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Posted: Jan 13, 2021 8:55 AMUpdated: Jan 13, 2021 10:04 AM

Medals4Mettle Awards 16 Bartlesville Health Providers

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Garrett Giles

Medals4Mettle (M4M) presented 16 medals to Ascension St. John health care workers during an opening ceremony at Ascension St. John Jane Phillips in Bartlesville on Wednesday morning.

M4M's Tulsa Chapter Coordinator Carl Ahlgren said it was an honor to award front line heroes in Bartlesville. Ahlgren said they're the folks that are battling with the COVID-19 pandemic every day. He said they're literally giving their all to save lives in our community, and they wanted to honor them in a small way.

Ahlgren said they presented the medals to the 16 Bartlesville recipients for all the work that they continue to do during the pandemic. He said the medals are also earned by those that have run a marathon, a half marathon, or a triathlon. He added that the medals were intended to cheer the frontline health care heroes on during trying times.

Medals4Mettle was started in 2005 by a doctor who presented a medal that he had just earned running the Chicago Marathon the M4M program. Ahlgren (pictured below) said the medal was personal to him because he had gone through the training and everything that needed to be done to complete the marathon. He said the medals they present are earned medals from all across the globe that are donated by athletes to M4M so that they can give them to frontline health care workers everywhere.

A total of 85 medals were awarded to health care workers in the area on Wednesday morning. Ahlgren said 16 medals were given to health care workers in Bartlesville. He said the other medals were give the workers at Ascension St. John Medical Center in Tulsa where the closing ceremony was held.

Ascension Bartlesville's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mike Moore said this was M4M's first ever visit to the hospital. Moore said the medals are a great way to honor the workers that have gone above and beyond what is expected of them during the pandemic. He said all 16 Ascension workers were recognized and nominated by their peers.

COO Moore said Medals4Mettle is a great program and he believes that Ascension St. John has partnered with the organization moving forward. Moore said he is looking forward to this partnership that they can carry into the future.

Moore (pictured below) said if they could recognize everyone that has worked so diligently during the pandemic they would. He said no one was truly prepared for what the pandemic would bring so they had to take extra steps to ensure that they were doing everything they could to fight the virus effectively while keeping everyone safe. He said change isn't easy, but everyone at Ascension and in the community has stepped up to meet the change head on

Jennifer Butler, the Nursing Manager for Ascension's Nursing Administration in Bartlesville, received seven peer nominations, the most of any award recipient. Butler said it felt great to be nominated by so many of her peers. She said she does what she does for the nurses in the building, adding that they're the real honorees.

Butler shared her experience of working through the pandemic, saying it has been exhausting but she's learned a lot about endurance and giving it her all. Butler said they've had to be the mind, the body, the spirit, and the family to those in the hospital; they've had to be the hands and feet of Christ. She said the pandemic has taught all of them about what it means to learn what they can do as human beings.

The pandemic is still in full force and Butler said they're doing everything that they can to provide safe and compassionate care. Butler said visitor restrictions are still in full force, so they're still the family to many of their patients. She would ask that the public keep in mind that wearing a mask and watching their distance is for the safety of those around you, not necessarily for yourself. She asks that you think of others when you're out in public.

Butler said she is privileged to be a part of Ascension St. John Jane Phillips and the community of Bartlesville. She said they'll continue to provide the best care that they can for the community.

In between the ceremonies in Bartlesville and Tulsa, Wyatt Hockmeyer, DM, Ascension St. John, Director of Performance Improvement ran the 46 miles stretch between the two facilities with a police escort as a representation of the “marathon” health care workers have endured for the last ten months, and will likely continue to experience into 2021. 

“I am excited to spend a day recognizing our frontline heroes,” said Wyatt Hockmeyer, Ascension St. John, Director of Performance Improvement. “Running 46 miles is tough, and I will definitely be sore and tired, but unlike our frontline health care workers, my shift stops at the end of the day. Our caregivers run the equivalent of a marathon each day, only to wake up and do it again the next. They don’t ask for thanks or praise, and they put their lives on the line because we can’t get through this unprecedented time without them. I am truly honored to be part of this initiative and fortunate to call many of these brave individuals my friends, family.”

“Ascension St. John is honored to partner with the local chapter of Medals4Mettle to honor our front line heroes,” said Lucky Lamons, Ascension St. John, Chief Advocacy Officer and Foundation President. “We also have great appreciation for the Bartlesville Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office and the Tulsa Police Department for their support on Wyatt's route today.”

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