John Prentice 2012 Conkey Family Memorial Awards Recipient
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May 07, 2012

            John Prentice, Registered Respiratory Therapist, (RRT), was the recipient of the 31st annual Conkey Family Memorial Award given out during National Hospital Week.  The award, announced on Monday, May 7 during an afternoon reception at Mendota Community Hospital in their Prairie Café, is a cash gift given annually to an employee of MCH, chosen on the basis of his or her actions, which show the highest concern and attention for patients or the benefit of patients.  The award is given to the person, who best exemplifies this attitude of care for patients directly or indirectly.  Employees of MCH make nominations and the hospital’s Board of Directors chooses the recipient from those names nominated each year.  Some excerpts from John’s nominations include:  “truly cares about their profession”, “a true patient advocate”; “very dedicated to MCH”’; “understands the concept of “team effort”; “leads by example”’; “the kindest person I have ever known”; “always going above and beyond to help”; “excellent clinical skills”; “would be thankful to have this employee care for my family members”; and “his staff feels absolutely blessed to have him as their manager”.

            Mr. Prentice has worked at Mendota Community Hospital for just under 17 years.  He was born and raised in Paw Paw, IL.  After graduation from Paw Paw High School he entered the Navy and served his country for five years as a Nuclear Weapons Technician.  John worked in different areas after leaving the service before beginning a part-time job in the respiratory therapy department at another hospital.  He became interested in the field and earned his respiratory therapy degree from California College in 1991.  John began working at MCH in 1995 and took over as Manager of the Cardiopulmonary (Respiratory Therapy) Department in 2003.  Cardiopulmonary specializes in diagnosing and treating problems associated with the heart and lungs.  The department also diagnoses and treats neurological problems in their Sleep and EEG Labs.  The Sleep Lab at MCH recently completed its 1000th Sleep Study, all of which, he is proud to say were done one on one - One Patient, One Tech, One Goal.  As a working department manager he oversees a staff of 14 while still working the floor.       

            Mr. Prentice lives in Paw Paw with his wife Stephanie, a beautician and owner of Hair Downstairs.  Together they have two children, Emily, a sophomore at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI where she studies Pre-med and Mitch, a junior at Paw Paw High School who is the drummer for Nice Guys Finish Last.  In his spare time John works at two other local hospitals, is a Captain on the Paw Paw Fire Department, an EMT on the Paw Paw Ambulance, and is a board member for School District 271, theVillage of Paw Paw and the Paw Paw Clinic, while serving as the adjutant for American Legion Post 511.            

            MCH employees are enjoying a variety of activities during National Hospital Week including games with prizes, secret pals, special themed treats and meals, lunch and learn program and a night of bowling at the Mendota Elks Lodge.

Service awards were given away in Conference Room C at the hospital on Tuesday, May 8.  Fifty-six employees (the most awards ever given at one time) received continuous service awards from the hospital including: 40 years:  Cindy Stielow, Diagnostic Imaging Services; 35 years:  Berta Patterson, Medical Surgical; 30 years Cheryl King, Community Health Services and Patsy Marks, Medical Surgical; 25 years:  Jean Carnahan, Medical-Surgical, Wanda Dean, Food Service, Larenne Haas, Medical-Surgical/Intensive Care Unit, Tracie Kelly, ICU/ED/Community Health Services, Kim Kennedy, Human Resources, Darci Kettleborough, Surgery, and Molly Pyszka, Dietician/Food Service; 20 years:  Rhonda Myers, Laboratory, Cathy Ossman, Central Supply, Toni Piller, Infection Control/Case Management, Cathy Schwingle, Laboratory, Troy Stanford, Maintenance, Ann Ward, Diagnostic Imaging Services, and Beth Wise, Medical-Surgical;  15 Years:  Mary Chinn, M.D., Family Practice, Darlene Fishburn, ED/ICU, Kelly Funfsinn, Laboratory, Kathy Myers, Food Service, Sandy Northcutt, ED/ICU, Mary Ritchie, Medical-Surgical, Sue Wasmer, Laboratory, and Linda Zuber, Home Health; 10 Years:  Frank Duro, Rehab Services, Bonny Faivre, Home Health, Chrissy Guisti, Medical-Surgical and Sue Olsen, ED/ICU, Medical-Surgical; 5 Years:  Shelly Bell, Day Surgery, Peggy Dilbeck, Medical-Surgical, Connie Falcon, Cardiopulmonary, Carrie Finley, Medical-Surgical, Michael Gibson, Laboratory, Amy Gierden, Medical-Surgical, John Hartley, Environmental Services,  Jessica Haynes, Patient Registration, Gilbert Hermosillo, Information Technology & Materials Management, Beth Hubbard, Activities, Shelly Husband, Patient Financial Services, Deb Inman, Health Information Management, Clint Kapinski, Security, Brittany Kidd, Medical-Surgical, Lisa Lehr, Laboratory, Natasha Lemus, Physician Services MCH & Medical-Surgical, Maureen Linden, Health Information Management, Holly Mathieu, Physician Services MCH, Courtney McDonald, Laboratory, Gretchen Novero, Laboratory, Kate Renoud, Patient Registration, Jessica Seng, Patient Safety, Jan Siemers, Community Health Services, Krystal Smith, Patient Registration, Katie Sondgeroth, Physician Services MCH, and Laura Wieczorkiewicz, Laboratory.