Barton Health’s staff and administration filled “The Snowflake Lounge” at Barton Memorial Hospital on Thursday, March 31 as they presented Hospitalist, Dr. Stefan Schunk with the “Doctor of the Year” award.
“I was caught off-guard,” Dr. Schunk said. “Dr. Purvance called me down to sign a contract [that had already been signed] in his office and I walked into all of this [cake, ice cream and a large crowd].”
Dr. Clint Purvance, Barton’s Chief Medical Officer presented Dr. Schunk with a commemorative plaque.
“Dr. Schunk provides excellent patient care with a collaborative approach to health care,” Purvance said. “He is well respected by his colleagues and patients. He has been a huge asset to the development of the hospitalist program.”
There were more than 1,000 ballots sent to all Barton staff and Dr. Schunk’s name stood out.
“Words on the voting ballots, such as compassionate, caring, approachable, knowledgeable, amazing and dedicated flooded medical staff office in the beginning of March,” Tammy Taylor, Barton Medical Staff, Credentialing Specialist said.
One voter wrote: “Dr. Schunk serves on several committees and is timely and supportive to projects. As a clinician, he is thorough, compassionate and responds quickly.”
Dr. Schunk’s photo will be placed near the entrance of the hospital in recognition of his dedication and hard work. He also received piece of luggage that converts into a backpack filled with essential items for camping, backpacking and hiking — a perfect fit for his outdoor interests and a Barton Health jacket with the official U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team logos.
Barton welcomed Dr. Schunk in January 2010 as one of eight hospitalists at Barton Memorial. He travels from Eureka twice-a-month to dedicate his time to patients at Barton. When he’s not in Lake Tahoe he serves at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka and Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City. As a hospitalist, Dr. Schunk monitors patient conditions, orders diagnostic tests, makes treatment decisions with input from primary care doctors and coordinates patient care among all members of the hospital staff. Because he is hospital based, Dr. Schunk can respond quickly whenever a patient or family member has a question or concern. This contrasts with traditional doctors, who often see their hospitalized patients during morning or evening rounds [check-ups].
Dr. Schunk believes “listening” is the key to being a good physician.
“To listen to your patients, the nurses and the rest of the medical staff—that’s my motto,” he said. “With the great nurses and colleagues, Barton is a very positive environment to work in and a great place to give back.”