North Texas hospital employees awarded at April 25 Luncheon


HURST, TX – A salute to the North Texas hospital workforce, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation’s 22nd Annual Employee of the Year Luncheon was held April 25 at the Hurst Conference Center. More than 700 attendees turned out to honor 135 nominees and 16 announced winners from a pool of 56 area hospitals.

“What a great day it was. We appreciate the opportunity to honor these great North Texas hospital employees,” said Kristin Jenkins, president of the DFWHC Foundation. “The goal of this luncheon is to make a difference in the quality of care by helping to boost morale of our hospital staffs and recognize the importance of each employee. All of the nominees deserved to be recognized and it was our honor to applaud each and every one of them.”

Rebekah Gregory served as keynote speaker in support of the theme “Caregivers Matter: A Survivor’s Story.” Gregory is an inspirational survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 and discussed the care she received from the many nurses, physicians and local residents over a period of several months.

Scott Peek, chief operating officer of Baylor University Medical Center and chair of DFWHC, and Ruben Esquivel, vice president of community and corporate relations at UT Southwestern and chair of the DFWHC Foundation, served as masters of ceremonies.

One of the highlights was the Volunteer of the Year Award presented posthumously to Stella Bressler of UT Southwestern William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. Bressler, who passed away this year, had served as a volunteer at her hospital since 1969. Her family was present to accept the award.

Additional recipients included:

Rex McRae Scholarship
Brandii Price, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center/Mountain View College

Nurse Preceptor Award
Rowena Samonte, VA North Texas Health Care System

Physician Award
Dr. Abeezar Shipchandler, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano
Dr. Erik Axene, Medical Center McKinney

Volunteer Award
Janice Holmes, Children’s Health

System Award
Molly Grinstead, Program Manager for Patient Safety, Children’s Health

Community Service Award
Lea Goad, Recreational Therapist, Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation

Special Recognition Awards
Ashley Laible, Coordinator of Cardiac Rehab, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen
Ardell Taylor, Registered Nurse, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano
LaDonna McKee, Registered Nurse II, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital SW Fort Worth
Anthony Karanja, Registered Nurse, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

Employee of the Year Awards
Crystal Dillon-Foster, Admissions Coordinator, Kindred Hospital Tarrant County Fort Worth SW
James Sullivan, Nurse Supervisor, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Carrollton
Chad Mitchell, Facility Tech 3, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center
Brendy Kirkland, Registered Nurse, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth

Board members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Healthcare Human Resources Association judged nominations on March 28. Individual and hospital names were removed in advance and selections were based entirely on the facts presented within the form letter. Nominees were separated into four categories of hospitals including 1-99 beds, 100-250 beds, 251-499 beds and 500-plus beds.

Top sponsors of the event were Hall Render, CampbellWilson, LLP, GroupOne Background Screening, Accenture, Baylor Scott & White Health, Cook Children’s and Texas Health Resources.

The DFWHC Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 public charity with a mission to serve as a catalyst for continual improvement in community health and healthcare delivery through education, research, communication and collaboration.


April 26, 2018

Chris Wilson, DFWHC Foundation