More than 150 employees of the Blue Mountain Health System were honored recently during the 9th annual BMHS Employee Recognition Awards.

Among the award recipients were the annual employees of the year for both the Lehighton and Palmerton campuses, 25 "nursing excellence" and support staff award recipients, and 128 employees marking a milestone anniversary with the health system.

Andrew Harris, CEO of BMHS, noted that the hospital's employee turnover rate is well below the national average.

"What this tells me is that our employees like where they work, and who they are working with," Harris said. "It shows in the way you care for our patients, and in the smiles that I see when I meet you in the hallways."

Harris noted that 128 employees were marking a milestone anniversary with the health system this year, including one employee with 45 years of service. He thanked all of the employees present for their dedication to the health system and their patients.

"Today is your day," he said. "It's a day I'm very proud of."

The awards program was also a time to recognize the health system's annual "Nursing Excellence" award recipients, including Jayleen Hertweck, Donna Kravelk, Jason Mathisen, Tammy Mertz, Joseph Ring, and Dianna Yeakel, RNs; Catherine Troyano, social worker; Michael Conforti, Gayle Gersbach, Kathy Prutzman, Lindsey Rolland, and Dawn Sanchez, unit clerks and techs; and Jennifer Kellingbeck, Brittany Martucci, and Johnathan Pierce, rising stars.

Ancillary, business, and support staff award recipients included Jennifer Buchala, Imaging; Heather DeAngelo, Laboratory; Brenda Dorward, Environmental Services; Linda Kanthack, Materials Management; Katie Leonzi, Respiratory; Amanda Miller, Pharmacy; Laura O'Gorman, Medical Records; Stephen Palmieri, EVS/Nutritional Services; Caroline Penning, Nutritional Services; and Diane Tristani, Patient Financial Services.

The annual "Blue Ribbon Service Excellence Award" recipients, chosen from each campus' employees of the month, were Lenore Rutman, a CNA working in the same day surgery unit at the Lehighton campus, and Kelly Auer, a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room at the Palmerton campus.