October 1, 2011

Cover Story

Healthcare Heroes

With unwavering courage and compassion, the 2011 Healthcare Heroes are imp...Read More

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Kris Rudarmel


Healthcare Heroes


Dianne Lewis, Heather Stewart

October 1, 2011

Durham has volunteered hundreds of hours on state and local committees that address the needs of children with disabilities. He served as a volunteer pediatrician at the Fourth Street Clinic for several years, and as an adjunct professor of pediatrics, he has mentored residents, students and prospective healthcare students since 1976.

“It is not likely that any single person can solve the world’s problems but any one of us can do something to assist,” says Durham. “Volunteering in healthcare is one of those ‘somethings.’”


Janet Fisher, R.N.C., M.S.

  • University of Utah Health

Care Brenda Gulliver, R.N.

  • University of Utah Health Care

Leissa Roberts, R.N.P, C.N.M.

  • University of Utah College of Nursing

“As nurses, you become intimately involved with patients and family at some of their most vulnerable times, and your care can make all the difference in their experience,” says Janet Fisher, a labor and delivery nurse at the University of Utah Hospital.

Fisher and her colleague Brenda Gulliver, along with Leissa Roberts in the College of Nursing, combined their decades of experience helping laboring women with their theoretical knowledge of pain management to craft a new pain assessment and management tool.

The tool is a simple question: “Are you coping with your labor?” This question allows for a more nuanced approach to pain management than the standard tool—asking a laboring woman to rate her pain on a scale of one to 10. “That question makes no sense to a woman who knows that another 10 is on the way every three minutes,” says Fisher.

Called the Coping with Labor Algorithm, the new assessment has been accepted by The Joint Commission, the licensing body for hospitals nationwide, and it has become the standard at the University of Utah Hospital.

Brett R. Kay, B.S.N.

  • Director of Emergency Services, Timpanogos Regional Medical Center HCA

Brett Kay found himself drawn to trauma care early in his career. “It was amazing to see the difference you could quickly make in a person’s life by the care you gave. I loved the idea that my actions could make the difference in life-or-death situations,” he says.

Kay has worked as a paramedic, as a Life Flight nurse and in emergency rooms. He is currently the director of the emergency department at Timpanogos Regional Medical Center. In that role, he has focused on building strong relationships with state agencies, Utah County emergency services agencies and other area hospitals to develop protocols for the care of cardiac, trauma and stroke patients in the region.

“We have been able to coordinate as a group and find common ground to ensure that all patients in our region are receiving the quickest, highest-quality and most appropriate care possible,” says Kay.

Additionally, Kay played a significant role in getting Blue-Tooth enabled, 12-lead EKGs into every ambulance service in the county, helping paramedics save the lives of many more heart attack victims.

Michael J. Workman, P.T.

  • President, Professional Therapies

As a physical therapist, Michael Workman provides care to young children who face challenging disabilities. His specialty is early intervention with infants and toddlers who have been diagnosed with illnesses like spina bifida, Prader-Willi syndrome and cerebral palsy.

“The joy that it brings everyone involved when a small child with a disability begins to take his or her first walking steps is simply amazing! It never gets old and I never take it for granted,” he says. “Many times we’ve worked for months or years and then it happens…We all celebrate, hug and get teary-eyed—there is nothing quite like it.”

Workman and his wife, Sue, developed a pediatric elbow splint called the Bamboo Brace, which helps children with cerebral palsy maintain a more extended elbow position, promoting strength and stability.

“Michael worked miracles with our Kate, teaching her to walk, run, dance, play on playground equipment, and in short, receive joy from her body,” says mother Lisa Thornton, president of the Utah Prader-Willi Syndrome Association.

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