Ben Hayden Award Nominees

Ben Hayden Award Nominees

The Ben Hayden Award is given to one employee each year who consistently embraces Pate’s core values of Relationship, Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Compassion and Empowerment.  The top three nominees are Alexandria Howard from the Watauga location, Danny White from the Anna location and Gail Darden from the Dallas location.

Pate Rehabilitation – Whitley Place is honored to nominate Alexandria Howard for this year’s Ben Hayden Award.  Alex is an occupational therapist on the FITT team, and while one of the newer additions to the Whitley family, she has quietly and quickly made herself known.  She has greatly impacted both her patients and her colleagues with how she approaches each day and the best part is, she doesn’t even realize what a role model she is.

From the time Alex was a student intern with us, she went well above the expectations placed on her; staying late and seeking additional mentorship to provide her patients the best care possible. Today, Alex is known for consistently going above and beyond for her patients. If Alex had to be described in one word, it would be selfless. She has taken personal time to assist patients and other departments who are in need, bringing fun activities to the residential house, and is a constant learner and uses adaptive techniques to engage her patients on a personal level.  She does this completely of her own initiative with nothing but humility and without a word of complaint.

She strongly exhibits each of Pate’s core values: relationship, respect, integrity, innovation, compassion, and empowerment. She immediately creates strong and meaningful relationships with her patients, and she is a vital member of the Pate family.  She is respectful of all people, treating every person with compassion and bringing humor to her sessions. She is respectful of her patients’ values, their needs, opinions, and with their time, even when it means it may be inconvenient for her. She has unlimited compassion and unconditional love for others which is evident in everything she does. Her pure joy for what she does radiates in her work and leaves her patients feeling loved, empowered and safe as they go through their therapeutic recovery. 

Alex is reliable and accountable to her team and she can always be counted on to come up with fun and inventive ways to reach her patients. Her most requested act is karaoke night at the Savanna Oaks Residence, where she can be found encouraging everyone to participate in the fun. Nothing but positive things can be said about Alex’s passion for her work and her patients. Whitley is proud to recognize her as one of their own and a role model for us all in demonstrating our core values daily.

The Brinlee Creek Ranch (BCR) selection committee invites you to join with us as we celebrate, show our appreciation, and give gratitude to Danny White as our 2018 Ben Hayden Award nominee.  When he isn’t trying to impersonate famous football players, Danny supports our team as the Facilities Manager.  He has been with us since March of 2016.  He serves all five Pate locations and has a particularly large role in that capacity at the Ranch – he is responsible for 3 residences, 2 treatment centers, office, storage, transportation, fishing, and animal spaces that require regular maintenance.  Danny maintains a rigorous schedule to keep the property clean, inviting, safe, and functional for the staff and all the patients we serve.

Despite the many demands required at BCR, as well as those at the other locations, Danny doesn’t let the stress of the job get in the way of providing excellent, dependable service and a congenial attitude with everyone he encounters.  Danny’s confident manner and “yes, we’ll take care of it” attitude lets people know their concerns are equally important to him and will be addressed.  He is the emergency phone call for over 110 full time employees at the ranch 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  He is personable and handles his work load while taking time to visit and get to know the people that Pate serves.

As a Ben Hayden Award candidate should, Danny White is strong in all our Core Values.  The two that stood out for the committee are his dedication to Relationship and Integrity.  It isn’t uncommon to walk through Main House and see Danny and a patient engaged in a game of cards (a true dedication to his “yes, we’ll take care of it” creed) when asked if he wants to play.  Not only has Danny built a relationship with patients, but the fact that the patients know him by name speaks a lot to his character and how he handles himself on the job.  This job requires that he make commitments others are going to count on.  He has been known to stay long hours, take calls at night, work on weekends, and give up days off to accomplish his goals.  When Danny says he is going to do something, he does it with integrity and in a timely manner so that the patients we all serve stay on the road to recovery.  Danny’s knowledge base, his leadership qualities, and his ability to successfully work on multiple things all at once make him a worthy candidate and BCR’s champion for this year’s Ben Hayden Award.

The Villa Creek nominee for the Ben Hayden award is none other than the amazing Gail Darden. Gail has been a valued member at Pate Rehab since she joined the team over twelve years ago. Not only has Gail been essential in treating patients as a Speech Language Pathologist, she has taken on a lead role in her team. Others come to her for advice due to her extensive knowledge and experience, with some even referring to her as the “Mom” of the group.

Her welcoming smile greets patients and families as they arrive to tour and her hospitality lasts throughout their treatment. She takes time to listen to patients, allowing them to feel comfortable no matter the situation or the questions they ask. In addition to her approachable demeanor and listening abilities, she completes the communication circle by ensuring that her patients and their families are educated along the way.

Many of Gail’s co-workers would use the word humility to describe her. She is graceful in her interactions and demonstrates natural leadership. While she has many success stories, she is quick to credit the team rather than herself. She is a sounding board and she allows new ideas to be heard while helping the team move forward. She will advocate not only for her patients, but her team members as well, empowering them to be the best they can be.

It’s evident in all of Gail’s interactions, with patients and her co-workers, that respect of others and building relationships is vital to who she is as a person. Her compassion is evident in her kind nature and immense patience. She goes above and beyond daily, even when that means coming in early and staying late to get the job done. In addition, she participates in continuing education presentations to help expand knowledge of brain injuries both within Pate, and across the rehabilitation field.

Villa Creek is honored and delighted to have Gail represent them as their nominee for this prestigious award!