Placer County honored North Lake Tahoe employees with a picnic lunch Tuesday, June 16, presenting awards to three outstanding individuals and to a team that operates medical and dental clinics in Kings Beach.
The barbecue luncheon at North Tahoe Beach in Kings Beach was part of the county’s annual Employee Recognition Awards Program. It was a chance to honor exemplary employees with awards and to salute all North Tahoe employees for their efforts throughout the year.
“You’re doing the hard work serving the public,” Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery told the approximately 100 employees in the audience.
As 5th District supervisor, she represents an area that stretches from North Auburn to North Lake Tahoe on the Placer County Board of Supervisors.
An Employee Recognition Barbecue was held in North Auburn June 11 for county employees who work in areas other than North Lake Tahoe.
County Executive Officer Thomas M. Miller served as moderator at both events, thanking employees both for their hard work and for working with the Board of Supervisors and county management team to handle budget challenges facing the county for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Employee Recognition Awards go to outstanding employees in four main categories: outstanding leadership, public service excellence, workforce excellence, and exceptional teamwork.
Award winners were nominated by co-workers. More than 250 employees were nominated for awards this year.
NORTH TAHOE INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS
- Kansas McGahan, a senior civil engineer with the Public Works Department’s Tahoe Design Team, received the Outstanding Leadership Award.
Deputy Public Works Director Peter Kraatz nominated McGahan for the award and addressed the crowd at Tuesday’s luncheon, emphasizing that she is an exceptional leader.
“Less experienced staff can look to her for direction and she is always willing to offer assistance,” Kraatz said. “Kansas leads the division in securing grant funding and ensuring grant requirements are maintained.”
- Sue Gaunt, a senior public health nurse in the Health and Human Services Department, earned the Public Service Excellence Award.
Dr. Richard Burton, the county’s public health officer and health and human services director, told the gathering that Gaunt is an exemplary employee.
The co-worker who nominated her wrote, “Sue Gaunt is an amazing person. Everyone is constantly sending her referrals to see dozens of new clients and she goes the extra mile to fit them in her schedule even though it is already full.”
- Nova Lance-Seghi, an assistant engineer in the Public Works Tahoe Design Team, was recognized with the Workforce Excellence Award.
“Her dedication to work is contagious,” Kraatz said.
The co-worker who nominated Lance-Seghi emphasized she has done an outstanding job obtaining grant funding for the proposed Tahoe City Transit Center.
“The project is almost ready for construction and I know that, without Nova’s dedicated participation, it would not be to the level it is today,” the co-worker wrote. “Nova builds relationships with all her funding agencies, bending over backwards to meet their requirements and deadlines.”
TEAM AWARD WINNER
The medical and dental staff at the Kings Beach Clinics won the Exceptional Teamwork Award.
Dr. Burton emphasized the team does a phenomenal job serving the public, and this year developed a creative, new approach that is reducing expenses and increasing revenues while allowing the team to better serve patients.
“They did it very successfully,” he told the audience.
The new approach relies on coordinating medical and dental clinics so the county maximizes payments it receives from the state for patients served through Gateway, a state program for children up to18 years old from low-income households.
In the past, the medical and dental clinics operated independently of each other. By coordinating their operations, the county can provide more services to patients who need both types of care during the limited periods of time when the state pays for all health-related services. The county pays for care received by a patient after the period of state responsibility ends.
“We serve our patients better by allowing them the convenience of getting more done in one visit,” explained Shannon Rosal, the team’s administrative supervisor, adding “Not only did we save Placer County money, but we created a revenue stream that can be sustained in the future. As a team, we proved that we can affect our work environment and do our jobs better when we all work together toward a common goal. This was a great success!”
The team is comprised Physician’s Assistant Daniel Buchanan; Registered Nurses Teri Smith and Lilly Brenes; Dr. Lea Abia, a dentist; Registered Dental Assistant Donna Kauti; and Administrative Clerks Anna Valdez, Carmen Cortes and Dee Fernandez; and Rosal.