Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Thanks for all you do, Region 1 staff!

Ahead of the Christmas holiday Dr. Shantel Hebert-Magee, medical director for the Greater New Orleans region, held an awards ceremony to recognize her staff for all of their accomplishments in 2021. Dr. Hebert-Magee's staff has taken the many demands of the COVID-19 crisis in stride, especially around immunizations. Here's a look at some of her staff awards and what they were recognized for. 

Rha'Keisha Wyre, Assistant Regional Administrator: As Dr. Hebert-Magee's No. 2, Rha'Keisha embodies all of the values you find in a public servant, as well as a leader. Rha'Keisha's main goal is to highlight the importance of community engagement in the area that includes Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and Orleans Parish — home to some of the most populous and diverse communities in the state. Rha'Keisha uses her people-centric skills to to keep up morale, bring on new talent, expand Region 1's operations and coordinate with all of the region's public partnerships. She did all this with empathy during the most challenging of circumstances.

Janila Bailey, Delgado Administrative Coordinator: As a recipient of one of Dr. Hebert-Magee's clerical awards, Janila was recognized for stepping up in the Delgado public health unit (PHU) to help cover vacancies and staff changes. Her approach to customer service is excellent and Dr. Hebert-Magee said Janila is someone that can always being counted on during times of uncertainty and when difficult tasks come up.

Van Coulon, Clerical Supervisor: Van got a promotion in 2020, moving up from Public Health Unit Clerk. In addition to Van's positive attitude and professionalism, Dr. Hebert-Magee recognized Van's willingness to "go the extra mile." He literally went the extra mile this summer: When evacuating after Hurricane Ida due to lack of power and water, Van was activated while en route to Texas and turned around without hesitation to assist with shelter operations and credentialing emergency medical staff.

Amanda Melancon and Jeanne Marie Baudouin: Amanda and Jeanne received Dr. Hebert-Magee's immunization award for "troubleshooting vaccine shortages, minimizing waste, and ensuring access to our most vulnerable populations." Their efforts helped Region 1 administer more than a 500,000 vaccinations.

Blanche Lott, Regional Office Manager: Dr. Hebert wrote of Blanche: "Though shy and humble, through her organizational skills, she has delivered greater strategic value to the region and is at the core of our daily operations, maintaining a can-do outlook throughout the pandemic."

Mary Vu, Health Educator, WIC: Using her Vietnamese language skills, Mary is crucial to outreach in Region 1's sizable Vietnamese community, assisting in translations both verbal and written to get WIC information out to this population. Mary took the lead in setting up WIC services for Hurricane Laura refugees, allowing Region 1 to begin servicing WIC families within hours.

Kyler Forte, Health Educator, WIC: Dr. Hebert-Magee wrote that Kyler "has been instrumental in providing WIC services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Ida." In addition to providing curbside services at the PHU, Kyler assisted without hesitation in servicing WIC participants during Hurricane Ida state office closure while her own home was damaged and without electricity. 

Dana Washington, Regional Nutritionist: Dr. Hebert-Magee wrote that Dana worked creatively during the COVID-19 crisis to set up curbside and drive-through pick-ups for the WIC population, and traveled to the region daily after Hurricane Ida from Mississippi to assist with incident command operations for shelter operations.

Veronica Attaway, Registered Nurse, Region 1 PHUs: An 18-year LDH veteran, Veronica approaches her job as a calling, Dr. Hebert-Magee wrote. "Veronica goes wherever she is needed in the community, even at short notice, after hours, or in an unfamiliar part of town."

Megan Hill, Registered Nurse, Region 1 PHUs: Megan is known for her compassion and willingness to help, working "tirelessly through our emergency response" despite being relatively new to LDH, Dr. Hebert-Magee wrote.

Vanessa Hargrove, Disease Intervention Specialist Supervisor: Dr. Hebert-Magee wrote: "Vanessa served as a resource for the emergency response staff in the medical operations credentialing section as well with the Command Staff. She began her response efforts working as a resource member on the medical operations section but she quickly became the Medical Resource Section Lead after a few adjustments in our Incident Command Structure."

Jenny Bagert, Strategic Partner, Together Louisiana: Dr. Hebert-Magee wrote: "Jenny has been instrumental to our community outreach and vaccine uptake in our most vulnerable neighborhoods. Using creativity and ingenuity she has improved medical literacy, healthcare engagement and LDH visibility."