Southcoast Health employees from the tri-town win prestigious award

Dec 5, 2019

As Southcoast Health announces and honors its 2019 President’s Award for Excellence recipients, it will honor three tri-town heathcare workers and feature the work of a tri-town photographer.

One Mattapoisett resident was honored for her work as part of the health network’s medical staff services team. Elizabeth, or Liza Appleby works as a credentialing specialist, making sure that hospital staff members are up to date on their credentials.

Appleby calls medical staff specialists “the gatekeepers to patient safety.”

Her teammate, Kimberly Coon, said that the team was selected for “our high level of teamwork and attention to detail.”

Appleby has been working in the medical field for 18 years, and previously worked at Tufts Medical Center and other Boston-area medical facilities.

“She really brought her experience from the Boston market to us,” Coon said, of her Mattapoisett teammate.

As for Appleby, she said “I look forward to going to work each day,” and added that she feels “incredibly honored” to be recognized.

Another of the award recipients, Audra Schiappa, lives in Marion. She has been a nurse since 1995, and worked at Tobey Hospital for eight years. Prior to that she worked at long-term care facilities or immunization clinics, and in the Wareham school system.

Currently, she works in telemetry on the medical-surgical floor. That involves helping patients who are considered medically stable, but may be in respiratory distress or suffering from alcohol withdrawal and need constant monitoring.

Because she grew up in the area, the job often involves taking care of people that she knows.

Her favorite part of the job is “saying goodbye [to patients] and seeing them feel so much better than when they came in.”

She had been nominated for the award several times by coworkers, but had never gotten it. When she heard the news, she was “flattered, and a little embarrassed,” she said. 

She considers herself just a piece of the puzzle, and praises the other people on her floor, SK2, for their work. “I am good at what I do because my manager is good,” she said, though she did add that “I love my job.”

Rochester’s Sally Shay, who works as a nurse at St. Luke’s helping cancer patients, was also an award recipient.

Shay has only worked at Southcoast for five years, and switched careers from marketing before that. She said she was thankful for the training she got at the Fairhaven Oncology Center.

Her patients come in for cycles of five days, where they receive 24 hour infusions. They typically have one cycle per month with intensive 5-day treatment, then a break.

Action is of the essence for Shay, as she said that “patients will come in that need chemotherapy immediately.”

However, she also finds the emotional aspect of the job fulfilling.

“When I treat people, I try to put myself in their shoes, I try to understand what it’s like to be so ill,” Shay said. She finds that “the patients teach me,” about strength due to how they endure what they are going through.

And the bonds she makes with her patients last even beyond their treatment. They often come back to see Shay and other caregivers, even after they have finished treatment.

A coworker nominated her for the President’s Award, and Shay said she was “overwhelmed, flattered, surprised, and very honored,” to be recognized.

Though not in the medical field, Marion’s Corinna Raznikov also got involved with the President’s Award  as a photographer, taking portraits of all of the recipients that will be displayed at poster size on the hospital walls.

Raznikov, who also did photographs of the recipients last year, has a years-long relationship with Southcoast Health.

She typically does “environmental portraits” of her subjects, incorporating custom settings or special props into the photos to make them feel more personal than a business portrait. Last year this meant traveling all over to take portraits at recipients houses.

This year, Southcoast Health wanted the portraits done in a short timeframe, making it easier to rent a studio at Hatch Studios for the sessions. Raznikov said it was still “exciting to use an old mill building” for the shoot.

Raznikov also got involved with interviewing subjects. “I do environmental portraits all the time. But interviewing was new. I learned that I like that,” she said. 

The photographer was super excited to be involved with the project.

“I loved meeting all of them, and meeting exciting people who are making a commitment,” Raznikov said.