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Gillette Team Members Win MHA Awards

May 31, 2024

Gillette recently won two Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) awards for efforts to bolster the healthcare workforce and improve quality and safety.  

Who won?  

Risa Eckardt, medication safety coordinator, received the Adverse Health Events Reductions Award. Over the past year, she has spearheaded initiatives spanning extravasation and infiltration processes, pump library compliance, seizure rescue planning, intravenous immunoglobulin subcutaneous product guidance, heparin training and botulinum toxin preparation.  

“Risa is known for her tireless commitment to patient well-being,” says her nominator, Kristen Beyer, director of Pharmacy Services. “Her conscientious efforts for patient safety ensure all areas of Gillette are Joint Commission survey ready, embodying a true dedication to exceptional and safe patient care.”  

Matt Witham, director of child and family services, received the Retention and Resiliency Award. While Witham oversees the work of Gillette’s psychologists, child life specialists and social workers, his commitment extends beyond patient care, ensuring staff members receive support to maintain their own well-being. In 2021, he led the establishment of the Gillette Peer Support Program, which offers support through trained colleagues for both patient-facing and non-clinical staff, volunteers and student learners.  

“Matt embodies the essence of leadership and dedication in healthcare,” says Kit Brady, vice president of Human Resources, noting that in 2021, Witham identified a critical gap in support for colleagues facing distressing events. Brady nominated Witham.  “Peer support training fosters a culture of well-being at Gillette where team members are trained to not only support, but they become ambassadors for culture change at Gillette. Matt has been at the forefront of this important work.”