(July 14, 2023) – The Kansas Hospital Association's Health Care Worker of the Year Award highlights hospital employees who have made a significant contribution to the betterment of their hospital. These individuals are nominated for this award because they routinely go above and beyond the call of duty.
If you don't believe a single person can make a difference, you haven't met Joni Deters. Deters is the environmental services supervisor for Nemaha Valley Community Hospital in Seneca. In just two short years, her disposition and attitude have been a game changer for the entire department.
Deters shows her leadership every day. Not only in the daily tasks associated with keeping the hospital clean and sanitary but with patient interactions that elevate and brighten days. She makes patients feel at ease with her conversational skills and warm personality. During the pandemic, Deters helped a patient celebrate getting out of quarantine with an impromptu party. She was a reliable prayer partner with another patient who was experiencing a serious illness.
Deters has reinforced the significance of the role of the environmental services staff by being the first line of defense in infection prevention. She continually works to provide education and instills a desire for lifelong learning. She celebrates her staff's accomplishments with little surprises along the way by providing unique ideas to generate interest and engagement.
Prior to Deters being hired, Nemaha Valley Community Hospital struggled to retain environmental services staff due to a poor departmental reputation and low morale. No one would apply for open positions. Deters immediately embraced the mission of the hospital. Her dedication and impact helped turn the reputation around. The result has been 100 percent retention of current staff and a steady stream of unsolicited applications.
Deters will be recognized, along with other Health Care Worker of the Year nominees, during the KHA Awards Luncheon at the 2023 KHA Annual Convention, Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Hyatt Regency Wichita/Century II Convention Center in Wichita.