All Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC) employees were recently honored with the Dr. Meinke & Dr. Sherman Award. Traditionally, two ERMC employees are recognized for providing exceptional service to fellow staff members, patients, and the community. The award, also known as the Employees of the Year Award, was established to honor Dr. Albert Meinke and Dr. Eber Sherman, physicians who were instrumental in the founding of Eaton Rapids Medical Center. The hospital’s Best Places to Work Committee votes to honor one clinical and one non-clinical employee who have gone above and beyond during the past year. The winners are usually unveiled during ERMC’s holiday gala. Because the gathering was canceled, the recipients were announced to the staff during a virtual hospital-wide meeting. Each employee was presented with a certificate and commemorative coaster. Full and part-time employees were given additional paid time off.
ERMC director of human resources Laurie Field, who submitted the heartfelt nomination, read it aloud during the meeting. The nomination states, “This year, of all years, has shown how this hospital continues to pull together in times of need. It has taken every single person at this hospital, including temporary and casual employees, to keep our community safe during this horrific pandemic. This has not been easy for anyone and this winter surge has made it more difficult to cope, but again, the entire staff has shown nothing but support and understanding to one another. I have always known that ERMC employees have the biggest and kindest hearts, but this year goes above any other year to prove it.”
Field also shared, “Every time I see an employee take their temperature or put on a mask, I know that they are looking out for my wellbeing. Every time I see an environmental services employee wiping down a doorknob, I feel safer. Every time I see a scheduler smiling with a patient, I know there is hope. Every time I see a medical assistant, health care assistant, or nurse holding the hand of a patient or visitor, I know there is kindness in their hearts. Every time I see someone eating a tasty meal from culinary services, I know that it was made to comfort those having a rough day. Every time I see a leader stepping in to help their team, I know there is empathy for the hard work that is being done. Every time I received a thank you card or token of appreciation, I knew that someone was thinking of me and how I might be struggling. Every time I broke down in frustration or fear, I knew that someone was there for me to lean on. Every time I think of what this year has brought to our ERMC family, I know that we stand strong together.”
During the award announcement, ERMC president and chief executive officer Tim Johnson read a letter enclosed with an ERMC Foundation donation that affirms the nomination of all employees.
The letter shares, “If I had a vote for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, it would be you. All of you. Not one person, but people. Millions. People on the front lines, helping other humans, saving lives, and grieving when they cannot. You—all of you—are the Persons of the Year. I believe it will be some time before history fully acknowledges the devotion and sacrifice you have given to save so many lives. But people will remember, I have no doubt.
The letter closes, “Thank you for your hard work and your love of mankind.”