Awards and Recognition Received by IHCRC Employees
Awards for five years of service were given to IHCRC employees: Stacy Berg, Heather Curl, Kerri Dry, Alison Forsythe, Beth Gonzalez, Kevin Heeney, Brandi Hines, Jennifer Howard, Justin Postier, Sherry Surrell, Karen Thomas, Clayton Tselee, Heather Walker, Angel Warford, Jennifer Welch, Shawn White and LaToyia Williams. 10 Years: Emily Bolusky, Nancy O'Banion, Edward E. Rogers and Dr. Laura Taylor. 15 Years: Russell Burkhart, Claude Denize, Judy Gibson, Goletha Lewis and Phyllis Pratt. 35 Years: Carmelita Skeeter
The Youth of the Year award was given to Abigail Gruse. Abigail Gruse is a 6th grader at Park Elementary School. She is Student Class President and has participated in the IHCRC Healthy Lifestyles afterschool program for the past two years. She has stepped up as a role model for all the young kids in the afterschool program. She is always up for new games, activities and challenges. Anything you give her, she will give 100 percent and more. If she sees someone not getting a game or being left out she will step up and go over and help them out. She is a very hard worker in and out of the classroom - she is a most deserving recipient of the Youth of the Year award.
The Parent of the Year award was given to Kesia Harry. A dedicated promoter of IHCRC's Indian Youth Program, Kesia Harry sends her children to our summer wellness camps every year. As we have gotten to know her and her family, it has become clear she will do anything she can to help her children grow up happy, healthy and successful in life. Whether it is attending our kid's cooking classes, making sure schoolwork is a priority, or just being their personal cheerleader - she truly exhibits and deserves the title Parent of the Year.
The Elder of the Year award was given to Jimmy Whiteshirt. A proud member of the Pawnee Nation, Jimmy Whiteshirt is dedicated to preserving and sharing his tribal culture. He is a board member of the Tulsa Indian Club and is very involved with the Native Nations Youth Council (NNYC) Drum group. He is a member of the Tulsa International Alliance, has served as Head Gourd Dancer at many area powwows and is active in the Indian community. This Vietnam-era veteran served with U.S. Air Force security forces and received an Air Force beret, recognizing him as a member of a Special Forces unit. A 32-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, Mr. Whiteshirt has received more than 35 commendations, including a lifesaving medal and the TPD Medal of Valor for putting himself in harm's way to get medical attention for a critically injured man.
The Volunteer of the Year award was given to Robert Anquoe. Robbie Anquoe serves the Tulsa Indian community in amazing ways. During the past year, he has chaired the Tulsa Indian Community Advisory Team (TICAT). He is a member of the Native Nations Youth Council (NNYC) Drum group and often dedicates at least two evenings a month to mentoring youth and community members around the Drum. For Robert, it's more than just being there that makes his participation in IHCRC activities special. He genuinely cares for the people and issues. He represents each organization with integrity in and out of meetings. His dedication to promoting, strengthening and serving the Indian community of Tulsa is seen on a daily basis.
The Employee of the Year award was given to Deni Fholer. Called a powerhouse of heart and generosity, Deni Fholer has a servant's heart and is a soldier of compassion. She may be small in stature but she is mighty and a formidable force in her commitment to service, in her deeds and actions and in her endeavors for others. She is blind to the superficial attributes which many of us often judge others - such as social standing, employment status, self presentation and family background. She is one of those rare individuals who is a shining light. Without question, she is a beacon for our patients. Early on, she demonstrated her capabilities and willingness to help and soon after developed a strong following among our staff and patients alike. She serves our patients at a point in their lives when they feel they may have lost hope and have nowhere to turn. Her unending kindness and resourcefulness enables her to touch so many lives. To her credit, not only does she dedicate herself to serving IHCRC patients, but she also dedicates herself to charity and mission work in the community.
Board Member of the Year - Dr. Charles Knife Chief. Although he only has had a couple of years of service on the IHCRC Board of Trustees, Dr. Charles Knife Chief has quickly and steadfastly dedicated himself to being a ready resource to the IHCRC leadership in dealing with some of our most complicated health care quality issues. Serving on several Board committees, including the Continuous Quality Assurance and Improvement Committees (CQA/CQI) and the Dance of the Two Moons Planning Committee, he has made it a priority to ensure the growth and success for each committee. Dr. Charles Knife Chief's commitment to the Dance of the Two Moons led to a sizable donation to IHCRC.