Norman Regional Health System

Cheers to 2020 award winners

Friday, December 18, 2020

Norman Regional Health System honored multiple providers with provider of the year awards for 2020.

Each year Norman Regional awards three physicians, an advanced practice provider and a nurse special awards voted on by members of the medical staff – the Physician Peer Award; Harold R. Belknap Jr., MD, Heart of Gold Service to Community Award; Outstanding Physician Award; Advanced Practice Provider of the Year, and Nurse of the Year. This year, all six Nurse of the Year finalists were honored during the ceremony for their dedication to their patients and their families during a difficult year.

This year’s award ceremony was all virtual due to COVID, with only a select few leaders and honored providers in attendance.

Farhan Jawed, MD, Norman Regional’s medical director of behavioral health services and chief of staff, led the presentation, starting off by thanking all healers for all they’ve done this year.

“This has been a very difficult year and probably if we all look at our medical careers, everyone would probably say this is the most difficult one. Lots of people have stepped up and they’ve done an amazing job with taking care of their patients and at the same time taking care of themselves and their families. No matter how much we express our gratitude or thank all of our healers, nothing is enough. If it was up to us, we would give an award to everyone who has been working so hard with us, but as tradition goes – we give it to a selected few. Congratulations to all of you,” Dr. Jawed said.

Physician Peer Award

Aaron Boyd, MD, intensivist and chief medical officer for Norman Regional, was the recipient of the Physician Peer Award. The Physician Peer Award is voted on by physicians and the winner is defined by his compassionate care of patients, the building of collegial relationships and the pursuit of professional excellence.

Dr. Jawed said that Dr. Boyd was the perfect recipient for this award, as it is difficult enough to be a physician, but even more difficult to be an administrator as well.

“When you’re giving 100% as a physician on top of giving 100% as an administrator, especially in this COVID situation, it takes a lot of courage and effort. That was certainly recognized and noticed by his peers,” Dr. Jawed said.

Dr. Boyd wanted to thank everyone working alongside him.

“I really appreciate all of you,” Dr. Boyd said. “This recognition is very, very meaningful. It has been a challenging year. I’m not sure if I want to win an award for 2020 or not, but it’s been an exceptionally challenging year and I appreciate everybody’s awareness of what we’re doing. I thank all of you.”

Harold R. Belknap Jr., MD, Heart of Gold Service to Community Award

Shrilekha Parikh, MD, an internal medicine physician at Norman Regional Primary Care – Waterview, was honored with the Harold R. Belknap Jr., MD, Heart of Gold Service to Community Award. This award is in recognition of the life of Dr. Harold R. Belknap, Jr. and is for recognizing a physician who promotes a sense of community pride and continuity, dedicates significant time to the development of our next generation of leaders in healthcare providers, and exemplifies a volunteer spirit by offering their services to individuals and groups in need.

Dr. Parikh has been with Norman Regional since 2015 and said she originally saw herself retiring this year. She said although she thought she’d be retiring in 2020, when COVID came, she knew her patients needed her now more than ever.

“I’m very thankful to Norman Regional because I was burning out – with all of the computer work and charts and this thing and that thing – and they really helped me out and I’m actually enjoying what I’m doing,” Dr. Parikh said. “I love my patients. I love my clinics. I love my staff. My staff is my life. I tell them every morning that they’re my sunshine. They help me. I’m very thankful for this award. I’m very thankful I’m a part of this institution. Thank you so much.”

Outstanding Physician Award

Rebecca Eagle, an intensivist at Norman Regional, was recognized as this year’s Outstanding Physician. This award is voted upon by the entire organization.

“This physician must be liked by all of the physicians and the nursing staff and the medical staff. This goes to somebody who is very deserving. I’ve seen her in the room working with the patients and have been very impressed with the command in which she leads. It’s like a general leading her troops. She gets very fiery, she gets very passionate. I’ve told her if I ever have to go to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), I would like her to take care of me, so that’s how amazing she is,” Dr. Jawed said.

Dr. Eagle joked that she was about to give what would be like an Academy Awards speech because of all the people she had to thank.

“There is just an army of people that I can’t thank enough. Besides my partners, all the hospitalists, every ICU nurse, CDU nurse, 5North nurse that have been involved with this, Laura (ICU manager), Denny (CVICU manager) who have suited up and helped us, and Liza – the best housekeeper ever, she needs an award. All the RT (respiratory therapists). It’s just been this army of people and kind of an isolated army, but a unified army. I’ve just been grateful that they were there to help me do all this and I can’t thank them enough,” Dr. Eagle said.

Advanced Practice Provider of the Year

Jordan Shuart, PA-C, was awarded this year’s Advanced Practice Provider of the Year. This award is chosen by the physicians. Shuart has been with Norman Regional since 2008 in the hospital medicine department.

“Thank you so much everyone. It is a pleasure and a privilege to get to do what I do every day and to work with the people I work with. I feel like I’m able to do my job well because of the nurses, physicians, specialists, pharmacists, and all the different disciplines at Norman and how we all work together,” Shuart said.

Nurse of the Year

“I wanted to say a special thanks to all of our nursing staff,” Dr. Jawed said. “I can tell you that one day I had four COVID patients and I just saw four of them once each. By the time I was done with all the procedures, I was exhausted. So I cannot imagine how one nurse is taking care of one, two or three COVID patients. Risking their own health on a daily basis, knowing the fact that they have family and kids at home – it takes a big heart and a huge amount of courage.

“We as physicians are very lucky that we have you all. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do this. Thank you so much to all of you who are receiving awards and to all of you watching – you are all great healers and we are proud of you.”

Lana Nelson, DO, a bariatric surgeon at Norman Regional’s Journey Clinic, started this award and coordinates with the Norman Regional Health Foundation to make it possible. This award is voted on and funded by the physicians and advanced practice providers to recognize those who go above and beyond to deliver compassionate care, enhance the patient experience with passion and respect and exemplify The Norman Way.

Nate Foster, RN, was honored as the 2020 Nurse of the Year.

“He’s responsible, thorough, a team player. In this COVID effort, he has really gone above and beyond,” said Brittni McGill, chief nursing officer. “One of our physicians said, ‘although there are so many great people to give this award to, this one truly stands out. He’s caring of his patients and his peers and he truly is an outstanding nurse that has displayed immense courage during this pandemic.’”

Foster wanted to thank everyone, on behalf of all nurses.

“On behalf of everyone who is sick of wearing masks or gowns and having to call family and empathize and explain why they can’t visit. On behalf of everyone who has had to pray for patients because chaplains aren’t allowed in rooms. There seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel here – I believe that’s true. Thank you so much. I really appreciate everyone here.”

Other Nurse of the Year finalists honored at the ceremony included Kenny Tyler, CVICU; Margie Holman, rehabilitation; Katie Gilmore, Women’s and Children’s; Jessie Douglas, endoscopy lab, and the runner-up Kristi Dilley, emergency department.