2006 Inspired Comfort Award Grand Prize Winner — Non-Physician Professional Category
Virginia Physical Therapist Cuts
Through Red Tape to Help Patients Function
Scott Eutsler, a senior physical therapist at HomeCare and Hospice for Memorial Hospital, in Martinsville, Va., treated a young muscular dystrophy patient for eight months and also devoted time to the child's family, offering guidance and support. For being a true patient advocate, he has received the prestigious Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award. Eutsler is one of only 11 honorees nationwide in 2006.
The award is granted annually by Cherokee Uniforms - a leading designer and manufacturer of healthcare apparel - to recognize nurses and other non-physician healthcare professionals who demonstrate exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation and have a positive impact on others' lives.
When a patient's brace is not locking properly, as was the case for the young muscular dystrophy patient, the standard practice would typically be to simply notify the prosthetic vendor. But Eutsler coordinated a meeting with the patient, family and a prosthetic professional to determine why the device was not working. They concluded that the child would benefit from knee-ankle-foot braces and a set of parallel bars; however, the patient's payer source did not cover them. Eutsler secured both of the devices without difficulty and secured the child's admittance into a well-known pediatric facility, where placement is often competitive.
“Working with a patient who has had a serious condition to overcome who has been optimally well motivated and has realized his or her full potential gives me the greatest pleasure. I am happiest when seeing the smiles, and sometimes tears, on the faces of my neighbors at the time of discharge when they know they have done something well that will have a positive impact on their lives.”
- J. Scott Eutsler
"Scott continually strives to treat his patients with the highest standard of care. His dedication to the field is admired by all," said Johnathan Phillips, director of HomeCare and Hospice for Memorial Hospital, who nominated Eutsler for the award.
While he was on a medical leave, Eutsler compromised his own health by providing multiple lymphadema therapy treatments to a patient because no other homecare professional in the region possessed his expertise. He is extremely active in the Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment, a nonprofit that assists physically challenged adults by providing rehabilitative equipment when it otherwise is not available.
As a Grand Prize Winner in the award's Healthcare Professional category, Eutsler receives an all-expense-paid Caribbean cruise for two, a crystal award, a wardrobe of Cherokee healthcare apparel and appears in the nationally distributed Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award 2007 calendar.
Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, more than 4,200 healthcare professionals have been nominated in the Registered Nurse, Advanced Practice Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse, Student Nurse and Non-Physician Healthcare Professional categories. A panel of nursing professionals and Cherokee representatives evaluates nominations and grants the awards.
For every nomination, Cherokee Uniforms donated $1 to Nurses House, a national fund that provides short-term financial assistance to registered nurses facing serious hardship. Since 2005, Cherokee has donated $2,200. Proceeds from Cherokee Uniforms products support healthcare professionals through initiatives such as the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award, an annual calendar and the A Nurse I Am Film and Scholarship Program. Cherokee Uniforms will be accepting nominations for the 2007 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award beginning March 1, 2007 through May 31, 2007.