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MyStory at Highmark Health: Meet Myla, Josh and Cathy

With our MyStory video series, we’re sharing an inside look at the lives, experiences and passions of people who are part of the Highmark Health community. These videos were created by the talented members of the Highmark Health video team: Richard “Zoot” Dwyer, Tanner Rose, and Josh Elsass.

More than 43,000 people work at Highmark Health, and many more work with us through vendors and other partnerships. But no one is defined solely by their job title. From the challenges they’ve faced to the dreams they’ve chased, the members of the Highmark Health family all have a story to tell.

Meet Myla: Strategy Consultant, Senior Markets

A Highmark Health Jefferson Awards winner in 2016 and 2017, Myla and her family moved to the U.S. without any possessions. Her career success has never changed her commitment to living a life of service, including organizing to help the people of her native Philippines recover from two typhoons.

[View MP4]

Boo-boo kisser — the most joyous roll I ascend as a mother. When you strike a fall, when you bump a wall, fast you run to mommy. Now my ask you my sweet toddlers, as you grow taller and older, will you bestow this power upon me forever?

My name is Myla Granadino. I am a strategy consultant for senior markets partnership and performance management team. I am responsible for offboarding and onboarding new vendors, and also managing the vendor relationships throughout a lifecycle of a contract. I have been with Highmark for two years now. Whenever a project is successfully completed, it motivates me to do more and to be a contributor to the team.

The Jefferson Award is a recognition for individuals who made contributions to their community that they live in. I am very honored to be given this award this year. My desire to be of service — my compassion to be of service to others — was recognized and it also motivates me to do more and to continue to share what I have with others.

I was so happy that we had a Diversity Fest because I was able to meet new friends, new Filipinos. We had Philippine flag, different artifacts — we cooked about 200 egg rolls and it was gone within an hour, so it means people liked it.

I always like to promote Filipino culture through food, and I always want to share the Filipino taste with others, so when every time they say they like the food, I gain friends, I gain mentors. It makes me proud of what I am, of my culture.

My husband and I met in college. I petitioned him to come to the United States. We've been married for about 14 years now. Every time I cook he is my shepherd. Tonight I'll be making chicken rice noodles, or we call it pancit bihon. I'll be making a double. It is a well-known dish in the Philippines. And also chicken eggrolls. My mom is a good cook too. I get it from my mom I think, and of course we will have rice because rice is a staple food in the Philippines. My son is Micah Raphael and he's 12 years old, and my identical twin girls are seven, and their names are Raya May and Nichoella Ray.

I came from the Philippines and I was born in a small town, Buhi, which is in the northeastern part of Luzon. Luzon is one of the major islands in the Philippines. It's surrounded with beautiful mountains and a volcano and lake. It is very well known for Lake Buhi, where it is the home for the smallest edible fish in the world. I came from a family of teachers or educators, and growing up we hardly experience having new shoes or new clothes, and when we moved here we didn't have anything with us, we didn't carry any possessions with us. But my parents showed us to be content of what we have, so our lives’ simplicity had opened my heart to be of service to others and share the gifts of myself in simple little ways. Even when I moved to the United States my desire to be of service to others or to my community has not changed.

[newscaster speaking]
Thousands of people have started evacuating their homes in the Philippines as a powerful typhoon heads toward the island nation. Typhoon Noc 10, known locally as typhoon Nina, is forecast to bring heavy rains and strong winds of up to 138 miles an hour…

[Myla speaking]
There were 380,000 people who were displaced, including my hometown. I'm so happy that my family's okay, but we were not able to contact them for a week. That’s the reason why I am going home, so that I could help those people that were severely impacted by the typhoon. We're going to be — we're going to be fine. I know.

Meet Joshua: STAR Center Manager of Simulation

From masonry to hospitality to working his way up through the hospital system to manage one of only about 80 accredited medical simulation centers in the world, Joshua has learned lessons at every step that help him make a difference.

[View MP4]

Everyone always asks me if I talk to the mannequins. I always get a lot of different looks as we're pushing the mannequins through the hallways on the stretcher, quite a few shrieks and screams, you know, where, "Oh, I thought it was real!" And I says, "No, just two dummies."

