Lower Keys Medical Center Recognizes Award Winners

KEY WEST, FL, FEBRUARY 13, 2024 – On February 7, 2024, Lower Keys Medical Center leaders recognized the 2023 Annual Award winners and honored employees with milestone years of service.

Michelle Hayward-Brown, administrative assistant, Surgical Services, was named Employee of the Year. David Clay, CEO, shared comments from Michelle’s colleagues who described her as professional, polite, knowledgeable and reliable. “Michelle has been recognized as an Employee of the Month several times in the past year and is consistently recognized in daily safety meetings,” Clay noted. “She is always helping peers and patients, ensuring Lower Keys Medical Center can give the best service, with the best outcomes for patients, physicians, offices, insurance providers, and peers.”

Brenna Balbuena, RN, Intensive Care Unit, was recognized as Clinical Employee of the Year. Colleagues noted that “Brenna has grown into an exceptional caregiver, peer, and leader. She has taken on preceptor and charge duties willingly. She’s a natural at mentoring and identifying opportunities with solutions. Brenna’s commitment to our patients and community is an example of our Community Cares culture. She is dedicated to a superior patient experience.”

Brandie Adamson, RN, Behavioral Health, received a national Nursing Excellence Award recognizing her compassionate care and dedication to the hospital’s Community Cares culture. Coworkers say, “Brandie is always in a positive and helping mood. She goes out of her way to be kind, loving and accepting. She is motivational and continues to keep the team positive. Her knowledge is endless. Brandie goes above and beyond for patients in crisis. She comforts them and their family members and takes the time to sit down and listen to the patients.”

The Frank Houtman Award was presented to Tom Lock, materials coordinator in Surgical Services. The award is named in honor of a former volunteer who always shared his desire to give back. He enjoyed helping patients and staff. When asked what he looked for in people, he said, “I look for people who shine.” Tom Lock is such a person. Colleagues noted that Tom “goes out of his way to support any department that is in need. He is kind, professional, and helpful. He takes pride in his work and his community.” Outside of the hospital, Tom spends his off time giving back to the community by independently and consistently picking up trash along College Road and ensuring that our community and surrounding waters are clean.

Jose Hernandez, Radiology, was named Clinical Director of the Year. Colleagues recognized Jose’s commitment to the hospital, with over 25 years of service, saying, “Jose is a level-headed, responsible leader. His consistency in leading his department and achieving operational goals is a staple in the facility. His experience allows him to steadily lead the department through various challenges to deliver excellent patient care. Jose serves as an example through his commitment to patient care and employee engagement.”

Jean Desire, Environmental Services, received the Nonclinical Director of the Year award. Coworkers noted, “Desire embodies the humility and work ethic of a true leader. He is extremely responsive and truly cares about the hospital, its patients, and its staff.  Not only does he lead his department, he works alongside his team. His department has contributed to a significant increase in hospital cleanliness scores over the past year. Desire leads by example, willingly working holidays and weekends to ensure the job is done, while always giving credit back to his team for their successes.”

Employees recognized for milestone years of service were:

Twenty Five Years:

Lynda Delph, Phyllis Stout

Twenty Years:

Marie Louis

Fifteen Years:

Angelina Ashler, Latanya Campbell, Chris Garry, Shelley Hornbuckle, DeeAnna Lowery-Major, April Nibbe, Zulma Peterson, Alicia Rizzo, Isabel Ruiz-Fernandez, Teresa Alfonso

Ten Years:

Audra Brock, Annette Brough, Dr. Pasquale Dell’Api, Rachel Fletcher, Isabel Lenderman, Jacqueline Nicksic, Michele Ramirez, Tammy Sarver, Erin Sheehan

Five Years:

Ioana Amuza, John Bandura, Jessica Barroso, Jeannette Bruein, Adriana Carroll, Marie Centaus, Darryl DeHanas, Andrew Dick, Maureen Cervello, Kristina DuMouchel, Michael Hayes, Leo Hedger, Jessica Laino, Abelina Oglesbee, Sophia Ratcliff-Numez, Katrina Ryder

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