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Employees honored for living Asante’s Values

The Annual VIA ceremony brought together families and coworkers in person for the first time since 2019.
Annual VIA winners, from left, Kelly Williams, Jessica Lindstrom (shown in the photo held by her husband, Dan), Birgit Yorek, Spencer Hill and Josh Ficek.
Dressed for the occasion, emcee Win Howard with Kristen Roy and Amanda Kotler.
VIA winner Kelly Williams was joined by his wife, Kristi Frederick and daughter Maya. Kristi won the annual VIA in 2019.
Dan Lindstrom shows son Landon the display for his mother, rehab nurse Jessica Lindstrom, who died in August.
Chief Executive Tom Gessel chatted with Julie Hale, whose team prepared the meal.
Therapy dog Hope Roe (who belongs to board member Steve Roe) brought her usual calming presence.
Annual VIA winners, from left, Kelly Williams, Jessica Lindstrom (shown in the photo held by her husband, Dan), Birgit Yorek, Spencer Hill and Josh Ficek.

In a ceremony filled with tributes and a few tears, five Asante employees on Nov. 7 received the 2023 Annual Values in Action Award, Asante’s highest honor.

Winners Josh Ficek, Spencer Hill, Kelly Williams and Birgit Yorek were joined by their family, co-workers and Asante board members for the banquet held in ARRMC’s Carpenter Rooms. This was the first time since the onset of the pandemic that the ceremony took place in person.

The event was especially poignant because it was the first time an employee has earned the award posthumously. Jessica Lindstrom, a beloved ARRMC inpatient rehab nurse who died tragically while hiking in Arizona in August, received several nominations. Her husband, Dan Lindstrom, accepted the award in her place. Jessica’s four sons as well as her mother attended the event.

Malia Ross-Cwiklinksi, Lindstrom’s manager, shared why the nurse was so deserving of the honor. “There were so many recurring phrases that came through in her six nominations. The first was that Jessica embodied every single one of Asante’s Values of excellence, respect, honesty, service and teamwork. She was the physical representation of all of that.”

Note: Each of the VIA winners will be profiled individually in upcoming issues of Asante News.

Kelly Williams, supervisor of Talent Acquisition, received a remarkable seven nominations. In introducing him, Alicia Lorenz, acting vice president of Human Resources, said, “When you get to know Kelly you quickly realize his love for life and his love for family. His energy is contagious and he has a strong passion for people.”

In explaining why imaging aide Birgit Yorek merits the annual VIA, ATRMC manager Peter Richard cites her consistent, positive attitude. “Every time I walk into the department she makes a point to acknowledge me and ask how my day is going. She does that with each one of her co-workers and her patients.”

ITS Informatics manager Carmen Eckerson, said Epic analyst Josh Ficek caught the attention of Asante leaders when he was a CNA. In that role, he demonstrated remarkable empathy and attention to detail, traits he brought with him when he shifted from the bedside to the Epic team after the EMR was first implemented. “He saw a lot of things that could be better,” Eckerson said with a laugh.

Leah Courier, who manages biomedical engineering for the system, shared why Spencer Hill deserves the VIA. “As a Gen Xer, his level of compassion far exceeds mine,” she joked. “He made it OK for our younger technicians to know it’s OK to wear your heart on your sleeve.” Hill is a supervisor and imaging specialist.

Dozens of employees were nominated for the 2023 award and chosen by a committee of leaders, staff and former Annual VIA winners. Each Annual VIA recipient received a $150 gift card, special VIA badge backer and a newly designed crystal statuette.

Emcee Win Howard, chief executive of ARRMC, reminded attendees that the VIA program has issued more than 185,000 monthly Values in Action recognitions since its inception. Annual VIA winners must have earned at least one monthly VIA in the past year to qualify for the award.

“This is a big honor for the people who serve us, taking care of our community and taking care of each other,” Howard said. “We’re so grateful for them.”

Tags: 2023 Annual VIA Awards, banquet, celebration, honors
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