My name's Joshua Franczyk. I'm the Manager of Simulation at the STAR Center at Allegheny Health Network, and I've been here for nine years now. The STAR Center provides simulation services to the Allegheny Health Network and the community. We are one of only 80 or so nationally accredited simulation centers in the world by the Society for Simulation in Health Care. The Simulation Center here at Allegheny Health Network would not be in existence if it was not for Donamarie Wilfong. She actually applied for a grant through Highmark, and the center has — really, it's almost tripled in size over the last 10 years.

We train over 10,000 learners a year, so we run a Train the Trainer program, what we call, so anyone who is a specialist in the Allegheny Health Network who wants to use simulation, they come meet with us. We recommend what simulation models we have that would best suit their needs. We try to encompass from the beginning to end of life, so we have neonatal nursing come in, then you have the OB/Gyne. We have emergency medicine services. A simulator that's called a "Lap-Mentor," where they can practice virtual laparoscopic surgeries. Pet first-aid class. We actually went and researched and found a dog mannequin out there that will bleed. You can practice putting a tourniquet on its leg. You can suture its paw.

So, this area could be set up, you know, as a number of different things. One that we recently did with the AGH Emergency Medicine Department was a mass-casualty grand rounds. So we set up each of these bays here as a different patient. So, there was an explosion in the hospital. Participants who were standing in the hallway basically got to go-ahead into this dark room One of the main goals of that scenario was you have to triage, so you have to go in and do an assess, is this person alive or dead? So, it's pretty unique.

During a simulation, you'll basically find me at service to all of the courses that are taking place, so, you know, I continually make rounds and check up on all the facilitators and make sure they have all the equipment they need for their simulations. One great thing about my job, you know, is I'm constantly moving around — going, seeing different people, doing different things.

Typically, we don't name the mannequins. It is the instructor's responsibility to name their patient for the day. When people come in to be trained, they would have a name for a mannequin because they end up treating a real person. And, yes, it is a plastic guy or gal sitting in the chair, but as you go through the simulations, they become real. But we did purchase a new mannequin, and we had a naming contest. The name that was selected was "Wesley Pahs." P-A-H-S. And so his initials would be "West Penn Allegheny Health System," W-P-A-H-S. He actually has microphones in his ears, and he has a speaker on top of his head, and so I could have that mannequin laying in the stairwell. We can hear what you're saying to the mannequin in the room, and then, in turn, we can respond.

[Nurse speaking]
Are you okay?

[Joshua speaking as mannequin]
No, I'm not feeling too well.

[Nurse speaking]
What's hurting you?

[Joshua speaking as mannequin]
I have a sharp, you know, stabbing pain in my chest now.

[Joshua speaking]
Sometimes when I'm behind the one-way glass, if I'm not feeling good, I'm just…I catch myself bending over, going, "Oh, I'm not feeling too well," you know so, you really become immersed in the simulation.

One thing that we have tried to stop doing is killing the mannequins, because, believe it or not, it does affect people. We've had participants come back and said, "I never forgot. I made the mannequin expire." We decided that possibly, at the time, it's too much, you know. We're here to build and grow and improve, so we don't want to mentally scar people.

I grew up in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Grew up there — mother and father and a sister. Ever since I was a kid, I liked working with my hands. Started off on the bicycles and toys, and I liked to see how things work. I would work on my own cars, my motorcycles. I started out as a masonry laborer right out of high school. I was a banquet server at Nemacolin Woodlands. I worked in a fine-dining restaurant as a server. I ended up getting a job at Uniontown Hospital being a housekeeper. Worked my way in housekeeping up to the patient unit, then I worked in the emergency department, then I worked in the operating room. And then so from the operating room, I thought, "Well, this is a pretty cool place to work." There's things that I learned banquet serving or being a fine-dining waiter that transfers to healthcare, right?

The bedside manner. And I know you have to see the next patient, but you have to take time with the people you are seeing. I think working in different industries — construction, restaurants, health care — I've taken a little piece from all of those to help contribute to who I am today.

We've had quite a few participants who come back and say they'll never forget their experience. "Oh, my gosh, Josh. I was here last week, and then when I went and did my rotation in the hospital, the same thing happened." It makes me feel that my job made a difference.

