Making a Difference – May 2022

The Making a Difference program provides a unique way to recognize staff who go above and beyond to advance the Department of Neurosurgery mission to provide the best neurosurgical patient care possible.

May 2022 Nominees

Jared Thatcher – Physican Assistant
I’d like to give a shout out to Jared Thatcher, who went above and beyond to help me navigate my first craniotomy at MoBap.  Would have been difficult to impossible without him.  Thanks, Jared.

Priscilla Woodland – Clinic Manager
I’d like to nominate Priscilla who has hit the ground running since she started with us just a couple of months ago.  She has quickly established herself as a go-to staff member and leader in the department – someone who will do whatever is necessary to get the job done for a patient or a staff member, while also providing important big picture leadership and insight into our clinical operations.  Can’t wait to see what she brings to the department in the months and years to come. 

Pediatric Neurosurgery
I nominate the whole Peds NSGY office for pushing through the overwhelming times with focus and dedication ! A Team of Rockstars!

Mindy Hammond Administrative Coordinator, Pediatrics
I’d like to nominate Mindy Hammond. She is truly a team player and has unbelievable patience when dealing with patients and their parents.

Joan Atencio – Clinical Research Coordinator
I would like to nominate Joan Atencio for the making a difference award.  She has recently been transitioned over to different doctors and has taken on several clinical trials.  She quickly discovered that one of her studies was being charged erroneously for the past several years for continuing reviews and modifications in the myIRB system.  She has corrected this mistake and has saved the department thousands of dollars. She has taken on a lot more work with a great attitude.  She is a team player and is willing to help out her co-workers.

Nadia Pirtle – Medical Secretary, Pediatric Neurosurgery
Nadia has so much on her plate with pre-certs and scheduling follow-ups for all five providers, plus five mid-levels. Yet, she always stays positive and will help wherever she is needed. When work gets stressful, she always finds the positives and is always willing to lend a helping hand. The families and staff love her and always want to talk to her, as they know that they are in good hands and will get to a great solution at the end of a hard time. I love having Nadia as a teammate and I am so happy she is here!

Veronica (Ronnie) Keck – Lead Pre-Certification Coordinator
Ronnie is such a fantastic leader/teammate. We don’t work closely and see each other often, but I know that I can always reach out and ask questions. If Ronnie doesn’t know the answer right away, she will try her best to find it out herself by trial and error or going to additional resources. Ronnie goes above and beyond for our patients and is always willing to help the pediatric team in training. We all started at the same time and don’t have a veteran of our own to run to with questions, so Ronnie is our go-to human. She is fantastic and I would not know what to do without her!

Ronnie Keck- for absolutely everything. She is without a doubt a main reason I am able to do my job successfully. Without her…well, let’s not think about that. 

Tori Greenberg – Assistant to Chair Gregory Zipfel, MD
For handling everything with a smile and positive attitude.

Toni Kozemski Manager of Financial Operations
Toni answers all of my questions (big and small) with lightning quick speed. I’m so appreciative of her.

Emily Westerfeld Clinical Nurse Coordinator
Emily always has a positive attitude when I see her. She’s a hard worker and a joy to be around.

Wendy Bettis  Pre-Certification Coordinator 
Wendy deserves a gold star or some kind of medal for the relentless dedication she shows to our patients. She is amazing!