New awards honor contributions of medical assistantsNov. 11, 2021, 8:27 AM
by Matt Batcheldor
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has announced two recipients of the inaugural Medical Assistant of the Year awards for 2021.
Paula Ciero, CCMA, received the award for Children’s Hospital Outpatient Care and Jo Ann Kounlavong, RMA, received the honor for Vanderbilt Medical Group.
They were chosen for demonstrating outstanding Credo behaviors, willingness to consistently exceed role expectations and dedication to patients, colleagues and the VUMC community.
Ciero is a medical assistant in the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology clinic at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks. She said her job responsibilities include bringing patients to exam rooms, managing the flow of the clinic and administering vaccines.
“I love to help,” Ciero said. “I love working in this clinic because I learn so much from my co-workers and providers. I work with an amazing team that helps me be the best that I can be. It is an honor to serve our kids and their families.”
According to her nomination, Ciero takes the initiative to order things like rubber ducks, individual packs of crayons and coloring books for her young patients. “Paula is the epitome of Credo. She puts her patients first in all that she does. She treats her team members with respect and supports our clinic so well. Paula is diligent about keeping patients and families up to date with information about delays and being seen.”
Kounlavong is a medical assistant at the Gastroenterology clinic at Vanderbilt Medical Group Franklin. She said her job responsibilities include documenting patients’ medical histories, getting them ready to see providers and scheduling for procedures.
She said her favorite part of the job is patient care.
“I’ve always liked caring for patients,” she said. “I just like to make sure that they’re taken care of and have the resources they need.”
According to her nomination, Kounlavong works collaboratively with other health care team members in many aspects of her day. “Every day, every minute, every second Jo Ann is at work, she goes above and beyond helping her colleagues with the goal of providing excellent patient care,” one provider writes. Another says Kounlavong is “the type of employee every employer should be grateful to have.”
Kounlavong said the award “means a lot. It means that all my hard work has not gone unnoticed and is appreciated by everyone. I put a lot of time … sweat and tears into this, and I like to make sure that my clinic is running smooth, my patients are taken care of, and I am doing all that I can to support my providers.”