Health Network staff receives awards for excellence

The CSU Health Network’s physician assistants (PAs) have been named Team of the Year by the Colorado Academy of PAs (CAPA).

And Tina Dihle, the Health Network’s laboratory manager, as well as the entire laboratory department have won the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)’s Omicron Sigma award for Outstanding Service.

The PA team
The PA team

“Our team was deeply humbled and honored to receive the CAPA Award this year,” said Dr. Kathlene Waller, the Health Network’s medical director. “PAs are a vital part of our team at the CSU Health Network at Colorado State University. Although it sounds cliché, we honestly could not do without them.”

About the team

CSU Health Network Medical Services consists of seven physicians, six nurse practitioners and seven PAs. Led by physicians Waller and Dr. Bruce Smith, the Health Network Medical Services provides CSU students with comprehensive care for the treatment of illness and injury, preventative care and wellness care.

“The Health Network team is a true example of the collegial relationship that exemplifies the role of the PA by cultivating and sustaining an environment that encourages evidence-based and whole-patient care, and maximizes each provider’s level of expertise to positively affect patient outcomes,” according to the CAPA award citation. “The team participates in efforts to increase quality of care, including implementing utilization projects and presenting at national meetings. This collegiate academic environment also provides the opportunity to educate students about the roles of PAs and provide a model example for pre-health professional students who are interested in the PA profession. For exemplifying the true definition of PA Team practice, and for the significant role played in supporting health to CSU student and community, CSU Health Network is recognized as the 2018 CAPA PA Team of the Year.”

Waller echoed those sentiments.

The lab team
The lab team

“Our PAs work hard, are extremely knowledgeable and skilled, and are great at problem-solving and teamwork,” she said. “They bring a variety of backgrounds and experience to their work here, which enriches the care of our CSU students. Many of the students at CSU are interested in pursuing training as PAs, and our PAs have gone out of their way on many occasions to talk to them, both formally and informally, about the profession. They represent our team of medical providers very well and are inspiring role models for the students.”

ASCLS honor

For the Omicron Sigma award, Dihle and the Health Network Laboratory department were honored for “volunteering significant personal time, resources and energy to furthering the profession of clinical laboratory science, a commitment which has contributed significantly to providing quality member services and to improving our professional image in the community and the health care arena.”

First awarded in 1977, Omicron Sigma is the ASCLS president’s honor roll for outstanding service.

“It provides lasting recognition of those dedicated members who volunteer their personal resources, time and energy to the ASCLS,” ASCLS-Colorado President Ian Wallace wrote in the award letter to Dihle. “ASCLS relies on dedicated volunteers such as you to move the profession forward. Thank you so much for your contributions to our professional organization!”