Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Bayfront Health Punta Gorda have announced their 2018 Employees of the Year. This award is the highest honor bestowed on a hospital employee each year. Employees are nominated for the award by their hospital peers based on their commitment to patient care, their professionalism, and their contributions on the job.

“Health care requires a special blend of great people skills, tireless energy and the ability to work well under pressure,” said Tim Cerullo, Market Chief Executive Officer for Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda. “People who work in health care share the common desire to help others, inspire trust, and make a difference in people’s lives. It’s a pleasure to recognize our employees for their dedication to our patients and to providing outstanding care.”

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte Employee of the Year: Christina Huddleston, ER Technician. Huddleston is an EMT as well as primary unit secretary. She has worked for Bayfront since 2006. Huddleston is well respected by her peers and physicians throughout the hospital. Here’s what some of her co-workers have to say: “She is the backbone of the ER department ... she goes above and beyond ... the ER is better and stronger because Chrissy is part of the team.”

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte Non-Clinical Leader of the Year: John Parolisi, Manager of Facilities. Parolisi has worked for Bayfront since 2008, but been in this role for less than one year. During this time however, he has distinguished himself as someone who cares deeply about ensuring all staff has the full support of the facilities team. Here’s what some of his co-workers have to say: “John is an amazing person that I can always count on ... John always takes the time to ensure our team has what they need and if there is work that needs to be done, he’ll find a way to make it happen ... John exemplifies the highest level of customer service.”

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte Clinical Leader of the Year: Marie Labbe, RN, Cardiac Patient Navigator. Labbe has been a member of the cardiac team since 1996. Having served in various roles during her tenure, it appears she has found her niche as cardiac patient navigator. Here’s what some of her co-workers have to say: “Marie’s love of nursing is evident as she masterfully guides the patients and their loved ones through the entire open heart process ... she is warm and genuine and people know she truly cares ... she is positive and supportive, simply delightful to be around.”

Bayfront Health Punta Gorda Employee of the Year: Emily Virtudazo, RN, BSN, ER. Virtudazo has worked in the emergency department at Bayfront Health since January 2013. When asking her coworkers what makes her exceptional, the response is that: “since day one of Emily joining our ER family, Emily demonstrated true patient care and nursing skills. She is always the first one to jump in and help, always gives a 100 percent and always wears a smile on her face. She’s a great value to this department and we are lucky to have her on the team.”

Bayfront Health Punta Gorda Non-Clinical Leader of the Year: Jim Reed, Risk Manager. Since 2015, Reed has been a leader when it comes to patient safety initiatives. His coworkers agree that: “Jim is a very caring leader who is always willing to lend a hand. He has an innate ability to always remain calm, approachable and a great resource for advice, even when we call him in the middle of the night.”

Bayfront Health Punta Gorda Clinical Leader of the Year: Mark Sprague, Manager of Surgical Services. Sprague joined the surgical services team in 2008. He not only has the respect of the team, but of various surgeons in the community as well. “He is constantly working to make sure patient care comes first and surgical cases run smoothly. He is a leader who cares about his team and every patient that comes through the operating room (OR) doors. Under his leadership, he has made a huge difference.”

“Each of our employees has a specific role in the delivery of quality health care to the people who live and work in Charlotte County,” says Drew Emery, Chief Executive Officer for Bayfront Health Punta Gorda. “Our success in inspiring trust and meeting the needs of the patients we serve is dependent on the collective efforts of all employees.”

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