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BRATTLEBORO—Positive attitudes, knowledgeable care and a healthy dose of patience have earned Matt Dove and John Lindenthal Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Employee of the Year.

“BMH has been rewarding employees with the Employee of the Year award since 1980,” said Gina Pattison, the hospital’s director of marketing and development. “Employees receive a parking spot, their name added to the ‘Employee of the Year’ plaque in the main hallway and a cash gift. »

Since 2018, BMH has honored two employees each year: one clinical employee and one non-clinical employee. Dove and Lindenthal have worked at BMH for just over three years.

Humble and grateful

Lindenthal was named by operating room staff. Colleagues say the OR housekeeper always comes to work with a smile and friendly greetings, calling him a “darling part of the OR team.”

He is often called upon by his supervisor to train new environmental services staff. He teaches them “patiently and repeatedly” proper cleaning techniques and the use of safe practices and safety equipment to be “thorough and safe”.

“I was very, very, very surprised,” says Lindenthal. “I appreciate it a lot. I’m not very talkative, but I love working here. And I love the people I work with. That’s my favorite part.

He was touched after the awards ceremony to find that when he returned to the operating theater all his colleagues were lined up to applaud and congratulate him. There was even a cake—his favorite.

“Of course,” he said.

Colleagues say Lindenthal’s knowledge of proper disinfection protocols is up to date and he is knowledgeable of current CDC guidelines regarding Covid.

“We are so much richer and better off having him in our family,” they say.

“Our entire team was thrilled to hear that John received the award,” says Lindenthal Supervisor Susan Caffery, Director of Environmental Services and Purchasing. “Although he is very shy and often avoids the spotlight, John so deserves to have it shine brightly on him.”

“He constantly goes above and beyond his usual environmental services responsibilities to ensure that our operating rooms are functioning properly and are in the highest sterile conditions,” she continues. “He is always kind, helpful and friendly with his colleagues in the operating room as well as with our patients and visitors.”

OR anesthesia technologist Kerry Binney says Lindenthal is “interested and curious about everything we do in the OR and has taken it upon himself to find out about all the equipment, including the new equipment that the others don’t know either.

“He’s learned so much about what happens in the operating room, and without him things are more difficult; there is so much more work,” Binney says. “He’s really unique. He goes above and beyond what he does and is always so pleasant and personable. He’s such an important part of our team.

Patient and passionate

Matt Dove is a nurse practitioner in the emergency department.

“Matt represents BMH in an incredibly positive way, both at work and in the community,” said Alison PR Kapadia, MD, BMH Emergency Department Medical Director. “He is a constant advocate for patient safety and patient-centered care. Matt is an excellent clinician. He also excels in building coalitions to improve patient care. It is an absolute pleasure to work with him. He truly uplifts the people around him, including his peers, patients, and supervisors.

Dove says the award means more than an honor to him and Lindenthal.

“What an absolute honor to receive this award alongside John this year,” said Dove. “While I am extremely grateful to be recognized as a BMH employee, it really highlights the daily work we do in the emergency department and the inspiration of the more than 600 BMH employees on the front lines of the pandemic over the past year.”

Dove says everyone at the hospital “has been through so much that I don’t think I’d be the only one to say that 2020 has been one of the toughest years of my professional career and my personal life. At the start of the pandemic, there was so much uncertainty – so much fear for our loved ones, our community and our own health.

“What got me going was watching the [masked] faces of my colleagues as they dug in without flinching and showed up every day facing the same fears and uncertainties as me,” he continues. “What this award ultimately means to me is sharing our triumph over adversity and the hope of our collective resilience as we continue to serve and heal as a community.”

Dove went on to acknowledge that BMH continues to “champion work in the community through our Healthworks initiative in conjunction with Groundworks, HCRS [Health Care and Rehabilitation Services]and retirement.

“At the height of the pandemic, I am proud that BMH senior management supported a team of suppliers, including Dr Alison Kapadia, Angela Miller, Al Koonz, Rebecca Burns and myself, as we traveled to the local hotel sites to provide in-person care to those living in housing insecurity,” says Dove.

For more than a year, consortium providers “supported nearly 100 people, many of whom hadn’t seen any type of medical provider in decades,” he says. “We stabilized high blood pressure, treated diabetes, cleaned ears, helped toes and stabilized psychiatric crises, and connected them to definitive care.”

Dove says Healthworks has amplified the work started many years ago by the original group and shows what “can be achieved when we work together”.

“Matt works tirelessly every day to help patients in the ER, Progressive Care Unit (PCU) and across Groundworks to provide psychiatric care at a time when psychiatric care is not only difficult to establish, but also to because of Covid, there are so many obstacles, ”adds Courtney Peters, nurse in the emergency department.

Koonz met Dove while working in the emergency room when the pandemic hit. They also both work at Groundworks Collaborative, where she is a community health nurse connecting people to the formal health system and where Dove, who is certified in psychiatry, consults patients about mental health issues.

“He’s the most skilled nurse practitioner I’ve ever met,” says Koonz. “He is incredibly brilliant intellectually, but he also dedicates his time to caring for people who are otherwise left behind in our medical system. He gives a lot of his time, he is very passionate about social justice work through health care in the community.

Koonz says Dove’s compassion is huge, and the key to that is being “aware of how you approach someone.”

“It takes the ‘harm reduction approach’, taking care of people where they are. This is what our Brattleboro community really needs. It provides trauma-informed care, which approaches any client or patient knowing that they likely have a history of trauma that informs how they interact with you,” she says.

“Matt got me off the ER because he was so excited about the work that was going on in the community with Groundworks, so he’s a colleague but he’s also a mentor. Matt really has endless patience. His ability to take into account the complexities of individuals and what they balance is incredible.

Dr. Jason Veith also speaks enthusiastically of Dove’s contributions.

“Matt is a godsend to the people of Brattleboro and BMH,” Veith says. “I work with him in the emergency department with our mental health crisis patients. He sees all of our patients and can talk to them in a way that calms their mental being and gives them the care they need.

“He is very dedicated to BMH. He gives 110% to every patient, every time. Our department has made great strides in the field of mental health care since its involvement. He did an amazing job with us and the community.

“I honestly think the community owes him a great debt that he would never collect, given his compassion and love for our community,” Veith said.

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