Bayhealth Presents Spirit of Caring Awards


Bayhealth Medical Center

To mark Patient Centered Month in October, Bayhealth hosted Rita Landgraf, Delaware Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, who presented a proclamation at a ceremony at Kent General. Governor Jack Markell signed the proclamation declaring October 2013 as Patient Centered Care Awareness Month.

Since then Bayhealth also honored the recipients and nominees of the 2013 Spirit of Planetree Awards for Physician Champion, Caregiver and Pet Therapy Animal in ceremonies at Kent General and Milford Memorial. Bayhealth Planetree’s Patient Centered Model of Care was implemented in 2005 and each year, a physician champion and caregiver is selected from each campus to receive an award from Planetree. The physician champions and caregivers, who are selected by a group of their peers, includes Milford physician Pedro Perez, MD, and Registered Nurse Robyn Spendley. One of Bayhealth’s pet therapy animals, “Jack,” was also selected by Planetree to receive the 2013 Planetree Pet Therapy Animal of the Year Award.

Cardiologist Pedro Perez, MD, was named Physician Champion for Milford Memorial and
Obstetrician/gynecologist. Dr. Perez was nominated for the award by a nurse, who stated “Every day I work with physicians who are providing excellent care. However, I believe a phenomenal doctor not only provides excellent medical care, but also provides a listening ear and compassionate heart to his patients. I would like to recognize Dr. Perez as a phenomenal physician because he takes the time to listen to patients and to their concerns. He is frequently complimented by patients for this very attribute of active listening.”

Dr. Perez joined the medical staff at Milford Memorial in 2005, and he is a member of Bayhealth Medical Group Cardiology Consultants in Milford. He received his medical degree from the Medical School at Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and completed his residency and fellowship at Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia.

Robyn Spendley, RN, received the Caregiver Champion award for Milford Memorial. Robyn Spendley was recognized for the dignity, respect, compassion and integrity she displayed to patients when a water pipe broke at Milford Memorial and patients needed to be moved to various nursing units throughout the hospital. Indeed, she “led the way with confidence and humor, putting the patients at ease.” Additionally, Spendley also serves as a mentor to other staff nurses.

Jack, owned by Bayhealth Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Aide and Registrar Kaeleigh Karnbach, was not only named Bayhealth’s Pet Therapy Animal of the Year, but also for the Planetree organization as well. Jack was honored at the 2013 Annual Planetree Conference, which was held in Montreal this past October.

Jack has been an inspiration to patients coming to Bayhealth’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Dover, where he has helped a patient with a feeding disorder by allowing the child to feed him treats so both Jack and the patient are having a snack. Jack provides comfort to the young patients by just being in the therapy room and lying next to the child during therapy. In addition to helping patients with their therapies and making them feel at ease, Jack also puts a smile on the face of staff members who can attest that a pet can boost “feelings” and emotions.