HOUSTON (April 06, 2015)

Southwest Hospital Connie Elizondo with awardConnie Elizondo, RN, at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital was recently awarded the 2014 Medical Missions Employee Exemplary Award.

Memorial Hermann Medical Missions was founded in 1999 to support Memorial Hermann physicians and staff who serve on medical mission teams in other countries. The program provides supplies for physicians and scholarships for staff to join the team and organization of their choice to serve medical missions outside of the United States.

Elizondo went on her first medical mission in 2006 with the help of Memorial Hermann Medical Missions. Since that time, Elizondo has completed five medical missions serving nearly 4,000 people in need. Elizondo served her most recent mission in Guatemala in the fall of 2014, with HELPS International and Iaomai Medical Ministries.

“It’s a rewarding experience and yet very humbling at the same time,” says Elizondo. “People will line up overnight to see a doctor or a nurse. You work so hard every day to help people get the care they need and yet you never get tired.”

Elizondo was surprised with the award during a meeting at Memorial Hermann Southwest. “I never expected it,” says Elizondo. “The team called me into a room, everyone was there and I thought someone must be getting an award. I had no idea it was me!”

“Our program is unique in that we allow physicians and staff to choose the team they want to be a part of and the mission field in which they want to serve,” says Tim VanDuivendyk, DMin, Vice President, Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care at Memorial Hermann. “The way we’ve set up the program allows us the opportunity to provide care to so many more people in need around the world.”

Last year Memorial Hermann Medical Missions helped support 94 medical missions and served more than 50,000 people in 22 countries.

Photo Caption: Front left to right: Fouzia Gwadri, RN; Martha Dunnand, PCA; Mary Browne, director of Chaplaincy Services, Memorial Hermann Southwest; Debra Mahoney, manager of PACU, Memorial Hermann Southwest; Julia Nelson, LVN; Connie Elizondo, RN; Janet Mayo, Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care; Windy Dorego, RN; Linnie Drilon, RN; Marcia Largaespada, PCA. Back left to right: Robert Blake, VP/COO, Memorial Hermann Southwest; Tim VanDuivendyk, VP, Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care, Memorial Hermann Health System; Gillian Alexander, VP/CNO, Memorial Herman Southwest; Gary Kerr, VP/CEO, Memorial Hermann Southwest