ALTON, IL -- Alton Memorial Hospital is filled with excellent employees, and hospital leadership is always eager to recognize their skill and commitment. That was done most recently at the annual Employee Banquet, which incorporated a “Roaring ‘20s” theme.

Employees celebrating milestone anniversaries during 2014 were recognized, up to 40-year service awards for Carolyn Bomkamp (Surgery) and Judy Roth (parish nurse); and Sylvia Porter (Intermediate Care Unit), who celebrated her 45th anniversary at the hospital before retiring in May.

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Special awards went to Steve Ruyle of Plant Operations and Crystal Joy of the Intensive Care Unit, who tied in employee voting for the AMH Employee of the Year. Jim Roettgers won the voting for the Eunice Smith Home Employee of the Year.

The Diabetes Resource Team earned the Virginia Ilch Excellence in Service Award. Team members include Lisa James, Dr. Julio Leey, Chelsea Acord, Tina Broyles, Susan Means, Rebecca Schroeder, Karen Arensmann, Ellen Hentze, Lisa Roach, Toni Valencia and Naomi Ward.

“I could not think of a team that made such a difference in the lives of our patients,” said Debbie Turpin, vice president of Patient Care Services at AMH. “When this team started their journey, AMH was sitting in last position when it came to our hypoglycemic rate. This team worked long and hard to make the difference for our patients and to bring AMH out of last position. They have made definite positive strides. This group of folks coordinated and worked the American Diabetes Association fund raising walk last fall and have been mentioned throughout the BJC system for their hard work on every project.”

Michael Watson (Pharmacy) won the Rookie of the Year-Ancillary Services and Tiffany Gibson (IMU) won Rookie of the Year-Nursing.

Ben Tyler, Medicare coordinator/supervisor at Eunice Smith Home, earned the annual Leadership Award.

Special recognition also went to Virginia Ilch. Officially, Virginia was honored as a 10-year employee. Actually, she retired in 2004 after 40 years on the job and returned a few months later on a per diem basis and has spent the last 10 years in Quality Improvement – for a total of 50 years at AMH.

“I’ve done so many different things here for 50 years that it could never get boring,” she said. “At one point I had seven different departments reporting to me. That was probably a little too much, and the Joint Commission helped with that, but that variety is what has kept it interesting all that time.”

She began at AMH in 1960, left for a couple of years but returned to stay in 1964. Virginia began on the First Medical floor, then was evening house supervisor and the OR supervisor before beginning the Infection Control Department in the 1980s. The Employee Health (now Occupational Health) and Quality Assurance departments soon followed.

For the past 10 years, Virginia has worked per diem in Quality Improvement and also continues her work with the twice-monthly Grief Loss Change support group at AMH.

After the banquet, a Charleston dance contest was held featuring, left to right, Patricia Hibbard, Joe Bayer and Angie Liley. DJ Don Ackerman, background, asked for a vote from the audience and Bayer was the winner.


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AMH Employees of the Year: Steve Ruyle and Crystal Joy

ESH Employee of the Year: Jim Roettgers

Virginia Ilch Excellence in Quality Award: Diabetes Resource Team (Jean Pinkard, left, and Chelsea Acord with AMH President Dave Braasch)


Rookie of the Year-Ancillary: Michael Watson and Rookie of the Year-Nursing: Tiffany Gibson


Leadership Award: Ben Tyler


Carolyn Bomkamp – 40 years; Sylvia Porter – 45 years

Judy Roth (40 years) with Virginia Ilch, who has worked a total of 50 years at AMH.


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