On November 18, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States hosted the annual Service Awards event at the Bethesda North Marriott to honor Health Plan employees who are celebrating 20, 25, 30, and 35 years of service in 2015.
Of the nearly 200 guests, more than 100 were honorees. It was easy to see who was celebrating what milestone service year, as honorees wore colors to indicate their various years of service – silver for 35, green for 30, blue for 25, and red for 20.
Many Kaiser Permanente executives and supervisors also attended the dinner event, which was hosted by DeLinda Washington, vice president, Human Resources, and Frank Titus, vice president, Health Plan Service and Administration. Much of the evening’s dialogue took us back to the major events of the years when the honorees first joined Kaiser Permanente – 1980, 1985, 1990, and 1995.
Kim Horn, Health Plan president, thanked the honorees for their many years of dedicated service, saying, “As Henry Ford once said, ‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.’ And it’s true; at Kaiser Permanente, we have been able to realize a lot of successes because of all of you.”
During the event, DeLinda remarked that in 1990, when those celebrating 25 years of service to Kaiser Permanente started, she was a huge Janet Jackson fan, and even began lip synching to Janet Jackson’s song, “Escapade.” And Frank relived his boy band dream of 1990, complete with a photo of a boy band member who strikingly resembled him. The music theme flowed throughout the entire event as the University of Maryland dancers performed segments from each year.
Another highlight of the night was when Frank surprised the crowd with his Miami Vice look, sporting dark shades, khakis and a blazer, to commemorate 1985’s 30-year awardees. Frank also provided some fun facts from 1985, the year that the 30-year awardees started at Kaiser Permanente, such as the low gas price of $1.20/gallon, and “Back to the Future” being the highest grossing movie of the year domestically.
DeLinda recognized the 35-year awardees and highlighted Kaiser Permanente’s 35th anniversary in the region, including how we started with just five medical centers and are now up to 29, and how we started with about 56,000 members in 1980 and are now over 620,000.
For the 20-year awardees, Frank and DeLinda shared some fun facts from 1995, including Cal Ripken’s record-setting 2,130 games played; blue M&Ms were introduced, and Toy Story was the highest grossing movie of the year domestically.
Award recipients were asked to share their favorite memories through their years with Kaiser Permanente. 20-year awardee and vice president of Delivery System Operations –DC/SM, Machelle Behzadi, shared, “There are too many memories to single out one. I cherish many memories of days spent with friends and patients I have worked with over the years. Some have moved on to another chapter in their lives and stayed in touch, while many are still here at Kaiser Permanente making even more wonderful memories as we grow and lead toward affordable quality healthcare for all people in our Nation.”
Deneen Cephas, a 25-year awardee, remarked, “Over the 25 years with Kaiser Permanente, I have played a role in so many members’ and their families’ lives. Being an advocate, assisting in healing, educating them, and watching them thrive along with the multiple expressions of appreciation and thanks are wonderful memories and the reason I continue to love what I do.”
35-year awardee Willie Wilder shared, “My most favorite memories are working in different positions, starting as a switchboard operator in 1980 and from there I went to the lab/X-ray clerk, surgery scheduler, referral rep, oncology receptionist, oncology medical assistant. Another favorite memory is when members come in here at Kaiser and say ‘ooohhh you’re still here’ and they remember me from 1980 when Kaiser was called Georgetown Medical Center. I love that.”
Again, congratulations and thank you to all of our Health Plan staff who are celebrating service milestones this year! For a full list of awardees, please click here.
Check out some more photos from the event below. To view all of the photos, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/135639405@N06/
To order prints of photos, visit https://mariabryk.smugmug.com/Kaiser-Service-Awards-2015/