A lesson in listening and helping

Cristol Kleitz

Cristol Kleitz has spent her adult life helping others. She spent years helping students and faculty at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, took time off to be a stay-at-home mom, then helped her nieces and nephew transition to kindergarten.


So it was only fitting that her career at Norton Healthcare involves helping others. As a coordinator for Human Resources Recruitment, Cristol is, in her words, “often the first person you talk to at Norton Healthcare.”


Applicants visiting for an initial interview, calling about the hiring process or walking in to apply at one of the computer stations usually see Cristol before anybody else.


“Everything is so automated these days — press 1 for this, press 2 for that,” Cristol said. “I can empathize with others, and I feel like I can help get them to the root of their issues, to what they really want to know and don’t know how to ask.”


On a recent occasion, it wasn’t an employee or a new hire to whom she gave hope. A homeless woman wanted to apply for a job. She was unable to type, so Cristol sat with her for more than an hour — typing her entire résumé and completing her online job profile.


“We finished her profile and applied for a job, but I knew she was hungry,” Cristol said. “We found a few items and made her a to-go bag.”


Cristol said she’ll never know if the homeless woman — or any of the others she helps — actually get a job at Norton Healthcare. Just knowing she made a difference is enough for her.

Together again

The Aluel family

‘Lost Boy’ reunited with his family

It would be hard for most of us to imagine living 8,000 miles from the people we love most. But that was Abraham Aluel’s reality until Nov. 6, 2016, when he finally was able to bring his wife and four children from Uganda in east Africa to live with him in Louisville.


Abraham, a radiation coordinator for Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville, was only 9 years old when he left his home in southern Sudan in 1987. He was one of more than 20,000 “Lost Boys” who fled their homes to escape death or induction into the army during that country’s civil war.


Despite the hardships of the nearly 1,000-mile walk to safety — food and water were in short supply and the threat of lions was an ever-present danger — Abraham survived to reach a refugee camp and eventually achieve his dream of moving to America.



During trips back to his homeland over the years, Abraham came to know and eventually marry his wife, Awel, who is Sudanese and from Abraham’s tribe. The couple have a son, now 7, twin daughters, age 4, and a 16-month-old daughter. Abraham is glad they are all together now.


“It’s pretty different,” he said. “I used to be by myself. I’m very happy.”


Abraham’s wife and children like their new home. Awel can speak English and is studying for her driving exam. Their son, who is in first grade, can speak English, but so far the twins speak only Dinka.


Abraham is grateful to Norton Healthcare for allowing him to take three months off to go to Africa, then come back to his job.


“Norton has been very good to me,” he said. “I also want to thank my co-workers and friends for the work they have done in my house and the spiritual support they have given during my family interview. There is nothing difficult if you have faith in God.”

Abraham Aluel

Recognizing employees

Employee Appreciation Week

May 9 to 13, 2016, Norton Healthcare thanked employees for a job well done. Each employee received a gift as a way of saying thank you. The leadership team served meals for employees at hospitals and offices across all system locations, in three shifts spanning 24 hours. In addition, public thanks and recognition were given via Nsite articles and Twitter and Facebook posts.


Service Awards Luncheon

In August 2016, Norton Healthcare hosted a Service Awards Luncheon at RIVUE, the revolving restaurant on the 25th floor of the Galt House Hotel. The event honored 97 employees who have worked for Norton Healthcare for 35, 40, 45 or 50 years.


Service Awards Banquet

More than 1,100 employees were honored for their years of service at the 26th annual Service Awards Banquet on Aug. 27, 2016, at the Galt House Hotel. Special recognition was given to 86 employees who have worked for Norton Healthcare and its predecessor facilities for 35 years; 41 who have 40 years of service; six who have 45 years of service and three 50-year honorees. All employees celebrating five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years also were honored.


Nurse of the Year awards

  • During National Nurses Week, May 16 to 20, 2016, more than 5,400 nurses were recognized for their contributions.
  • Nurses were nominated by their peers to receive Nurse of the Year recognition, and 52 finalists were honored at a special banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on May 16.
  • Ten nurses were named “Nurse of the Year” — one from each Norton Healthcare hospital, Norton Cancer Institute, Norton Clinical Agency, Norton Children’s Medical Center, Norton Medical Group and Norton Faith & Health Ministries.


2016 Nurses of the Year


Tina Felts, R.N.

Norton Audubon Hospital


Julie Cooper, R.N.

Norton Brownsboro Hospital


Jaime M. Walker, R.N.

Norton Children’s Hospital


Donna G. Glaspie, R.N.

Norton Hospital


Margerita E. Trowel, R.N.

Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital


Holly E. Morris, R.N.

Norton Children’s Medical Center


Mary R. Schmeing, R.N.

Norton Cancer Institute


Nick Rogers, R.N.

Norton Clinical Agency


Karen P. Sumner

Norton Medical Group


Virginia Bush, R.N.

Norton Faith & Health Ministries


Competitions fuel employee productivity

Not your average day at the office

Amy Stark

Elizabeth Couch wanted to add some fun to her team’s high-stress workdays. So the manager of research regulatory operations in the Research Office talked to Angela Jette,

program coordinator, Employee Experience, who gave her an idea for a button challenge.


Elizabeth gave buttons that say “Remarkable” to team members who went above and beyond their duties, came up with a great idea or were the first to meet a deadline. At the end of the month, the person who had received the most buttons was awarded a “#1” trophy medallion in a ceremony and had his or her photo posted on an office bulletin board. The winner kept the trophy until the next month’s winner was announced.


“I have some really competitive folks on my team,” Elizabeth said. “When Jonathan Vest [research regulatory analyst] won the trophy, he wore it around his neck every day for a month.”


When Elizabeth ran out of buttons, she revamped the competition to center around data and numbers.


“The challenge has really been good for the team,” Elizabeth said. “It’s been a fun team-building exercise.”


The seven-member team is responsible for the regulatory aspects of Norton Healthcare research.


“We make sure our human subjects are protected and Food and Drug Administration and institutional review board regulations are followed,” Elizabeth said.


Her team currently manages about 300 studies.


For more fun employee recognition ideas, email angela.jette@nortonhealthcare.org.



Amy Stark, medical assistant, Norton Immediate Care Center – Middletown, said she was having a pretty average day at the office when she received a call from a restaurant next door saying that a patron was having a seizure and needed help. Without hesitation, she rushed over to find a man lying on the floor. He was unresponsive.


“I checked for a pulse and respirations,” Amy said. “Someone said he had been eating and then just fell over, so I checked his mouth for food and pulled out a piece of chicken.”


The piece of chicken — about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide — had blocked the man’s airway.


“I told someone to call 911 and immediately began CPR,” Amy said.


She performed CPR for about five minutes before the man started to come around. She was able to get a strong heartbeat, and he was gasping for breath. Amy worked with the man to help him steady his breath until paramedics got to the scene.


After the incident, Amy said she went back to work. To her, it was just another day at the office.


“Amy is a patient advocate. She didn’t hesitate to help,” said Mary Tingle, center manager. “If she hadn’t taken the initiative that day to go next door and do the right thing, there may have been a completely different outcome.”




2016 Report to Our Employees