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UGL Staff Members Receive Awards from Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA)

Congratulations to our MPCA Award Winners!

Several UGL staff members were recently recognized by the MPCA for various esteemed awards. Please join us in celebrating them for being outstanding employees and recognizing them for achieving these awards!

Diane Gadomski pictured with Phillip Bergquist, Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Primary Care Association
Diane Gadomski pictured with Phillip Bergquist, Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Primary Care Association

Diane Gadomski, RN – 2022 winner of the Cindy Cooley Nursing Leadership Award

The MPCA established the Nursing Leadership Award in 2002 in honor of the late Cindy Cooley, a Michigan health center nurse who exemplified dedication and commitment to providing quality health care to Michigan residents. Diane was nominated and chosen to receive this award based on the following submission:

“Diane Gadomski has dedicated her life to helping and caring for others as a Registered Nurse, she has been a leader of the profession for over 45 years. She has served on numerous professional and advisory boards for nursing, quality, and patient care over her career. She has worked in home health, perioperative, ambulatory care, and most

recently as VP of a Medical Group and CNO of Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. Diane has been a fierce advocate for quality, affordable patient care for all people of the upper great lakes region, regardless of their ability to pay. She relentlessly pursues excellence that is contagious to the entire team around her. Diane has spent the past 10 years fostering young talent around her, she has spent countless hours coaching and mentoring, and because of this, those around her are better healthcare administrators. Diane never says no, and always has time for questions or granting advice. Diane always quotes, ‘I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Ishpeming and wasn’t afforded the luxuries of those in the wealthier neighborhoods. People on both sides of the tracks should have access to quality healthcare.’ Always proud of her upbringing and the hard work that shaped her, the people of the UP are fortunate to have Diane on their team.”

MPCA Award - Becky Cropped

Rebecca Gaffney – 2022 winner of the MPCA Peer Leadership Award

The Peer Leadership Award recognizes Michigan health center staff who are leaders among their peers. Candidates may have the following attributes – demonstrates vision, foresight, and persistence, considers others, thinks of and shares ideas, brings people together, is well organized and reliable, and is the consummate “team player.” Becky was nominated and chosen to receive this award based on the following submission:

“High functioning revenue cycle activities in health care, especially within FQHCs, are imperative to ensure consistent and continuous cashflow within any organization. Having a strong and detail-oriented individual with knowledge and focus on the functions within the revenue cycle is essential. Becky Gaffney is just that, an exceptional example of a talented healthcare leader. She is a team player who strives for success, does a great job at managing and leading her team, and is always willing to share her knowledge and experiences with not only her team but our sister health centers in the state. Becky’s display of the “Yooper Can-Do” and take-charge attitude has been instrumental to our organization. Her ability to lead and her true understanding of the importance of building trust and relationships is what makes Becky part of the “glue” that holds Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center together and we are truly fortunate to have her on our team.”

The MPCA awards Distinguished Service Awards to volunteers, staff members, or groups who have made a significant contribution to the overall success of the health center during these very challenging times. The award is honored to those who have shown courage, resilience, and perseverance while remaining dedicated to family and job, and have faced difficult issues while overcoming obstacles. The following members of our team were chosen and awarded the MPCA Distinguished Service Award.

MPCA Award - Marge Cropped 2

Margaret Haralson – 2022 winner of Distinguished Service Award

Marge was nominated and chosen for the Distinguished Service Award based on the following submission:

“Margaret ‘Marge’ Haralson has been a dedicated nurse leader to both the community and health center in Gwinn, Michigan for over 40 years. Marge is always willing to go the extra mile to help a patient or those of her community. Marge is a dedicated practice manager for four health centers spanning a vast distance in the UP of Michigan. She wears many hats daily to ensure the patients of the health center receive the best care possible.

When summarizing Marge’s dedication, a quote from her staff summarizes it well, ‘Marge always steps up into every job that needs to be filled all the time especially with us being short staffed. She steps up without fail or complaint and does an excellent job taking care of our patients (outside of her managerial duties). There is no job that is "beneath" her to do and help with. She does it all with a positive attitude and a smile – even on bad days. I admire her work ethic and perseverance to get through the toughest of days. She always manages to keep it together, keep the clinic moving, and keep our patients' needs met.’

Outside of the health center, Marge is dedicated to ensuring those in her community have the resources and help needed when they need it. She volunteers with St. Anthony’s Church and St. Francis Connection Center getting necessary resources and food to those members of the community that need it most. When asking Reverend Allen Mott about Marge’s commitment to her community he says, ‘Marge is an exceptional community member, she views her community and patients as her family. Marge will always go above and beyond to help someone in need and graciously lends a helping hand when her community needs her.’”

Ron Reynolds pictured with Dr. Catherine Kroll
Ron Reynolds pictured with Dr. Catherine Kroll

Ron Reynolds – 2022 winner of Distinguished Service Award

Ron was nominated and chosen for the Distinguished Service Award based on the following submission:

 “The Information Technology department has always been an essential part of any healthcare organization’s success. IT’s role has only grown in the last 5 years and will continue to grow as we continue to tackle the cost challenges related to providing healthcare and becoming more efficient in providing services. Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center is fortunate to have a staff of dedicated IT professionals that are engaged, proactive, and willing to help end users at all hours of the day. IT is constantly doing updates during 

non-business hours so as to not disrupt our operations, quietly without accolades. We as healthcare professionals appreciate all they do. Ron Reynolds does an exceptional job managing his team, projects, security, and budget. Ron lives the team environment and has done this by working hand in hand with his staff. His staff trust and respect him and his leadership is admirable.”

MPCA Award - Julie Cropped

Julie Curtis – 2022 winner of Distinguished Service Award

Julie was nominated and chosen for the Distinguished Service Award based on the following submission:

“Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center would like to recommend Julie Curtis, Certified Community Health Worker, for the Distinguished Service Award. Julie’s dedication to overcoming the SDOH that impacted the health, well-being, and quality of life of our patient population has been unwavering. She truly supports our mission by promoting exceptional health care services to all people regardless of their 

ability to pay. With five years of CHW experience, and certifications in Health Coach Training and MI Interviewing, along with training in Suicide Intervention Skills, Julie can easily connect with patients and is a strong advocate for them and their families. Julie has had multiple patients report that she helped to save their lives when they had thoughts of suicide. She has worked with multiple families to make sure the children and teens in these families had adequate clothing and school supplies to promote a positive educational experience. Julie advocated for a patient that was homeless and suffered from short-term memory loss over the past three years, and through care coordination and continued support, this individual is now in her own apartment and following up on her own care and needs. One patient wrote, ‘Miss Julie Curtis has gone out of her way to help me through very trying times. I thank her from the bottom of my heart, and I will be forever grateful.’ Julie also dedicates time year after year, to work with community partners to secure funding and support for patients in need of food, transportation, clothing, and housing. UGLFHC, our community, patients, and staff thank Julie for her individualized support and everyday dedication to improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities.”

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center (UGL) is a Federally Qualified Health Center and is a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Deemed Facility.
UGL receives funding from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and has Federal Public Health Service deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims for itself and its covered individuals.
This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H80CS26511 Health Center Cluster, total award amount of $1,839,050 with 89.9 % financed from nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.