Making a Difference – June 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.

June 2022 Nominees

Dominique Riley – Billing/Scheduling Associate
Dominique Riley has only been here a short time, but has proven that she is going to be a great asset to the Call Center.  Her productivity has been remarkable and her willingness to just jump in and do what she can to help the team with minimal training has been noticed by all her teammates.  We are so happy to have her on our team!

Tori Greenberg Assistant to Chair Gregory Zipfel, MD and Rhonda Quint – Administrative Coordinator
Tori Greenberg and Rhonda Quint are very nice to work with and have been very helpful with taking care of all my requests.  We are lucky to have them.

I nominate Tori Greenberg for generally being awesome.

Kelsey Taachi Pediatric Medical Secretary
Kelsey Taachi is a rockstar who goes above and beyond in EVERY aspect of her role. She always puts the patients’ needs first! She handles the schedules for six providers, and yet she is still always willing to pitch in and help wherever needed. Kelsey is a ray of sunshine in the peds department!

Tekoa Houston Medical Assistant, Center for Advanced Medicine
If I ask Tekoa for help, she helps. If she doesn’t know the answer, she helps me find it. Patients I speak with consistently mention her by name to compliment her. She makes the office a better place to work and I appreciate her for it.

Irma Hodzic – Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Spine Team
Irma has taken on the role to train and educate new nurses on the spine team. Always with a positive attitude, Irma has been able to precept a new nurse, manage the surgical patients for two very busy physicians, and assist with tasks in other departments. Her intelligence inspires us to work hard and is always willing to help when questions are asked or fill in where help is needed. Every team needs someone like Irma!

Patricia Hamilton Surgery Scheduling
Trish is an amazing co-worker and a tremendous support. She is so easy to work with and so supportive. Working with her is a complete joy and honor.

Mersiha Menkovic Pediatric Manager of Administrative Services
I would like to nominate Mersiha Menkovic, for all that she does to keep the pediatric neurosurgery practice running at #5 in the nation!!!

Gretchen Blow Manager of Administrative Services
Gretchen is a seriously awesome manager!  I have listed a few reasons why I believe she has an impact and is MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Full of knowledge regarding her position and the positions of pretty much everyone else in the department. Quickwitted. Adaptable to change. Even-tempered. Patient. Wonderful sense of humor. And most important – she genuinely cares about the people she manages.

Gretchen has done a fantastic job organizing our move to the 8th floor of MCC.  The amount of work, organization, and vision this has required is immense.  Thanks, Gretchen, for leading this effort.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  Can’t wait until we all move in in early August. 

Jaime Morrell-Vinas Administrative Coordinator for Dr. Ray
Jaime is so diligent and steadfast in making sure she’s doing things correctly. She is a go-getter!

Jessica Graham – Medical Secretary, Pediatric Neurosurgery
Jessica is a saving grace. She was the only one here when we all started over a year ago and she had to put up with all our questions even though she was new herself. She is an incredible leader and such an amazing part of the team. She definitely keeps us all sane when the workload increases and patients aren’t the happiest. I am so happy she is here!

Emily Westerfeld – Clinical Nurse Coordinator
I just wanted to take a minute to highlight my impression that the vascular team RN Emily Westerfeld is a real asset to our department. I hear quite frequently from patients and families about how helpful and responsive she has been in their care.