February 22, 2018

Steward Health Care Honors Outstanding Local Employees

Media Contact: Angela Menninger, 602-373-8212, [email protected]




Healthcare Champions at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center and Mountain Vista Medical Center Recognized for Professional, Community Service


PHOENIX (Feb. 23, 2018) – With providing the highest quality of care in the communities it serves as one of its founding pillars, Steward Health Care, the largest private hospital operator in the United States providing physician-led health care services, has honored several local health care champions as part of its national awards program.

Medical professionals from St. Luke’s Medical Center, Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center and Mountain Vista Medical Center were selected from approximately 37,000 employees across 36 community hospitals nationwide, along with 26 urgent care centers and 42 preferred skilled nursing facilities.


The Chairman’s Award, the highest award a Steward Health Care employee can receive, is presented to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment in serving their facilities and their communities, specifically those who continuously exhibit professional and personal excellence in every task they undertake. Among the local recipients:


Peggy Jackson, Registered Nurse, Critical Care Nursery, Mountain Vista Medical Center

The field of nursing has changed greatly in the last four decades, but one thing has remained a constant: the dedication and tenacity of Peggy Jackson, a 40-year veteran registered nurse at Mountain Vista Medical Center’s special care level II nursery. From her early years in the nursing profession, Jackson has made marked differences in the lives of others, through her personal involvement in worthy causes, including community service and volunteering with charitable organizations. A longstanding Critical Care Nursery nurse who over the course of her tenure has written many of the policies and procedures for the nursery, Jackson is responsible for the care of the tiniest and most critical patients and provides a specialized comfort to new moms that put their minds at ease as their newborns fight for their lives and to thrive. Despite the immense responsibility she shoulders at Mountain Vista Medical Center, Jackson spends much of her free time helping her community and others who are less fortunate and afflicted in some way, including working closely with Veterans on Patrol to make and deliver meals, as well as supplies, including toiletries, blankets and other necessities, to a homeless camp that housed several veterans an average of three times a week until the camp was closed.


Linda Lau, M.D., Physician, Steward Medical Group of Arizona

A hard-working, compassionate family medicine physician, Dr. Linda Lau is the perfect example of all the things a primary care physician should be to the patients they serve. Strongly believing that being connected to her community is a core tenement of her oath as a physician, Lau is actively involved with a variety of organizations professionally and personally where she educates, cares for and serves the needs of others. In addition to presenting community events and seminars sponsored by Mountain Vista Medical Center, Lau immersed herself in the Hope Clinic, which provides free medical care to the working poor and those who are uninsured. She would even take her family medicine residents there so they could aid patients who lacked other medical resources due to financial reasons, and participates in the Annual Compassion Queen Creek event that provides free medical care to residents of Queen Creek and San Tan Valley who are uninsured or under-insured and often lack transportation to obtain care. She also travels outside of the United States to provide health care to underserved Third World countries and has provided multiple lectures to the community to improve health awareness. In addition to managing her primary care responsibilities, she also serves as the program director for a family practice residency program with 15 residents, all of which passed their family practice certification boards on their first attempts. The mother to three boys has been lauded not only by her residents but also by the oversight medical school Midwestern University. Lau allocates close to 150 hours a month to training the residents. It’s this selfless giving, combined with exceptional patient care and outstanding reputation that compels patients to travel from across the Valley to see her.


Scott McClanahan, Director of Environmental Services, St. Luke’s Medical Center

While not on the front lines of health care delivery, Scott McClanahan’s courage, compassion and concern for others has earned him great respect and admiration from his colleagues. As the Director of Environmental Services, McClanahan has become a star performer, re-engaging the workforce and always delivering on service, teamwork, attitude and responsiveness. But it’s his character that stands out. From a young age, he has been a shining example of what it means to be a hero, exhibiting selfless acts that improve the lives of others. That spark of selflessness was seen when McClanahan at age 21, took on the immense responsibility of raising his older brother’s two young children after a severe car accident that had left him incapacitated and in a coma for more than a year. While the children grew up in the same home as their father, he was unable to physically take care of them due to lost function on the right side of his body and speech difficulty. McClanahan’s selflessness continues years later, as he was approached with an opportunity to take custody of a 5-year-old boy. Feeling his calling, McClanahan immediately took custody, shouldering the legal burdens and petitions to formally adopt the child. Understanding the importance of family, he ensures that the child has regular contact with his siblings, and even hosted one for an extended summer stay. Never hesitating, he always makes a point of helping others, always putting other people’s needs ahead of his own.


