Labette Center
Seventh Annual Care and Compassion Awards

Misty Burke
 
Dedication and commitment to community is something this recipient truly takes to heart.  Showing care and compassion to those around her can be seen in everything she does.  From devoting her time to her church to writing grants for community programs, she dedicates her time to help others.  The type of person who is unlikely to talk about her own successes, this recipient is more likely to be seen tearing up with inner joy and a sense of pride at the achievements of youth she has worked with. She has worked tirelessly to organize activities for area youth, including serving as a part time youth minister, growing a youth program to over double its size within the past year and constantly seeking new programs and ideas to involve youth in.  She has written grants that allow for increased community-focused activities and grown various programs she works on to over 200 people, people who may not otherwise be involved in any community leisure activities in a safe environment.  She has dedicated herself to improving the lives of children and has recently worked to place high school students in work internship programs in southeast Kansas.  Through that work she has successfully aided 42 youth into starting internships.  Her commitment to “finding that one thing” to motive a student is priceless.  According to those who know her the word dedication seems small in describing the amount of time, love and general passion she demonstrates in all she does.  It is for all of these reasons and so many more we are honored to present Misty Burke with a Care and Compassion Award.
 
Sara Comer
 
Passion is one of the greatest driving forces that lead to how a person is able to give of themselves to their community.  A passion for a particular community need, or the need of a specific group of community members can lead to great achievements.  This recipient has a passion for not only her work, but her community and a desire to give back to those who give so much for us.  In her work she goes above and beyond to help individuals achieve their goals of education, and focuses on those who may face difficulty in completing that task for various reasons, to make sure they succeed.  Her passion then goes even farther.  This recipient gives of her time and energy to work towards making the world a better place.  From building up programs to help military connected students to creating new programs, she has gone the extra mile to help.  From chairing committees, to serving as an advisor and liaison for various military related groups her dedication can be seen in everything she is involved in.  She has worked hard to make sure military-connected students have a voice, and a point of contact to help them reach their goals.  The work and time she spends giving back to the military community is a true labor of love for her.  Through countless hours of time and effort she has devoted herself to the military-connected students and their needs.  Her dedication to these public servants shows the spirit of care and compassion and embodies the passion she feels.  Just as an example, she has already spent the entire day today giving back to the military connected community at the 1 Day, 22 Souls Ruck March and Memorial Carving.  It is because of her passion and commitment to these projects we are honored to present Sara Comer with a 2018 Care and Compassion Award.
 
Tammey Fuentez
 
Tireless commitment and dedication are words that can be used to describe this recipient.  She strives to better the lives of those she works with and help them obtain their goals.  Maybe it’s because of the programs she has helped create, or the number of student lives she has touched that she is seen by her peers as a caring and compassionate individual.  Maybe it’s the dedication to changing lives through the help she gives students.  Or her hours of dedication to the greater good of the college community.  This recipient has been involved in programs ranging from the creation of a Food Pantry to help students to always going the extra mile to help a student find their way.   She has strived to create positive change for the students and the community.  Her upbeat and positive attitude is always present as she works towards helping others.  For these reasons we are proud to present Tammey Fuentez with a 2018 Care and Compassion Award.

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Leslie McConnell

This recipient has been known for her care and compassion towards others in many different areas of her life.  Not only does she show compassion every day in her job, she lives that compassion in every other aspect of her life.  As an active member of her church she always goes the extra mile to help where needed.  This recipient has worked and prayed tirelessly for those in need, those who are hungry, hurting and struggling.  From singing in the choir, working on various committees and livestreaming services to helping as a photographer and so much more.  She has been instrumental in assisting with the Adopt a Family program at Christmas and was one of the founding members of the Celebrate Recovery Ministry that takes place at the church every Tuesday night.  She has helped the homeless, the addicted and the impaired through her calm, reassuring manner. She and her husband have also served as the camp ground managers at Parsons Lake for several years an it is not uncommon for them to offer part of their supper to those who don't have anything to eat and help those in need in many other ways.  It is not uncommon to see them with a table full of individuals in front of their camper as they serve a meal during the summer months. This has become a ministry in and of itself. As a nurse for many years, her patients become her friends and she worries about them and prays for them in their struggles. She greats everyone with a smile and a kind word. For these reasons, and so many more, we are proud to acknowledge Leslie McConnell as a recipient of this year’s care and compassion awards.
 
Kathi McKinney
 
It is said that a lifetime of service is a life well lived.  For this recipient, a long and caring life of service has shown care and compassion to an unmeasurable amount of individuals.  Each life touched by this recipient has been an indication of her caring and compassionate nature and her unwavering desire to help others. From attending to the care of patients to providing positive leadership to those around her, she has dedicated over 30 years to serving.  Her positive and compassionate nature can be seen in everything she does.   Always the first to arrive and the last to leave, her first priority is not for her own time, but in making sure the patients and staff are taken care of.  It is not unheard of for this recipient to get food for staff and take it to them when their shifts are to hectic to get away. As she moved through here career into leadership roles, her knowledge of every day struggles nurses face never diminished.  She maintains her understanding and empathy for what nursing staff faces every day they are on the job.  Even during times in her life where she faced her own personal struggles, she never wavered in her commitment to helping others.  Her care and compassion reaches well beyond the walls of her employment as well.   Whether it has been through an act of helping a struggling single parent pay for board test to helping families after the Joplin tornado with clothing and food when they came into the hospital with nothing.  Through her dedication to the hospital she has earned National Patient Safety awards, including being in the top 10% in the nation for Patient safety as well as awards for High Performing Hospital in Knee replacement, Leadership awards and a CMS Five Star Hospital rating.  Her commitment and dedication to staff and patients are borne from her servant heart and compassion for other human beings.  It is through this caring and compassionate nature that she has achieved a lifetime of service that has touch the hearts and minds of many.  Congratulations to Kathy McKinney for being one of our 2018 Care and Compassion awards recipients.
 
Bert Queen

Just going the extra mile to help someone can make a huge impact on their life.  By simply taking the time to help someone by listening to their worries, troubles and concerns leads to a better and more fulfilling life for someone who is suffering from a mental illness.  This recipient takes the extra time to go above and beyond and show true care and concern to those he comes into contact with.  He strives to make a difference in a person’s life and it’s shown time and time again through his dedication and commitment to help others.  These qualities can prove to be the difference for individuals who are in need and help them to have full, meaningful and successful lives.  Because of that dedication and commitment this recipient is considered by many to show true care and compassion. It is for those reasons, and many more, that Bert Queen has been chosen as a recipient of this year’s care and compassion awards.
Tammey Fuentez