Gritman, U of I Teams Given 2021 President’s Medallion
Gritman Medical Center’s unprecedented effort to ramp up Moscow’s COVID-19 pandemic response operation has been enshrined by the University of Idaho.
Efforts by the hospital and its employees to stage and staff a mass surveillance testing operation and build a lab that continues to test for the disease–and the enduring partnership Gritman employees nurtured with U of I during the 2020-21 academic year–led the university to award its President’s Medallion to the response teams at both institutions.
Gritman CEO Kara Besst and Chief Information Kane Francetich accepted medallions during U of I’s spring commencement ceremonies May 15-16 on behalf of the hospital system’s entire staff. Additional commemorative medallions are being presented to the individual teams.
“Everyone in the Gritman Family rose to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Besst said. “We knew how important it was for the university to provide a safe learning environment and for our community to have testing available. Our teams quickly came together to set up the university’s COVID-19 surveillance testing program and laboratory operations. Our community came together in a time of need and we are grateful to the university for providing this special acknowledgment to Gritman Medical Center.
U of I President Scott Green commended hospital and university staff for putting themselves in harm’s way, staffing the test sample collection operation and building the lab that allowed for a managed approach to the pandemic.
“The U of I/Gritman lab set the standard for others across the state, leading modeling efforts for Idaho while allowing testing of every student ahead of in-person classes,” Green said. “The two institutions proved cooperation leads to successful results for the community as a whole.”
In addition to vastly expanding COVID-19 testing availability and setting the standard for safe and compassionate care during the pandemic, Gritman led the charge in protecting Latah County residents by operating the area’s largest mass-vaccination clinic–also at U of I.
The Gritman Family is honored to be recognized for the hard work of its dedicated and compassionate employees during the pandemic.
“If it takes a village to accomplish anything meaningful, then this recognition is because of the amazing people in our village–at Gritman and at the University of Idaho,” Francetich said. “There were scores of people who contributed to this initiative, some with a one-time role and others with daily roles–all of them significant and noteworthy. I am so proud of what we have collectively accomplished to keep our community healthy and safe over the past year.”
The medallion is presented by the U of I president to individuals who have made significant impacts to the service of the state of Idaho.