When the only person who does an important job leaves, the hole left behind is difficult to fill. In the case of the Pharmacy Connection vacancy at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH), it took eight months to fill the position. The Pharmacy Connection is the medication assistance program funded by the Virginia Health Care Foundation. During that time, community members with financial challenges continued to get the medications they needed thanks to Rebecca Sontag, CMH Foundation Coordinator.
“Rebecca exhibited an enormous amount of teamwork by stepping up to temporarily take over The Pharmacy Connection duties in addition to her normal Marketing and Foundation role,” said a coworker in the nomination. “She built positive relationships with the patients she served and has trained the new hire to do the job well.”
“Year-end work for both the Foundation and Pharmacy Connection required significant time and effort and Rebecca fulfilled all those requirements and has never complained,” said Ken Kurz, Director of Marketing and Development.
Rebecca was awarded the May Team Member of the Month award for STAR service. STAR stands for Safety, Teamwork, Accountability and Relationships. She received the STAR service award, STAR pin, a parking tag that allows her to park wherever she wants for the month of June and a $40 gift card.
She said, “I feel humbled and grateful. It’s nice when people recognize your hard work and show their appreciation for all that you do by nominating you for an award like this.”
Rebecca has worked at VCU Health CMH for nearly two years. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist and previously worked as a Recreation Therapist and Volunteer Coordinator at The Virginia Home in Richmond for 16 years.
She shared advice for her team members, “I’m a helper and I don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand to anyone that is in need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and if you see someone that is overwhelmed reach out and see if there is anything you can do to lighten their load. Even the smallest gesture of kindness really does go a long way.”
“My passion in life is helping people, particularly those with special needs, and I am always looking for ways to give back, especially to organizations that I love and support their mission,” Rebecca explained.
She serves on the board for Families Embracing Autism Together (FEAT) and is helping them with their work program that promotes the benefits of hiring people with intellectual disabilities and offers job training to those individuals.
Rebecca lives with her husband, Tom, in Mecklenburg County and they have three children, ages 15, four and three. She loves spending time with her family, friends and her sweet dog, Lacey.
Other nominees for May were Mary Alexander, Food and Nutrition; Kristy Fowler, Marketing; and Molly Hatchell, ICU.