Coeur d'Alene, IDAHO – Three exceptional leaders at St. Luke’s Health System were recognized this week by the Idaho Hospital Association (IHA) during its annual convention.
Gary Fletcher, St. Luke’s chief operating officer, was recognized this year with the 2013 Star Garnet Award, IHA’s highest award. Dr. Mindy Gaddis was this year’s recipient of the Excellence in Medicine award, and Luana Lamkin, former administrator of St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, was honored with a Special Recognition of Retirement Award.
The Star Garnet Award is given each year to a healthcare leader who has made exceptional contributions to the betterment of health care in Idaho. Gary Fletcher’s dedication to excellence in health care spans more than four decades. In 1970, he received a master’s degree in Hospital/Health Administration from the University of Iowa, and just six years later he was serving in the top role as administrator and CEO at Central Montana Hospital and Nursing Home, a position he held until joining St. Luke’s in 1987.
Today, Fletcher’s name is synonymous with quality health care, collaborative leadership, and St. Luke’s values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence. Throughout his more than 25 years at St. Luke’s, his leadership has been integral to the achievement of many significant milestones in the delivery of healthcare services to our patients and communities.
Fletcher is perhaps best known throughout the organization for his unending quest for excellence. Nearly everyone, from service personnel to board members has heard him say, “St. Luke’s is a great organization; but we can be better, we can do better.” Prior to being appointed chief operating officer for the Health System in August 2011, Fletcher served as CEO of St. Luke’s Treasure Valley.
To read more about Fletcher’s contributions to St. Luke’s, click here.
Dr. Gaddis, medical director of St. Luke’s Children’s Childhood Obesity Initiative, received the Excellence in Medicine Award for her efforts at battling childhood obesity.
Dr. Gaddis has seen firsthand the impacts of the growing epidemic of childhood obesity on many of the young patients she treats. In the past decade, Dr. Gaddis became concerned with the minimal resources she had available to help her patients. Not willing to give up on a problem that few in the medical field had found a solution for, Dr. Gaddis began mobilizing a group of passionate professionals to tackle the issue head-on.
In 2009, under her leadership, the group developed an evidence-based fitness and nutrition curriculum appropriate for children between the ages of 5 and 16. The initiative received a boost from a significant grant, and the Youth Engaged in Activities for Health (YEAH!) Program for childhood obesity was formed.
Colleagues say it was Dr. Gaddis’ dedication to finding a solution to childhood obesity that got the program off the ground and has kept it alive.
“Dr. Gaddis has provided both passion and persistence in developing this program. From concept to the current landscape, she has been positive and enthusiastic. It is an extraordinary accomplishment,” said Dr. John Hanks, a colleague.
To find out more about YEAH! and Dr. Gaddis’ contributions, click here.
Lamkin was one of four healthcare leaders in Idaho to be recognized this year with the Special Recognition of Retirement.
When Lamkin joined St. Luke’s Health System in 2004 as administrator of St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, she quickly added to the already impressive list of accomplishments she had achieved while serving in a variety of key leadership positions at medical centers in Colorado and Hawaii.
During her tenure at St. Luke’s MSTI, Lamkin’s leadership and vision helped further expand cancer care in Idaho and establish St. Luke’s MSTI as the region’s premier cancer center. Staff and colleagues say Lamkin puts her entire being into any effort and is gifted at connecting people and building relationships. In December 2010, Lamkin stepped down from her administrator position to take on yet another challenge as interim director for research at St. Luke’s Health System.
“Luana is someone who exudes passion about whatever she does, whether it is leading a cancer program or rebuilding a research program,” said Mark Parkinson, administrator of St. Luke’s MSTI.
To find out more about Lamkin’s contributions to St. Luke’s MSTI, click here.
Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.