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What is the Patient Experience?

The patient experience is the sum of all interactions shaped by an organization's culture that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care. -- The Beryl Institute

The team

The Patient Experience team features someone from each department. It is a voluntary endeavor for employees.

               Patient Experience Team

Craig Norris, quality management/admin
Kristen Dorman, CT and Sarah Allen, imaging
Steven Randall and Alannah Sells, security
Kendra Petty, SLP, and Nicholas Tudor, OT, therapy services
Kathleen Cavanary, 5-East, med/surg and peds
Sydnee Mills, registration
Angie Cowan and Jennie Littrell, food and nutrition
Rich Williams and Will Huffine, respiratory therapy
Jessica Obenburger and Tambra Blackburn, 4-North cardiac and 4-West
Sara Makyala Blaylock, OB
Ashley Sherfield, laboratory
Sam Durham and Ashley Pallone, CVICU
Debbie Sandoval, PACU/surgery
Shalane Ragsdale and Samantha Haney, 6-North
Colleen Markwood and Crystal Wilson, 6-East
Lisa LaRoche and Bridget Johnson, cath lab
Jennifer King and Jennifer Mathis, environmental services
Donna Dutton and Rachael Plant, emergency room
Jessica Heady Dawes and Bonnie Randolph, ICU
Ingrid Robinson, transporter
Carrie Rodgers, 4-East
Crystal Wilson, 6-East
Shana Gago, customer service manager

The Patient Experience team’s responsibilities include:

Gathering patient and family opinions and information about their experiences at Cookeville Regional Medical Center

Meeting with patients and asking questions that are directly related to the care and services they are receiving. All responses are confidential and patients are encouraged to be open and direct.

Going beyond patient satisfaction scores and having a conversation with our patients about their expectations and experiences.

Sharing patient appreciation for staff members by recognizing staff with Sunshine Award recognition.

Meeting regularly with the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) that consists of former patients who can provide “the patient perspective.” This input helps guide organizational changes or decisions related to the delivery of care and customer service.


The Sunshine Award was created by the Patient Experience Team as a way to honor ancillary and support staff who commit to striving for excellence in their role, consistently deliver exceptional care or service, upholds the highest standards and collaborates with other staff to enhance the experience of our patients, family members and guests.

April 2022

Brent Davidson, RRT. Honored for saving the life of a co-worker who was choking.

May 2022

Cheryl Rivera, interpretive services coordinator. She (anonymously) donated items to families in need, such as diapers and handmade hats and blankets for the new babies.

June 2022

Albert Hawco, environmental services. He went above and beyond for patients on 6E when he was waxing the floors. He answered call lights and took patients what they needed, putting their needs first, along with the safety of the nurses and other staff.

August 2022

Martha Blackmon, PCA/unit secretary on 5East. She received multiple nominations. One includes her interaction with a Spanish speaking patient who had been on the floor a while. This patient did not have visitors and was not progressing. Martha made sure to visit with him regularly, sit with him and let him talk, encouraging him in his progress and helped him walk the halls. She noticed he wasn’t eating, so she, without being asked, took it upon herself to go home after work in the evenings and cook for him. He started to eat more and more. It is believed her role in his care played an important part of the patient’s recovery.

September 2022

Rebecca Perron, emergency department technician, is the recipient of the September 2022 Sunshine Award. The nomination states: “My brother was recently a patient in the emergency room. He is non-verbal and has dementia. His dementia is getting much worse. During this ED visit my brother was alone in the room until we could get there and he was up against the bed rail crying. He was very anxious and scared and was not being very cooperative with the nursing staff. That is when this staff member came into the room and approached us. She stated that she had a family member with special needs and asked permission to help. She began talking with my brother and even though he is non-verbal she continued to talk with him and connect with him. She treated him like a person. She talked to us about his favorite song and could we all sing it to him. We all began to sing and she talked to him in such a soft and caring tone. She showed so much empathy. He stopped crying, began to relax and started nodding at questions she was asking. He relaxed his arms and they were able to take his vitals and draw his labs. She didn’t have to come in and try to help him but she could see how scared he was and she wanted to make it better for him. If everyone could be as kind and understanding as she was, it would be such a better world. She showed us there are people who still care in this world. She made sure my brother was taken care of and that he had what he needed. I think she should be in charge of giving all the staff training on how to treat patients like my brother. This was a traumatic experience for him until she came in and helped. I want her to know how much our family really appreciate her and what a difference she made!”

October 2022

Miranda Ragland, patient representative at Urgent Care, received multiple nominations. Here are a few excerpts from those nominations: This employee radiates care and compassion to everyone she encounters. She inspires us all with her happiness and compassion. She always makes everyone’s bad day better just by how she treats everyone. She actually makes the rest of us want to do better. She goes way above and beyond for everyone one of her patients, never giving up until everything is taken care of. For example, due to a couple of providers retiring, we have seen several patients who are out of medicine until they can be seen by a new provider which unfortunately is taking some time. We had a gentleman come in about his elderly mother who is 95 years old and is on anti-seizure medication that will soon run out. But due to the patient’s age and other health issues, it would be extremely hard to get this patient out for multiple appointments. She never gave up on this patient and made multiple calls to assure this patient was taken care of. She managed to not only get the patient in to see her new PCP much earlier than they were originally told but also made sure the patient had the medicine she needed until her appointment. On another occasion, she spent extra time helping a patient find a procedure date from another facility and made sure to call him with the correct info. to make sure he didn’t miss it. She also makes sure patients are seen regardless of ability to pay even if it means paying from her own pocket. These are only some of the many above and beyond things she does for the patients at Urgent Care. “It’s the way we care” is not just a slogan, but a way of life for her.

Nominate an employee!

Did an employee show a positive attitude and demonstrate professionalism in the workplace?

Did they demonstrate excellent skills and teamwork with peers and co-workers?

Nominate that person for a Sunshine Award! This award acknowledges non-nursing, patient care techs and support staff who provide compassionate, high quality care to patients.

Who can nominate? A patient, visitor, co-worker or director/manager can nominate a CRMC employee for the Sunshine Award. Fill out a form here or ask any employee for a copy and turn it into customer service.

Sunshine Award nomination

Nominate your healthcare worker today!
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