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Huntington Health Presents Heart of Huntington Award to Recipients and Finalists

Huntington Health Presents Heart of Huntington Award to Recipients and Finalists
Nov 30 2022

Recently, Huntington held its fifth ceremony to honor four exceptional team members with the Heart of Huntington Award. The quarterly presentation recognizes two recipients and two finalists who have been nominated by their peers for outstanding acts of compassion, caring and collaboration. To acknowledge team members’ various contributions, two categories are recognized: clinical, for those who work at or around the bedside, and non-clinical, for those who support the community in other ways.

During the ceremony, Lori J. Morgan, MD, MBA, president and CEO, Huntington Health, presented the Heart of Huntington Award to clinical recipient Kelli Artinian, RN, BSN, C-EFM, patient flow coordinator at the Family Birth Center, and Mary Ruiz, manager of leave and disability in human resources.

Kelli was nominated for the Heart of Huntington Award when a patient who had just undergone an emergency C-section at the Family Birth Center tearfully requested to bring her newborn to his dying father in the ICU so that he could meet their baby. Knowing the complexities involved and the limited time at hand, Kelli quickly mobilized the team: a pediatrician, neonatologist, obstetrician, a NICU nurse to accompany the baby during the visit, and nurses from day and night shifts to safely transfer the patients using an isolette. Once both patients had been safely escorted to the ICU, the mother lay next to her husband and placed their newborn baby on his chest. The father passed away later that afternoon. “Words cannot describe the significance of the moment Kelli helped create for this family,” said Dr. Morgan. “This story is absolutely heartbreaking but shows how Kelli truly exemplifies the Heart of Huntington.”

Mary Ruiz was the non-clinical recipient of the Heart of Huntington Award following several peer nominations that shared a common theme: praise for a compassionate and dedicated leader. Her colleagues noted how Mary shows deep respect, empathy and thoughtfulness for staff members who are temporarily unable to work, often going above and beyond for their well-being. One nominator recognized the kindness, compassion, resourcefulness and efficiency Mary demonstrated while assisting an employee who was becoming re-situated at work after an extended leave. Mary was also lauded for leading by example: When the volume of her work drastically increased during the pandemic, she put in extra hours during the week and weekends. “We have all been through so much with COVID, and thanks to the support and dedication of colleagues like Mary, we have come out the other side stronger,” Dr. Morgan said.

Dr. Morgan also recognized clinical finalist, Patty Nogueda, RN, BSN, community outreach health practitioner and member of the Pasadena Outreach Response Team, and non-clinical finalist, Ana Cruz, guest relations host in the dietary department.

Patty provides flu and COVID-19 vaccinations on the streets to underserved members of the community. She was commended for her relentless dedication to serving those in need and going above and beyond to serve as many patients as possible – even in rain or extreme heat. Along with vaccines, Patty is armed with water bottles, granola bars and sleeping bags, which she distributes with respect and dignity to patients facing hardship. Renowned for her compassion, at any given event, Patty is often recognized by community members and enthusiastically thanked for her help. “Through her genuine kindness and thoughtful actions, Patty has gained the trust of so many in our community,” said Dr. Morgan.  She thanked Patty for making the community a better place.

Known for her infectious positivity and warm, inviting personality, Ana Cruz was commended as the non-clinical finalist for lifting spirits and making colleagues and patients feel seen. Ana has an incredible memory, so she’s able to recall specific details of any past exchange she’s had with people. She uses this gift to brighten the day of patients and staff, letting them know they are important. Dr. Morgan thanked Ana for helping make Huntington a great place to give and receive care.

Go to for more information about the Heart of Huntington Award.