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PMC Announces Year-End Award Recipients

Every year, Pondera Medical Center awards three awards: CEO Employee of the Year, CEO Department of the Year, and the Archie Award. The CEO Awards are chosen by CEO, Bill O’Leary, by accepting facility-wide nominations from all employees and choosing the individual and department who has best exemplified the mission, vision, and values of Pondera Medical Center. The Archie Award is also chosen from fellow CNA co-worker nominations and honors one CNA for their hard work and dedication to our residents. The award’s namesake, Archie Breding, was a CNA at our facility for over 40 years before her retirement in 2018. During a normal year, the winners would be announced at the PMC Christmas Party along with awarding service pins to employees who have reached milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 years of service to PMC. However, in 2020 nothing has been normal so even though we felt we were unable to safely host a Christmas party, we are still pleased to honor the winners of the awards and distribute service pins.

Service Pins recipients were:

· Diane Bomback, 5

· Cassie DeVries, 5

· Heidi Fowler, 5

· Jennifer Greyn, 5

· Lori Kaphammer, 5

· Stephanie Keil, 5

· Krista Keiper, 5

· Dale Peterman, 5

· Samuel Thornton, 5

· Shannon Elings, 10

· Brenda Ries, 15

· John Ringdahl, 15

· Dr. Jay Taylor, 15

· Phyllis Hammermeister, 35


The recipient of the 2020 Archie Award is Crystal Polutnik. Crystal has been with PMC for nearly 20 years, serving as a CNA on the floor until transitioning into the ward clerk position. Now, Crystal runs the show from the nurse’s station as Ward Clerk, which requires her CNA certification. And boy, does she run the show. Crystal is quick with a joke, has a deep love for all the residents, has her co-worker’s backs, and keeps everyone in line. Crystal is reliable and dedicated to PMC, willing to step in and help anytime. A couple of years back, Crystal was asked what she likes most about her job and she replied: “I’m from back east so I have no family here. The residents have become my family. We truly care about them and they care about us.” PMC Administration shares, “People like Crystal are why resident families are so grateful to have their loved one at PMC. Our resident-care personnel are the most important persons to the family’s peace of mind, and we truly have some of the most caring CNA’s and nurses. Crystal is absolutely irreplaceable. She does so much for us and never loses her sense of humor and good nature. It’s hard to even describe what she brings to PMC because of her unique skill set and love for the residents. Crystal always has a can-do attitude and completes any task that is given to her. We can’t describe it- we just know we’re lucky.”


Thanks for everything, Crystal. You are such a worthy recipient of the Archie Breding Award!


The CEO Department of the Year is Acute Care. The Acute Care staff is made up of many hardworking and talented providers, nurses, and support staff. They are staffed 24/7 and take part in training, community outreach and, education year-round. Some comments from colleagues in tribute to Acute Care were:


“The staff in Acute Care have been very helpful all year with screening and testing employees. We are lucky to have such caring and professional staff at PMC.”

“They are the first line on the COVID-19 front in Pondera County. My best experience is every morning at 6 am getting screened/tested by them. I know that I am thankful. I know they don’t have to do it, and I’m sure it’s out of the kindness of their hearts that they do the screening. Every morning they put on a smile when they greet/screen us and it starts my day off that much nicer and I am so thankful for it!”


Congratulations, Acute Care staff, and thanks for a great year!


Last but not least, it’s with great pleasure that we announce the 2020 CEO Employee of the Year is Robin Sanders, LPN at the PMC Rural Health Clinic. What can you even say about Robin that accurately sums up who she is and all she does, so humbly and with all the integrity in the world, for the PMC Rural Health Clinic? Robin is the nucleus for so many positive outreach programs and projects at the clinic and a tremendous nurse. Some of her colleagues had great things to say about Robin, which we are happy to share with you now.


“Robin has been the rock of our clinic this past year. She does what she has to do to see that all the clinic duties are done. She continues to spearhead our tele-mental health program and has added our chronic care management program to her duties as well. I know if anyone gives her a task to complete, it will be done efficiently and with great pride. Patients and staff alike trust her and value her opinion and input. PMC is a better place with her as an employee!”


“With so many challenges/changes ongoing at our Clinic, Robin takes each one in stride keeping a positive attitude during the most challenging days. She will fill in whenever needed no matter if it's her job duty or not, she sees a need and just handles it. Several of the patients she helps have stated how they feel like they are her top priority, she makes them all feel special, and each one important. She truly gives the Best of Care, Close to Home.

She is a calming force in a difficult time and our department would be lost without her.”


“Robin has been a loyal employee of PMC for years. She exemplifies the Mission of PMC every day she works as well as with the community of Conrad and Pondera County.

She excels at her position of nurse. She has taken on several projects in addition to her job duties. She coordinates the mental health and chronic care grants. I have seen numerous positive effects on our patients. They are currently able to see a mental health provider here instead of going out of town- “Best of Care, Close to Home.”- She has promoted wellness with this population. She goes above and beyond in everything she does. She is respectful in interactions with everyone she sees at the clinic. She is so caring in delivering personalized, compassionate care. Patients comment on how good she is with them.

She is a valuable part of the clinic team. She has a vast knowledge base and shares it. She is an excellent example of the Mission Statement, Values, and Vision at PMC.”


Clinical Navigator, Cynthia Grubb, RN, said of the selection, “2020 was an amazing year of heroes in healthcare and I do not envy our CEO having to choose just one at Pondera Medical Center. That being said, Robin Sanders is an excellent choice for this award, exemplifying dedication and quality in the face of COVID-19. I am thankful every day she is part of our team. Congrats to Robin on a job well done and done well.”


Robin, we are truly grateful for the work you do for PMC on behalf of your community. Thank you!


What a year to be a healthcare worker. No healthcare facility could’ve managed and prospered without extra work and adaptability from the entire workforce, including PMC. Our entire team worked diligently and differently during 2020. It was a challenging year and we expect more navigation throughout 2021, but know that we are equipped with a team that can handle it. Congratulations to the 2020 winners and a sincere thank you to all PMC for all you do for our facility and community.


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