.

It is this last hat that has earned him the award. Bevan’s employee, Korri Smith, was his nominator. Here are some of her words:

"This summer I started feeling like I needed a change in my career. I noticed an opening in Bevan’s department. After meeting with him and getting specifics, I felt that the move was what I needed. I am so glad that I did. Being in this department, I have seen what a true leader Bevan has become. He has changed a struggling department into a wonderful place to work."

Bevan’s career path is unique. He joined the Army after high school, but during basic training, it was discovered that he had diabetes. This diagnosis ended his Army dreams, but part of what makes Bevan an exceptional mentor is that he does not give up. He wanted to know more about diabetes and decided to enter into healthcare. Bevan became a CNA, followed by an LPN in Cardiac Care, Float Pool, and ER. While working in the ER, he obtained his Associate RN and then later, his BSN RN. Interestingly, during his health care journey, he also put himself through the Police Academy!

Bevan is an emerging leader, setting an example for others without even realizing the impact he has made. He is always one to boast about his department and staff, but never taking credit. He is all about what his team has accomplished.

Bevan has chosen The Haven Shelter for a donation in his honor.

Tamara Lewis

This award is for a nurse who demonstrates exceptional nursing knowledge and consistently applies both compassion and integrity.

Tamara has been a member of our team for 10 years. She started her career at EIRMC in IT, then became a Nursing Assistant, then a Telemetry Technician, an LPN, and now is an RN on our Cardiac Care Unit. Tamara’s untraditional career path has given her a unique perspective on patient care. Certainly, she has been a patient advocate, always putting our patients and their needs in the forefront.

Her reputation for compassion is evidence by several Daisy Award Nominations submitted by co-workers, patients, and families. It takes a caregiver that goes far beyond the norm to receive a nomination from family members; Tamara has several. This speaks to her incredible blend of compassion and clinical capability. Here’s one example of a Daisy nomination from a family member.

"Tamara has gone above and beyond! She treated my father like family and took extra interest in explaining the situation to him. He is stubborn and was not willing to do rehab. She sat down with him and asked what his goals were, explained his options, and how he could best achieve them. She also explained how salt effects his body and the harmful effects. He has now agreed to the no salt diet and a rehab facility. She truly made a difference in my father’s recovery and future health. Thank You."

Not only is Tamara loved by patients and families, but by her team members as well. She recognizes when co-workers need help. She is a mentor to staff, even initiating a process on Cardiac Care Unit to help new nurses and nurses that float to the unit. We are fortunate to have someone of Tamara’s caliber right here at EIRMC.

In Tamara’s honor, we are making a charitable donation to FreeMed, which assists low-income residents with prescriptions.

Each of these honorees were nominated by their peers, and then chosen by EIRMC’s Frist Committee from a large number of nominations.

This is not an easy award to win, but the qualities required for this award just seem to come naturally to this year’s recipients.