Ehrmann, Darkwa Receive Planetree Awards

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l to R: Hospitalist Nana Yaw A Darkwa and Caregiver George Ehrmann.
l to R: Hospitalist Nana Yaw A Darkwa and Caregiver George Ehrmann.

To mark Patient Centered Month in October, Bayhealth’s Administrator Michael Ashton , presented a proclamation from the State of Delaware at a ceremony at Milford Memorial Hospital on Friday, November 7. Governor Jack Markell signed the proclamation declaring October 2013 as Patient Centered Care Awareness Month. Bayhealth also honored the recipients and nominees of the 2014 Spirit of Planetree Awards for Caregiver and Physician Champion at Milford Memorial.

Planetree is a non-profit organization that has been a pioneer in innovative patient-centered care for more than 30 years.  The Planetree Model is committed to enhancing health care from the patient’s perspective, empowering patients through information and education and encouraging healing partnerships with caregivers to support more active participation. Bayhealth implemented Planetree’s Patient Centered Model of Care in 2005.

Each year, a caregiver and physician champion is selected from each campus to receive an award from Planetree. George Ehrmann received his award on Friday as Dr. Eric Goss of Medical Affairs talked about Ehrmann’s role in implementing the planetree model at Bayhealth. “George is not only an advocate for planetree here at Bayhealth but also an advocate for this approach around the Milford community.”

Ehrmann, Bayhealth’s first certified Patient Advocate, helps families and patients navigate the complex health care system so that they receive the best care possible. A Bayhealth employee for over 10 years, Ehrmann began as an Environmental Services Operating Room Cleaner on the 3 to 11 shift before transferring to Guest Relations after six months.  As Patient Advocate at Milford Memorial, Ehrmann is often the first person patients, visitors, employee and physicians see as they enter the main lobby of the hospital. In this role, Ehrmann assists patients to the right location for their tests or procedure and helps visitors locate the room of the patient they came to visit, where the class they signed up for is and many other needs.

Ehrmann serves on Bayhealth’s Arts and Entertainment Committee, Patient’s Avisory Council and is his department’s Safety Officer.  A trained facilitator for Bayhealth, Ehrmann is currently involved in developing Phase II of Planetree, training for patients and physicians.  When not working at the hospital, Ehrmann is a patient advocate for his parents, who live with him. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening and is also a realtor in the Milford area.

“It’s an honor to receive this award from my colleagues,” said Ehrmann. “I enjoy every day here and appreciate the effort to make plantree a priority.”

Hospitalist Nana Yaw A Darkwa received the Planetree Physician Champion award on Friday as his nursing staff selected him as Physician of the Year. Plantree Coordinator Donna Henderson spoke about Dr. Darkwas and his approach to patient care.”Dr. Darkwa deserves this award because he is the ultimate example of a Planetree physician,” stated Henderson. “We are blessed and honored to call him not only a physician but a friend as well. I think Dr. Darkwa goes above and beyond for not only his patients but for the staff as well. He always has a positive attitude and greets everybody with respect. He is a true definition of a team player as well as a great aspect to Bayhealth.”

Working as a locum in the Rehabilitation unit at Bayhealth since March 2013, Dr. Darkwa “is a role model for physicians, always has a positive attitude, a smile on his face and is very approachable to all staff, patients and families,” said Donna Henderson, Bayhealth Planetree Coordinator. “He is a wonderful physician who exemplifies patient centered care.

“My team is wonderful and helps me look good, said Dr. Darkwa. “I look forward to continuing our work at Bayhealth.