Good night, guys.

Meet Cathy: Respiratory Therapist

Whether she’s taking care of patients, collecting and distributing diapers for people in need throughout the community, or helping her husband with ministry work, Cathy believes that “we are here to serve, and to give back” — and she lives her belief every day.

[View MP4]

It's amazing. My husband works with urban families, and they were sitting around at an after-school picnic and he said, "You know, ladies, what is it that somebody can do for you that nobody's doing?" And he said they all said, “diapers.” He said, "You know what? We're going to collect diapers.”

My name's Cathy Battle. I'm a respiratory therapist at Forbes Regional Hospital. Every day varies at the hospital. It just depends on who's sick or what's going on. A typical day, I might just be a floor therapist that day, which I take care of all of the COPDers' pneumonia, give them breathing treatments. Another day could be that I'm in the ICU and I'm working with all vent patients. The next day, I could possibly be working in the cardiac unit with the open heart patients. So anything that deals with the upper airway — breathing, respiratory.

My favorite part of my job is just communicating or talking with my patients.

[Cathy Battle speaking]
Hi, Mr. Holt. How are you today?

[Mr. Holt speaking]
I'm so glad to see you. I can't breathe.

[Cathy Battle speaking]
You can't breathe. Oh, okay. I'm here to give you your treatment, so hopefully, that's going to help. Let me see what your stat is.

I grew up in Lima, Ohio, which is a very small, rural community. We had a huge family. It was very nice. I do have two children. I have Phillip III and Denae. I have seven grandkids, and luckily, I do get to see them all the time.

That's my husband. I met my husband in high school. Actually, I was 16, and he was 18, getting ready to graduate. And he came through the hallway and he said, "Hey." And I'm like, "Hey." "Can I take you out?" So I said, "Okay." We go out. And shortly after we start dating, he left and went to the military, and I still had two years of high school. But we communicated back and forth, and he came back to see me. And actually, right after high school, we got married because he was being transferred to Germany. When we got married, when he proposed to me, he told me that he was called to preach. He said, "I want you to know that I am called to preach, and one day, I will have to answer that call." And so, one day, he did answer that call, and that changed our lives again. Now he's the pastor of New Light Temple Baptist Church, which is in the Hill District here in Pennsylvania. We got to the church at New Light, he said, "You know what? We're going to collect diapers." So I said, "Okay, he's dead-set on giving away diapers. Let me do the research here." So that's when I called the National Diaper Bank Network. She says, "You know what? We don't have anybody in Pittsburgh, and we've been looking for somebody to cover that area." And we start collecting diapers.

[Lynne Hayes-Freeland speaking]
When you say, "Diaper Bank," I'm sure a lot of folks are sitting at home saying, "What's a Diaper Bank? What's that all about?"

[Cathy Battle speaking]
People were like, "Wow. We neve
r thought of that." But once you're out there, once you see the babies and the moms, you know they need diapers. And I told them, "You don't see the despair that it's creating, but it's happening in your neighborhood, it's happening somewhere in your family. It's just that we've been blessed." So 2012, we started the Diaper Bank. We gave away 16,000 diapers that year. And in 2017, we gave away 181,000 diapers to families in need. My title is the executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank. I just kind of keep everything together. I help arrange the diaper drives. I come and give out the diapers to the partner agencies. I select the partner agencies that we're going to give the diapers to. I'll go out and do talks for the Diaper Bank to raise awareness, to raise the diapers to give to the families.

[Highmark Health official]
And now for the moment we've all been waiting for. It's time to announce this year's overall winner of Highmark Health's Jefferson Award for Public Service. And the winner is…Cathy Battle, respiratory therapist, Forbes Hospital, Allegheny Health Network, Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

[Cathy Battle speaking]
The Jefferson Award — to receive that, it's amazing. It's amazing that me, a respiratory therapist, I'm being honored for just the work that I believe in doing. Just amazing to be honored, and just a very humbling experience.

I do like to help people. I help people in my professional career, I help people in the community with my husband's career as a pastor. And then we're helping people with the Diaper Bank. So we are here to serve, and we are here to give back.

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