Ronald Friesen, MC, LPC, Care Coordinator, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center

A licensed professional counselor for more than 13 years, Friesen is no stranger to the challenges people face in their daily lives. Providing group and individual counseling to mentally ill adults at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center’s Momentum Program, Friesen is always looking for opportunities to improve service delivery. His can-do attitude is contagious in a high-stress environment. He takes the same approach to helping his community. Serving as a chaplain for the homeless in Phoenix for almost 25 years, he has also spearheaded grief counseling, first as part of Hospice, but then in a volunteer capacity. His concern for the grieving led him to become a founding member of The Arizona Bereavement Association, and a founding member of the Arizona Psychoanalytic Society. A champion for local communities, he organized a neighborhood coalition called CLOUT (Committed Leaders Organized for Urban Transformation). His work saw more than 250 individuals, including public and community leaders, gather together to discuss issues of safety and violence.


Rachael Schmidt, Registered Nurse, ICU, Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital

Both a health care professional and patient advocate, Rachael Schmidt dedicates every day to making a positive impact through effective communication and empathetic care. She is a member of the unit-based nurse council and an active participant who assists with providing evidence-based nursing education. Always there to provide a helping hand or word of encouragement, her professional know-how teamed with organizational skills and attention to detail have been critical to ensuring the ICU is organized and functioning efficiently. When she’s not at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, Schmidt can be found volunteering her time at Rescuing Animals In Need (RAIN), where she is saving animal lives, assisting with the re-homing and promoting the Spay and Neutering program. With her ability to translate complex medical issues in a congenial way, Schmidt also educates volunteers and the public on Feline HIV (FIV) and Feline Leukemia (FeLV) disease processes and treatment options.


“These four health care champions embody the spirit of Steward Health Care’s approach to patient care and professional excellence, while at the same time embracing the role of community stewards to ensure the fabric of our neighborhoods remains strong and vibrant,” said Jim Flinn, CEO of Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital. “In their own individual ways, they have left a lasting impression on the hundreds of thousands of lives they touch. It’s for this that we honor them and are grateful that they have chosen to be part of the Steward Health Care team.”


In addition to the Chairman’s Award, Steward recognized the long-term service of other special employees who have dedicated 40-plus years of service to supporting healthier local communities. Among the honorees are Jackson (previously mentioned), along with Goldie Everage.


Montrozell “Goldie” Everage

When Goldie Everage started working at St. Luke’s Medical Center in 1972, little did she know how far-reaching her impact would be and how far she would go. Starting as a certified nursing assistant on the clinical floors, an opportunity opened in data processing, where she would enter punch cards in an old IBM Main Frame computer system. As data processing was changing, Everage changed with the times, embracing the opportunity to become an IT tech. Unique in having first-hand experience in the medical field, while also being a tech whiz, she was installed at an IT tech manager, and informally, one of the most trusted team members at St. Luke’s. As a mainstay at St. Luke’s, her reputation precedes her as she is the go-to person for all things IT.

Steward Health Care brought St. Luke’s Medical Center (Phoenix), Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital (Tempe), St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center (Phoenix) and Mountain Vista Medical Center (Mesa) under its banner in September 2017.


About Steward Health Care

Steward Health Care, the largest private hospital operator in the United States, is a physician-led health care services organization committed to providing the highest quality of care in the communities it serves. Headquartered in Boston, Steward operates 36 community hospitals nationwide that employ approximately 37,000 people and regularly receive top awards for quality and safety. In Arizona, Steward Health Care operates Mountain Vista Medical Center, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center and Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital. Steward Health Care also operates Steward Medical Group, which employees 79 primary and specialty care physicians and surgeons. Steward Medical Group physicians are members of the medical staff at Steward Health Care hospitals. Steward Health Care is an Official Health Care Partner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.



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