Innovation and Excellence in Service Delivery: Melissa Peterson

"It was my ultimate goal to exceed expectations when I started here," says Melissa Peterson. And that is exactly what the Innovation and Excellence Award winner in Service Delivery has done. Since joining Mary Greeley Medical Center in November 2008, Peterson has become known for excelling at her position on the Environmental Services team.

Peterson was nominated for the award by three members of the Oncology unit, where she spends most of her time at work.

"Even though I do housekeeping, I am part of the patient care team," says Peterson. Sue Scoles, Oncology Services director and recipient of the Innovation and Excellence in Leadership Award, agrees. "We like to claim her as a member of our team on the Oncology unit."

Peterson thinks as highly of the Oncology staff as they do of her. "They make it really easy for me to care about what I do every single day."

Peterson's outstanding work is noticed by patients as well as coworkers. "Many patients and families mention Melissa as someone to recognize for doing a very good job," says Scoles.

Scoles also recognizes Peterson for her contribution to a change in processes to ensure patient safety. "Melissa worked hard to assure that patients with severely compromised immune systems had their rooms cleaned first each morning," Scoles notes.

For this accomplishment, Peterson credits Sarah Heikens, R.N., M.S.N., O.C.N., Oncology clinical supervisor, for educating her on the conditions of cancer patients. "I've learned a lot from the staff here on this floor, and I've learned a lot about what the patients are going through and their cancer treatments," Peterson says. She also acknowledges Cathy Wright, Guest Services director, for implementing the change.

Overall, it's Peterson's philosophy that sets her apart. "Whatever you do, you need to try to do it as best as you can," she says.