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Legend manages by example

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  • Written By: Felicia Messimer
Legend manages by example

Some say she is not a, “sit-at-your-desk manager.” She is out working with the staff, learning what works and what does not, and truly listening to what staff/patients/residents have to say.

Who is she? Lisa Miller, CDM, CFPP. And we now call her a Legend at CCH.

For those who don't know, CCH defines a Legend as, "those people who have left an indelible impression on our minds because of their deeds and actions. Ongoing demonstration of hard work, compassion, and a reputation for greatness make someone a legend."

Lisa began in Nutrition Services as an on-call Nutrition Tech in 1997, and has served many roles—from Coordinator, Supervisor, Interim Manager and now Nutrition Services Manager. Each person who spoke about Lisa mentioned that she has worked in every position in Nutrition Services—from washing dishes to cooking to putting freight away.

“This gives Lisa a unique perspective of the importance of each job in her department and how service can positively or negatively impact the customer’s experience,” says Karen Clarke, Director of CCH Community Relations, who has known Lisa for 20 years. “Her understanding of the job duties and tasks help her manage her team because she been where they are.”

Lisa arrived in Gillette via Larchwood, Iowa when her husband, Kevin, was hired at Davis Chevrolet (now White’s Frontier Motors) in 1997, and haven’t regretted the decision.

In the nomination form, Karen C wrote: “Lisa has worked very hard to develop her management skills. She models the importance of continuing education to her staff, achieving Dietary Manager certification (from the University of North Dakota) and encouraging others to learn and grow.”

Lisa has worked at CCH for more than 20 years, and has worked in health care for more than 33 years. However, her interest in nutrition began as a child watching her grandmother cook at a school cafeteria. “She took me to work with her in the morning, and I spent a lot of time with her, and the other cooks as they made food for school that day,” she said. “Man could she cook. Brownies—from scratch—were her specialty.”

Currently, Lisa manages the day-to-day food production flow and operations for Campbell County Memorial Hospital and The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center, including the Coffee Shoppe and Bistro and any other food service needs across the organization. She manages the food production in the cafeteria, has to know about all of the different diets for clinic areas, makes sure her employees are safe at work, makes sure the food served at CCH is being cooked and served properly, and so much more.

Another CCH Legend, Noamie Niemitalo, MS, BSW, SHRM-SCP, CCH Vice President of Human Resources, says Lisa always wants to do the right thing. “She is willing to ask lots of questions and look at different ways of doing things, so that it is done in the correct manner. Lisa believes in CCH and wants the people who work within her department to do their best every day to reflect on the great work that happens within this organization,” she says.

Lisa’s Director, Steven Crichton, CCH Vice President of Facilities and Plant Operations, has worked with her for more than two years, and says that he enjoys working with Lisa, exploring new and creative solutions with her, and always find her willing to consider the possibilities that may lie in doing something differently in Nutrition Services.

“Lisa embodies the standards and values of CCH, and lives them out to the best of her ability daily. She does this while always being open to coaching, input from others, and delegating responsibility to others who have important roles to play as part of a team delivering nutrition services at multiple locations every day,” says Steve.

Ask the staff in Nutrition Services, and they’ll tell you that Lisa gives them the opportunity to do what they're best at, and listens to their concerns and ideas. She looks for ways to accommodate the requests of other departments to help them improve their service and is quick to acknowledge what she doesn't know as a learning experience.

As you can see, Lisa consistently looks for ways for staff in Nutrition Services to become more efficient while working to maintain quality. “I have rarely seen anyone so willing to make changes and accept the input from others so readily,” says Steve.

Many Nutrition Services staff commented that Lisa treats them with fairness and consistency. Lisa is currently working to integrate the employees at CCMH and The Legacy into a more cohesive group. This effort includes cross-training employees to work at both locations, and organized a combination staff picnic last summer to encourage socialization and camaraderie. Several staff also mentioned that they see Lisa as a mentor and role model, as well as someone they can go to with issues or problems.

“Lisa is willing to listen, to try new options, and to simply do the best she knows how to make the Nutrition Department and Campbell County Health the best it can be,” says Legend Karen L. Polson, RD, LDN, CCH Clinical Nutrition Supervisor, who has worked with Lisa for more than 20 years. She says her friend and colleague is very deserving of the Legend Award.

Karen P calls Lisa someone who is never too busy to help someone out, saying that she is often the first person who will step forward to help, whether it be providing directions, answering a question, helping a staff member struggling with their job duties, providing personal financial assistance, and much more. “She would literally give the shirt off her back to someone that needed it more,” says Karen P.

It’s clear that Lisa gives a lot of herself at work, but she’s also given back to our community—volunteering for the Campbell County Healthcare Foundation's Festival of Trees event, as well as helping her children’s sports teams when they were in school.

Lisa says that she believes strongly in our Excellence Every Day goal, and works hard to treat other as they want to be treated. As many have described, her leadership approach is to lead by example. She’s also no stranger to awards—earning the CCMH Employee of the Year in 1999 and the Wyoming Dietary Manager of the Year award in 2001.

When asked what the Legend Award means to her, Lisa said that it was quite the honor. “I was shocked; especially to be recognized with all of the other Legends,” she said. “It’s nice to know that my peers think so well of me.”

But, she doesn’t take all of the credit for earning this recognition. “My directors and other leaders at CCH encourage me to try, anything. And, if I fail, they help me get back up to try something again,” she says. Lisa also mentions that her job wouldn’t be as great without her team. “Their commitment to taking care of our patients and residents, as well as their dedication to providing excellence every day makes coming to work a lot easier. I’m so proud to work with everyone.”

Lisa is very family-oriented and spends a great deal of time with her grandchildren—Adry, 5; Madison, 4; and Samson, 1; who are her daughter Rebecca’s children. Her son, Christopher has one on the way, as well. Her daughter owns a home-based business, and Lisa assists her with that endeavor whenever possible. What she loves most is getting together with her family and cooking. “I want to be like my grandmother and share the knowledge with my family,” she says. They also spend a lot of time camping, fishing and riding ATVs as a family.

Lisa, you go above and beyond daily here at CCH. You stand for what is the right thing to do and set bar high for the rest of our staff. We are proud to have you on our team.


  • Category: Campbell County Healthcare Foundation, CCMH News, Employee Recognition, Nutrition, The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center, Legend Award