Meet Yvette Bruton
2019 Albany Med Employee of the Year
for Kindness and Coffee
Yvette Bruton, of Albany, a food service associate with a 30-year career at Albany Medical College, has been selected as Albany Med’s 2019 Employee of the Year out of more than 9,000 employees.
Bruton is known to serve a mix of coffee and kindness each day from the College café. She was nominated by numerous students and colleagues for creating a welcoming gathering spot for the College community.
Albany Med President and Chief Executive Officer James J. Barba said, “Yvette is a pillar of our Albany Med family. Over three decades, her kind heart has brightened the days of countless colleagues, patients, students and visitors. Yvette has taught all of us the great power of authentic compassion. She defines everything Albany Med is and aims to be.”
More than 800 students attend the College – many of whom have daily coffee appointments with Bruton at the café. She checks exam schedules to be sure there is enough coffee when students need it most. When they are up late studying, Bruton is there to greet them with a jolt of energy and a positive attitude.
According to one student, Bruton has a “deep reserve of kindness we should all hope to find in ourselves and in those around us.” Another nominator wrote, “She may not know every person who comes into the building, but she treats them like friends.” Bruton has also assisted patients locating their appointments or family members visiting a nursing unit. In this way, colleagues said Bruton has demonstrated exemplary customer service.
Yvette has also become a source of advice and inspiration for staff. One longtime coworker said this: “A greeting from Yvette for a ‘blessed day’ makes it just that.”
“If I can give a good feeling back in someone else’s heart, my job is done,” Bruton said. “I’ve crossed paths with many of my you, cried with you and laughed with you. Albany Med is a great place to work. I have learned from each and every one of you. Thank you for your kindness and understanding.”
Meet Latisha Chambers
2018 Albany Med Employee of the Year
for Social Work
Latisha Chambers, an Albany Med social worker who has been an inspiration to patients, families and co-workers for more than 14 years, has been selected as Albany Med’s 2018 Employee of the Year out of more than 9,000 employees.
A resident of North Greenbush, Chambers is one of more than 40 social workers on the case management team for the Department for the Emergency Department and the Massry Family Children’s Emergency Center. In her role, she helps patients, families and loved ones in making logistical decisions during times of stress and when coping with life-changing diagnoses and traumatic injuries.
She was praised by colleagues for her compassion for patients, family and coworkers, as well as her exceptional skill in solving problems for those handling emergency medical situations.
“Latisha’s colleagues told us her job title should be changed from social worker to miracle worker,” said Albany Med President and Chief Executive Officer James J. Barba. “For nearly 15 years in our Emergency Department, Latisha has inspired coworkers, helped solve problems for patients and families in crisis, and exhibited compassion in every interaction.”
As home to the region’s only Pediatric Emergency Center and the only Level One Trauma Center, the Albany Med Emergency Department handles a wide variety of patients. The Emergency Department handles more than 78,000 visits each year.
“I love what I do. I love helping people and I am proud to be part of the Emergency Department team at Albany Med,” Latisha said.
From the many nominations Latisha received for the award, one consistent theme emerged: Latisha inspires those around her and is regarded by many as “the glue” that holds the Emergency Department together during stressful times.
One colleague wrote in a nomination: “Latisha is, hands-down, the best medical social worker I have had the privilege to work with. She continuously advocates for patients and helps them navigate an extremely complex healthcare system for the treatment of mental health and substance abuse issues.
“She is helpful, insightful and caring. Latisha is a magician in solving complex social issues for patients. She inspires me to be a better clinician. She teaches compassion every day in her actions. She is the very soul of medicine.”
Meet Alowyn Sim
2017 Albany Med Employee of the Year
for Supporting Patient Care
Alowyn Sim, who helps elevate the patient experience and quality of care by ensuring that critical hospital supplies are properly delivered in a timely manner, has been selected as Albany Med’s 2017 Employee of the Year out of more than 9,000 employees.
Sim, a resident of New Scotland, is a 20-year employee who oversees a team of more than 25 people. He was praised by colleagues for his compassion for patients, family and coworkers, as well as his exceptional commitment to meeting the needs of patients and staff.
“Al’s sense of pride and ownership of his job shines to all those around him,” said Albany Med President and Chief Executive Officer James J. Barba. “For nearly two decades, Alowyn has inspired his coworkers, helped support patient care, and exhibited not just excellence in his work, but the compassion and respect for patients and coworkers to which we all aspire.”
As supervisor of the Receiving and Distribution Department, Sim oversees a team that manages the storage and distribution of a wide variety of medical supplies and medical gases such as oxygen that are critical to patient care.
“I just love working here every day. I believe that delivering outstanding patient care is our top responsibility and I am proud to be part of that effort,” Alowyn said. “And, I absolutely love all the people I work with.”
The theme that emerged on virtually every Employee of the Year nomination Sim received was his inspirational leadership.
One nominator wrote: “I came to this country 13 years ago and started working at Albany Med. My English was not very good and I struggled to get through the day. Right from the beginning, Al was there to help me with my day-to-day responsibilities. Al makes you feel like part of a work family.”