Extraordinary Care Award Winner – Carol Degenhardt

Congratulations to Carol Degenhardt, Social Work Manager in Case Management, for being awarded the Stormont Vail Health Extraordinary Care Award winner. This award is the highest recognition of Small Moments. It honors a team or individual who has made a significant impact towards Stormont Vail Health’s mission and embodies the spirit of Stormont Vail values and the Small Moment Culture.

Carol received her award Tuesday afternoon in a surprise ceremony with all of her peers and members of Operating Committee attending. Carol’s colleagues describe her as understanding, dedicated, and compassionate, which shine through each day as she advocates deeply for the most vulnerable in our community.

Her nomination read:

Most people who work with our adult patient population know Carol Degenhardt. Although her “formal” role is the inpatient social worker manager, Carol wears many “hats” within this role.

Carol embodies every quality of a great social worker. She is understanding, dedicated, and compassionate. She advocates deeply for the most vulnerable individuals in our community.

She works tirelessly to form connections with her team, employees in our organization, and individuals in our community. She can take the most challenging social situations that our patients are faced with and help put together a safe and appropriate discharge plan.

Carol has mastered the ability to be honest, direct, and transparent while still portraying compassion and care in her conversations.

This past year, Carol worked for months on securing the best possible discharge plan for an individual who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. She advocated for this patient when he could not advocate for himself. She formed a relationship with his wife and his family and she went above and beyond in working on his discharge plan.

Due to the severity of his brain injury, this patient was at high risk of falls and injuring himself. He had difficulty concentrating and was restless. Carol took time outside of work to purchase “fidget toys” and items to help keep this patient’s hands and mind busy throughout the day.

Even after this patient discharged from our hospital, Carol stayed in contact with the family and the community organizations that this patient was connected with to ensure he remained successful and safe outside of the hospital setting.

The thing that sets Carol aside is that this is just 1 in 1000-plus similar stories that could be shared. To know Carol is to know a leader, a mentor, and a friend. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this extraordinary care award.

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