2018 PHIL Award Winner

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In October 2018, Matthew Simmons, RRT, BS, Respiratory Therapist at the Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse, was recognized with the organization's second Pulmonary Health and Illness of the Lungs (PHIL) Award. This award is part of a nationally recognized hospital-based recognition program dedicated to honoring outstanding respiratory therapists.

Matthew was nominated by Deneen Stokes, MSN, RN, PCCN, who works alongside him caring for patients at The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse. Matthew shared with us what inspired him to go into his profession and why providing a positive patient experience his important to him as a respiratory therapist.

How long have you been working at Good Shepherd Penn Partners?

I’ve been working as a Respiratory Therapist caring for patients at the Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse.

What inspired you to become a Respiratory Therapist?

My mom was medical assistant and eventually became a nurse so I grew up around the medical field. I knew that I wanted to be in the medical field in some capacity. Also, I couldn’t throw a 90 mph fastball so I knew being a major league baseball pitcher wasn’t an option.

What is your favorite part about your job and working with your colleagues?

My favorite part about being a Respiratory Therapist is seeing a patient get weaned from the ventilator and continue to get better. Also, I work along great workers everyday who are just a fun, nice group of people that make it enjoyable to come to work. It really helps to have a great manager and a really fun group of people in the Respiratory Department.

Why is providing a positive patient experience for those in our care important to you?

It is important to remember that no patient wants to be here, and no one wants to get sick. Personally, I try to give each patient a positive experience, because there are so many negative experiences they are dealing with related to their illness. Here at the Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse, we really feel the need to provide great care to not only get them well, but to make their experience with us as positive as possible.

What would you want patients to know about the care and experience they’ll receive at Good Shepherd Penn Partners?

Whether you are receiving care here or supporting a loved one during their stay, everyone will treat you with kindness and respect. The pulmonologists, physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists at our organization are the best I’ve ever worked with during my career.

Below is Matthew’s nomination submitted by Deneen:

"In December 2017, I needed assistance in the Tuttleman Building and this person epitomize what it means to be a team player acting with honor and integrity even in the most challenging setting. On this day, I transported a patient to the MRI at Tuttleman. The patient was transported in a wheelchair because she was able to stand and pivot with no difficulty with the assistance of one person. After the patients MRI, the patient vomited, but was still able to be transferred to the MRI wheelchair from the MRI table. Upon transferring from the MRI wheelchair to the LTACH wheelchair the patient became too weak to continue to transfer, and I had to support the patient in a caregiver assisted fall. I was unable to lift the patient. As I found a stretcher, this therapist saw me. I explained the situation and without hesitation he helped me raise the patient in a 4-point lift to the stretcher, and stayed with and the patient, bringing her back to the unit. This is just one example of how this man routinely goes above and beyond their duty and responsibility. I am inspired to work him and aspire to emulate his professionalism."