CARE Award Recognizes

Stephanie Sandy
CARE Award

Punxsutawney Area Hospital can trace its origin back to 1888. Founded by local residents who were concerned with the well-being of their neighbors and community, the history of the community is inseparable from that of the Punxsutawney Area Hospital. This history has sustained and served, our families and this community over multiple generations. Recognized repeatedly as one of the top rural hospitals in the nation, Punxsutawney Area Hospital’s trusted physicians and staff have brought the community advancements in health care and medicine delivered with a personal touch.
As the second largest employer in Jefferson County, Punxsutawney Area Hospital has been blest with a workforce that enables a Proud Past and Solid Future.
As PAH continues to not only withstand the uncertainties of rural health care but thrive, leadership would be remiss to not recognize the outstanding efforts of those fulfilling the mission of the hospital every day. Recognition at the Punxsutawney Area Hospital comes in many forms, most frequently in the form of kind words and gestures of gratitude.  In 2022, the Punxsutawney Area Hospital began participating in a national program called the DAISY Foundation. This foundation was formed on the basis of care, compassion, and dedication of nurses to their patients and facilities they serve. The DAISY Foundation, was an answer to establishing a way to recognize nurses but left a void for many others. The CARE Award Recognition program was established in May of 2023 at the Punxsutawney Area Hospital to promote and highlight the extraordinary efforts of members of the workforce. PAH recognizes that being a successful organization and providing the best care possible to our patients is a collaborative effort. The CARE Award program has been developed to recognize hard-working individuals of the organization who do not qualify for the DAISY Award but serve an equally significant part for our organization.
What does CARE stand for?
C= Compassion and Care for the patients that are served, for the job the staff member does, and how the employee treats fellow co-workers and visitors
A= Admirable attributes possessed and displayed in the job of the staff member
R= Respect shown for patients, visitors, coworkers, and the job that staff member does at PAH
E= Excellence in the job that is performed. 

The first CARE Award Recipient was announced at the National Hospital Week Kick Off Event on Monday, May 13th. Stephanie Sandy, a 44-year employee of PAH, was the first recipient of this prestigious award. Stephanie’s nomination outlined her work ethic, care, and compassion which she exhibits daily for patients and her fellow employees.
Ben Hughes, Vice President of Corporate Services stated, “We have more than 400 employees and I can think of no one who better represents our organizational values.  Simply put:  Stephanie is ‘the heart of our hospital’.”
Stephanie not only has made a lasting impact on many individuals that have come through the Rehabilitation doors at the PAH, but all throughout the building and at various events hosted by PAH. As outlined in her nomination, “She holds her job close to her heart. She gives her all and is willing to volunteer her services in any capacity needed for the good of the hospital, its employees, and patients. Not only is she a vital part of her department but she helps with both outpatients and inpatients transporting when needed or following with a chair when extra hands are needed for patient safety”.
Stephanie was surprised during the ceremony as many members of her family entered the room. “I am humbled by receiving this award, but I have to say I am honored to be recognized and want to thank my department for creating the family environment to make coming to work every day a pleasure,” stated Stephanie.  
She continued to say, “We share concern and compassion for each other and our patients. I love every aspect of my job but especially our interactions with our patients and seeing their progress and resolution of their pain and weakness while restoring their health.  I definitely want to mention being a part of the Covid vaccinations was a defining proud moment for me”.
Anyone may submit a nomination who experiences or observes extraordinary compassionate care being provided by any staff member or witnesses the staff member performing their job in an exemplary manner. The criteria for the selection process has been detailed and outlined specifically for the committee to ensure a consistent method for reviewing the nominations. Nominations for the CARE Award are accepted all through the year, with the presentation being made annually during National Hospital Week. Additional information can be found on