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PeaceHealth announces Mission and Values Award winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Mission & Values Awards (L to R): Kelly Ferguson, Hilary Walker, Nancy VanderPol, Stefanie Rider and Heidi Hutton. 

February 28, 2020

PeaceHealth recently unveiled its systemwide Mission and Values Award winners. The annual awards recognize inspiring employees (who PeaceHealth refers to as “caregivers”) who are living PeaceHealth’s Mission and Values of Social Justice, Stewardship, Respect and Collaboration, every day.

Five caregivers — hailing from Bellingham, Longview and Vancouver, Washington, and Cottage Grove, Oregon — were selected for this special honor from a group of more than 55,  and recognized during celebrations held in each PeaceHealth community in January.

The winners are:

  • Overall Mission & Values Award: Nancy VanderPol, medical assistant at PeaceHealth Medical Group Pediatrics in Bellingham, Washington.
    In addition to her medical assistant duties for pediatric patients, VanderPol also manages the vaccine program which serves more than 20,000 of our tiniest patients across Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties. She also helps with administering pediatric vaccinations at events in her community. Thanks to VanderPol’s efforts, PeaceHealth achieved the Washington State Department of Health Silver award.  Watch the video.
  • Respect Award: Heidi Hutton, RN, emergency department at PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon.
    Hutton is known for her kindness, compassion and extraordinary care. These attributes are particularly evident in how she respects patients who are feeling scared or frustrated.  In one instance, Hutton patiently addressed the multiple requests of a patient who was homeless while she also cared for many other patients in the busy emergency department. Hutton arranged for the patient to remain in the lobby overnight, protected from the cold and rain. Over the course of several hours, she responded to the patient’s ongoing demands for water, blankets, bus tickets and more with kindness and grace. When it was time for the patient to leave, Hutton ensured their safe arrival at the bus stop by arranging for a cab and the fare. Hutton’s deep commitment to improve the lives of people in need is a stellar example of  carrying out PeaceHealth’s healing Mission.  Watch the video.
  • Stewardship Award: Stefanie Rider, physical therapist at HomeCare at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington.
    Rider took the initiative to provide one-on-one training to 60 home health clinicians in documentation related to OASIS – a complex data collection tool required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Over the course of four months Rider observed each clinician as they worked with a patient and then mentored them while they scored the OASIS. She continued to complete chart audits until all of the clinicians demonstrated proficiency with OASIS. Rider’s work raised the quality of documentation and positioned HomeCare for a higher level of compliance and demonstrates effective use of time and financial resources. Watch the video.
  • Collaboration Award:  Hilary Walker, advance care planning coordinator at PeaceHealth Medical Group – Internal Medicine in Bellingham, Washington.
    Walker has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to the value of advance care planning for patients across the PeaceHealth system. Walker created a patient education class, Your Voice, Your Choice, that has been used to educate nearly 500 patients across the PeaceHealth system. She travels to other PeaceHealth networks to co-teach the training and onboard new ACP coordinators. Walker and her ACP team received a statewide award from Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest for highest engagement in National Health Care Decisions Day 2019.  Watch the video.
  • Social Justice Award: Kelly Ferguson, lead dietitian at PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview, Washington.
    Ferguson often works with patients who are malnourished and food insecure, without access to food or lacking the energy to prepare meals for themselves. Ferguson’s desire to help these patients succeed at home after being discharged from the hospital, led her to develop a Food Pharmacy program. She works with her colleagues in Food and Nutrition and the hospital’s mentor students to put together a seven-day supply of groceries that include fresh produce and protein sources to treat malnutrition that are then delivered to the discharged patients. Ferguson also follows up with the patients to ensure they are accessing food resources available to them within the community.  The Food Pharmacy is a key intervention to support the needs of patients and their families who are malnourished and food insecure. The program is becoming a model for similar programs across the PeaceHealth system. Watch the video.

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Washington, is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has more than 15,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 1,200 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at