Many patients and families refer to Madonna employees as “angels” during their rehabilitation journey. In 2011, the Madonna Foundation created a special recognition program in which grateful patients and families can make a gift to the hospital in honor of their angels – the exceptional employees and volunteers who helped impact their recovery.
Since its inception, the Madonna Angel Wings Program has awarded more than 1,400 angel pins and certificates to employees and volunteers who go above and beyond in their work with patients and their families. Honorees include nursing staff; physical, occupational, speech, recreation and respiratory therapists; therapy aides; physicians; case managers and social workers; environmental services staff; chaplains; food service employees; and volunteers, as well as other hospital personnel on both the Omaha and Lincoln campuses.
Four Madonna employees have the distinction of receiving the most Angel Wings Awards. They include Chandra Lukas, nursing associate, with 15 awards and James Barratt, nurse aide; Betsy Havekost, occupational therapist; and Rhonda Steckelberg, physical therapist assistant, with 11 awards each.
Here are a few of the praises past patients have shared with Madonna employees:
“Chandra really made a difference in my recovery. Madonna is lucky to have such a valuable staff member. I knew that when Chandra got me up and going in the morning, I would have a good day.”
“James pushed mom to walk further because he could sense that she could keep going. He is a great motivator!”
“Betsy’s enthusiasm and energy are perfect for Madonna and her patients. A real gem of a therapist!
“Rhonda was fun and had you doing things you didn’t think you could do. I could have kept her as a daughter.”
“Lori is the first person you see and she is amazing at what she does. She makes you feel so comfortable and does it with ease.”
“Sara’s kindness and faith in me helped me to try things I didn’t know I could do. I found with her encouragement and belief in me, I really could get better and look forward to living a ‘normal’ life again.”
“Jessica is a lady whose bubbly personality gave me the positivity to get stronger every day. She took a great interest in my story and believed in me. She is a true angel sent from God.”
Donations to the Angel Wings Program support world-class rehabilitation at Madonna. For more information on how you can honor a special caregiver, click here: https://www.madonna.org/foundation/honor-a-caregiver