Four Nurses Receive Respected Recognition

Each year, Upland Hills Health in Dodgeville, WI presents three well-respected and long-standing employee awards. This year three awards are shared by four outstanding registered nurses: Brooks Lutes, Devon Wamsley, Barb Klaas and Jessica Kleist.

Brooks Lutes, R.N., Emergency Department
Kaye Walsh Spirit of Optimism Award
The Kaye Walsh Spirit of Optimism Award is given each year to recognize a physician, employee or volunteer of Upland Hills Health who exemplifies a spirit of optimism and excellence in customer service when serving patients, families and colleagues at Upland Hills Health. The award is named after the late Kaye Walsh, who devoted 17 years to serving patients at Memorial Hospital of Iowa County, now Upland Hills Health. Kaye served as both Staff Technician and Director of Radiology and was the first, and for many years, the only certified ultrasound technician, usually “on call” for emergency ultrasounds. Kaye’s interactions with patients and colleagues exuded empathy and optimism. The optimism Kaye demonstrated throughout her own courageous battle with cancer was an inspiration to those who knew her. Nominees should have actively demonstrated a positive attitude and spirit of optimism in their interpersonal communications with patients, families and co-workers.

Below are excerpts from Brook’s nomination(s):
“Brooks comes into every shift with a positive attitude and smile … he takes pride in his self, profession, and this organization. Brooks has been such a positive role model in every department with his positive attitude, caring demeanor, and great attitude every place and every time. No matter what the situation is, his positive attitude is infectious amongst whatever group or patient he encounters.”

“Brooks is a blessing in our department and organization. He promotes harmony in the ED and other departments throughout the hospital. Brooks’ positive attitude and kindness is infectious. He can be trusted to solve problems appropriately and responsively in any situation. He is mature, honest, kind, and professional …”

“Brooks is a great representative of UHH and is very deserving of recognition for his positive attitude and efforts during a very dark and challenging time in healthcare.”

Devon Wamsley, R.N., and Barb Klaas, R.N.
Kaye Davis, Community Wellness Award
This award was initiated in 1996 to recognize a person, business or organization which has made outstanding contributions to improve the health status of the people in our service area. The award is named after the late Kaye Davis, RN, who devoted considerable time and talents to a nursing career, predominantly at Memorial Hospital of Iowa County, now Upland Hills Health. Nominees should have actively demonstrated a commitment to actions that promote the well-being and quality of life in their communities. This may include contributions of time, talents and/or dollars to promote, teach or otherwise encourage wellness.

Below are excerpts from Devon and Barb’s nomination(s):

“Devon Wamsley and Barb Klaas have both been working as nurses at Upland Hills Health for over a decade. While both nurses primarily work in informatics, they continue to staff the medical-surgical department. Throughout the pandemic, we relied on them to work additional shifts on med-surg as we experienced higher volumes of patients and higher-acuity patients amidst staff illness and shortages.”

“Both Devon and Barb were instrumental in pandemic-related community health efforts… assisting at the swab station and setting up mass vaccination clinics and administering vaccines to community members.”

“Devon and Barb have given a lot of themselves, their time, and their family time to meet the communities’ needs throughout the pandemic and continue to do so.”

Upland Hills Health Leadership Award
Jessica Kleist, R.N., House Supervisor
The success of our organization is closely tied to the quality of our leaders. The Upland Hills Health Leadership Award is presented to a director, manager or other Upland Hills Health employee who has demonstrated outstanding leadership for a specific project or initiative felt to be of great importance to the mission of the organization. Nominees should have actively demonstrated outstanding leadership in managing a department or a project and to teaching, coaching and mentoring others.

Below are excerpts from Jessica’s nomination(s):

“As a Float RN, Jessi [also fulfills] the RN House Supervisor duties. Both roles require a RN of exceptional knowledge, skill, and ability to complete patient care in all acute care nursing departments and to be the decision maker in managing activities involving patient care as well as safety throughout the organization.”

“[During the pandemic] Jessi was unwavering in her commitment to be well-informed of developing knowledge of how to manage the viral infections in the patients we would see … one of Jessi’s strongest leadership skills is to set a model of energy and integrity in all her interactions. She treats each person with respect, she shows support and provides guidance to those who are still learning, while practicing and encouraging a culture of teamwork, mutual support, and loyalty to the organization and our communities.”

“Jessica was instrumental in ensuring that staff was taken care of on a difficult patient case … (she) helped ensure that critical stress debriefing was set up and continued to care for her team by calling each staff member … to ensure they were ok.”

“Jessica has provided guidance, teaching, and encouragement to fellow nursing students, new staff in new positions across the organization, and mentorships.”

Upland Hills Health Administration is grateful for the dedicated service of these four exceptional registered nurses.

“We are very pleased to announce this year’s winners for the Kaye Walsh Spirit of Optimism Award; Kaye Davis, Community Wellness Award; and Upland Hills Health Leadership Award!” stated Amber Black, Human Resources Department. “Heartfelt congratulations to our winners! Each deserve their recognition for their commitment to Upland Hills Health, their co-workers and the residents of southwest Wisconsin.”

Does my insurance work with Upland Hills Health?

It’s one of the most common questions our patient financial services experts get.

Most people are surprised to learn that Upland Hills Health works with a wide range of health plan and PPOs. We are an independent, nonprofit healthcare organization, always pursuing additional insurance carriers that service our communities.


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