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MDH Staff Honored with Award from Quality of Life Advisory Committee

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MDH Staff Honored with Award from Quality of Life Advisory Committee


MACOMB, Ill. – On an annual basis, the McDonough County Quality of Life Advisory Committee solicits nominations and selects McDonough County residents and/or organizations who have contributed to improving the safety and quality of life in McDonough County.

The McDonough County Quality of Life Advisory Committee announced that the MDH Drive-Thru staff and MDH Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer Wanda Foster, RN, MSN, FACHE received the 2021 Outstanding Community Service Award. They were two of the three recipients this year, joined by First Presbyterian Church of Macomb.

The 2021 award winners all contributed to improving the safety and quality of life in McDonough County through their outstanding efforts during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Foster has worked at MDH for more than 40 years. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she oversaw operations related to the pandemic in her Incident Commander role – one she continues to serve in. From her nominator, “I nominated Wanda for her ability to be a central figure in helping all of the community partners communicate and share information during the COVID pandemic. She also was instrumental in leveraging the resources of MDH to benefit the entire County for COVID care, testing, and vaccinations.”

“Wanda’s contribution to MDH and the community as our Incident Commander for our COVID-19 preparedness has been nothing shy of extraordinary. She has provided support and leadership to the efforts of MDH to plan and administer an emergency preparedness program that has been second to none,” said MDH President/CEO Brian E. Dietz, FACHE. “Wanda has given 110% effort since March of 2020 to assure we are doing everything possible to be there for the needs of Macomb and McDonough County.”

For the MDH Drive-Thru staff, what began as a temporary tent in the south parking lot grew into an opportunity to perform routine laboratory draws as well.

According to the nominator, “The feedback from patients utilizing the service was incredible and positive. People didn’t have to worry about getting out of their cars, walking into the hospital, and waiting for their turn to have lab work performed. Many things could be done inside the comfort of their own vehicle. During 2020, the staff worked through issues out of their control, such as: high winds, rain, sleet, snow, and/or temperatures below freezing. Those inclement weather issues, along with the positive comments received on Drive-Thru services, led to a permanent Drive-Thru building concept. In fall 2020, MDH approved the building of a permanent structure to the east of the tent set-up. The facility opened in March 2021, however, during construction in the winter months MDH still staffed the outdoor tent.”

Since the start of the pandemic the MDH Drive-Thru staff has performed more than 20,000 COVID-19 tests.

“Since we began utilizing the Drive-Thru concept last year, which began in a temporary tent set up to our permanent climate controlled building we currently use, our tremendous Drive-Thru team has delivered a level of service that is unsurpassed. Their attitude, commitment and quality of service delivery has been incredible and recognized by countless members of our community that have chosen to take advantage of this revolutionary concept,” said Dietz. “We have found ourselves on the cutting edge of delivering laboratory services to our patients and have been fortunate to have the staff to match the quality of our facility. Their commitment and dedication to services is what has made this program a true success story.”

Due to the pandemic, there was not an annual recognition banquet to formally recognize these amazing people. However, these individuals and organizations were independently recognized over the past two weeks. There were many social media postings over the past week or more regarding these presentations.

The McDonough County Quality of Life Advisory Committee wants to congratulate this year’s award winners for serving as role models for other County citizens. They are all wonderful examples.

Excerpts from press release courtesy McDonough County Quality of Life Advisory Committee