Medal of Excellence
2011 Award Winner: Gil Corbin
Security agent Gil Corbin (pictured below) was awarded the Cancer Center’s 2011 Medal of Excellence in ceremonies on Friday, May 20. Gil, who has been with the Cancer Center since February 2006, received a number of nominations for his kindness and sense of humor, as he greets patients and assists them when they are dropped off for treatment. And for one patient, Gil was truly a hero, saving the life of a pet in distress.
The dog had been left in the patient’s car, parked in the roundabout for the brief time the patient was inside getting his weekly injections. This was their routine; but this time, the small animal managed to wiggle part way through the slightly lowered window, only to get stuck, and was hanging by his neck from the window when Gil came to the rescue. He attempted to help the choking dog while using his personal cell phone to call into the infusion center and alert the patient that he needed to come to his car immediately. In the grateful patient’s own words:
“The fact is that Gil’s keen observation skills and his quick actions ABSOLUTELY saved this dog’s life! Hero is a word used very loosely these days. But when someone performs flawlessly to save a life, there is no better title that should be bestowed on them! He is a very responsible man, who takes his job very seriously and goes out of his way to treat the patients with a great deal of respect and light-hearted humor, on what is usually a gloomy day for an infusion patient.”
Honorable mention was given to Orly Aviksas, who works at the Registration Desk. (Pictured below are, from left, PAC members Patty Alessio and Dennis Richmonds, Orly Aviksas, and Wayne Bardwell, Director of Patient and Family Support.) Orly received several nominations, all commenting on her warm and welcoming attitude, and the extra effort she always makes to talk to patients and their family members and make sure their needs are being addressed. Orly began her career with the Cancer Center in 2006, seeking a position at the registration desk because she enjoys working directly with people. She loves her job, and every day she looks forward to the opportunity to serve our patients and their families.
The Medal of Excellence was established in 2005 by the Cancer Center Patient Advisory Council (PAC) to acknowledge the extraordinary patient service efforts of non-physician staff. Drop-boxes are placed throughout the Cancer Center for patients and visitors to provide positive feedback about individual efforts. Nominations are reviewed annually by a PAC subcommittee, which selects the winner, whose name is inscribed on a plaque in the Multipurpose Clinic corridor.
Congratulations to Gil, Orly, and to all the nominees who exemplify our commitment to providing outstanding care and service to our patients and their families.
2010 Award Winner: Edward D. Gaviola
It is a great pleasure to applaud three very special people who have made asignificant difference in the lives of cancer patients. Certified Phlebotomy Technician Edward D. Gaviola has been named the 2010 Medal of Excellence Award recipient. One nomination said it best:
|Left to right: Angela Lazenby; Edward D. Gaviola; Leslie Ewen-Foster
“I have been sick with aplastic anemia, leukemia and lupus for 16 years, requiring over 200 transfusions. I am a very ‘hard stick.’ Eddie goes out of his way to not only draw my blood but to calm me down. He starts his day with a smile, and talks to me about my family while trying to stick the one small vein I haveleft. His patience and love of his job shows. He praises his fellow lab techs,almost like he’s trying to instill trust in me in case he’s not here. He oncehelped a co-worker draw my blood … not by taking over, but by sharing a few tricks. He is my angel of mercy in the lab, and I thank you for having him here.”
Eddie’s picture and a brass name plate will be featured on the Medal of Excellence plaque that proudly hangs in the 1st floor multidisciplinary clinic corridor. Eddie has been with UC San Diego for five years, four of them at the Cancer Center. He draws blood, processes samples, and assists in bone marrow biopsies and fine needle aspirations. Eddie likes his job because he meets great people in need of help. “The Medal of Excellence is a great honor,” says Eddie, “and I thank all the patients and staff at Moores. I also thank my wife and children -- Amparito, Elijah and Eliyana -- who provide the inspiration to excel in all that I do.”
Leslie Ewen-Foster and Angela Lazenby received an Honorable Mention certificate. Angela has worked at UCSD as a hospital assistant for nearly 14 years, all of them in the Imaging Department. Various nominations described each as kind, nice, accommodating, and helpful. Undertheir guidance, patients feel special.
Nominations received over the previous 12months are reviewed and selected by a subcommittee of the Patient Advisory Council (PAC) which is appointed for this special purpose. The selection subcommittee was chaired by PAC volunteer Dennis Richmonds, MD, who was joined by volunteers Jim Gaines (who also attended the medal presentation), Chloe Moore,and Roberta Wells
Congratulations to Eddie, Leslie and Angela for consistently extending such warm and caring hands to the patients they serve.
Download a Medal of Excellence nomination form (PDF).