The Sunflower Award

The significance of a sunflower is that it symbolizes warmth, happiness and longevity. The Sunflower Award is given to supporting team members at JPS who demonstrate exceptional direct impact to patient care.

The patient care support team members selected continuously strive to enhance the JPS culture by providing exceptional service and making JPS a great place to work. These team members exhibit compassion which makes lives better.

Xusha Rodriguez


Xusha Rodriguez ​ Multiskilled Technician, Operating Room

Going to the Operating Room can be a frightening experience for anyone, but even more so for patients who don’t speak English. Xusha is always willing to be an advocate for our patients who speak Spanish, alleviating their fears. She stays by their side, and will even hum or sing, helping to put them at ease.

With her keen communication skills, Xusha sets the tone for the day. She lifts spirt of those who are down, provides encouragement for those who need a shoulder, and brings joy with her contagious spirit. She is a member of our Sunshine Committee and provides themes for monthly celebrations in her unit.

Xusha leads by example. In major trauma cases, she anticipates the need for supplies, blood products and equipment.


Says nurse Debra Stuart, “Xusha doesn’t just deserve a sunflower. She is a whole garden to us.”

Micah McNairn

Micah McNairn Behavioral Health Technician, Trinity Springs Pavilion

Micah has been caring for behavioral health patients at Trinity Spring Pavilion for 11 years. Armed with strong leadership skills and problem-solving abilities, Micah “owns it,” seeking out opportunities to assist patients and fellow team members, elevating the quality of care that JPS provides for the communities we serve.

Micah is a Code White leader and CPI instructor, training team members to respond to psychiatric emergencies. In addition to providing training, he conducts Code White Drills and is an active participant in TSP’s work group on safety, contributing to initiatives credited with reducing employee and patient injuries.

Micah also serves as a survey ambassador, ensuring strong participation in the annual Employee Engagement Survey at JPS, and is an active participant in TSP’s quarterly skills fairs.

He is usually assigned as the lead technician when he is on duty. “He has a great attitude,” says Debbie Sweat, executive director of Psychiatric Nursing, “and is always willing to go the extra mile to assist his team.”


Denise Mills


Denise Mills​ Multi Skilled Tech - 2 South

Denise creates an atmosphere of healing through her calm and compassionate nature; it’s just part of what she does, her nominator says. She’s been known to raise the spirits of her patients, especially when it comes to moving around. She guards patients from fall risks by involving the patient in their care and even others from the care team, if needed. She consistently seeks out ways she can do more for our patients and her own team. In a recent event for a new mother, she saw a need to bring in a crib for the newborn and notified the nurse to provide additional education on safe sleep for their baby.

Miriam Ortiz

Miriam Ortiz​ Nurse Assistant and Skilled Nursing Unit

When Miriam Ortiz first came to the United States, she couldn’t even speak English. She took classes to learn to speak the language and made her start as a housekeeper. In time, she learned English and took several classes to become a nursing tech. When she joined JPS in 2008 she was able to share her story with patients and others on her team about her early years in the U.S. and how she was able to move her family from a shelter into a home, secure a job and continue on a path to success.

Miriam delivers care in each interaction with patients and team members, alike. Her nominator says she demonstrates gratitude daily as she continues to advance her knowledge and skills. She is a Nurse Assistant and is taking classes to advance to progress to a Multi-Skilled Technician. “She is supportive to the organization and our patients by improving herself to be the best caregiver that she can possibly be,” says Jeannie Simpson, RN Clinical Manager.


Aleyda Guadamuz

Aleyda Guadamuz​ Multi Skilled Tech, House Operations

Aleyda Guadamuz's swift action and demonstrated responsibility for patient care awarded her the first-ever Sunflower Award. Recipients of The Sunflower Award receive a surprise patrol from leaders and colleagues including flowers, a framed certificate and pin.

She was nominated for her quick response when she was monitoring a patient on two separate occasions on TeleSitter. This is a device installed in patient rooms with a built-in video camera and microphone and speaker. These are monitored by team members like Aleyda. When she noticed something not quite right on the screen, she immediately alerted the nurse and helped prevent harm to the patients.

Aleyda is there not only for her patients but her co-workers, too. She is patient, yet firm and reinforced the importance of following appropriate policies and procedures when it comes to paperwork. Also, when a pregnant co-worker demonstrated early signs of labor, Aleyda did not hesitate to walk her to Labor and Delivery and provide support until family arrived.