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2023 Recipients

2023 Recipients

Fall 2023

Congratulations to the following recipients of our Spring 2023 CARE Awards, who were recognized during the college's annual Points of Pride celebration in October 2023.


Bounleaung (Chan) Chanthapanya, IT Support Specialist, Cleveland

Bounleaung (Chan) Chanthapanya

"Chan is a great person to have around.  He helps us in many different ways.  Not only is he there when the printer decides to stop speaking to the computer, or when someone needs replacement batteries for their mouse, he doesn't hesitate to jump in to help us move a table or hold a door.  In the last few months, in addition to the regular stuff, he has adjusted his schedule as needed to help with technical needs for off-hour activities.  Chan makes himself available to help students, faculty, and staff.  Somehow, Chan manages to take care of multiple requests without making anybody wait very long, and he is patient with us, no matter what we ask him. In addition to being a great help to everyone, Chan is courteous, caring and funny.  He is what everyone values in a colleague."



Amy Cain, Assessment and Curriculum Coordinator, Cleveland

Amy Cain

"Amy is a joy to work with! I always value our interactions together. She has thoughtful responses and input into all situations. I have noticed how much of an impact she has had for the assessment team. She brings a can-do attitude and always looks for ways to improve processes. I have seen her take suggestions or thoughts and role out solutions. An example of this is during our Year 1 team chats with course leadership, a thought regarding how to track progress of assessment items to help faculty know what stage each item is in. The next meeting we had she had a prototype of how to make that work. That is just one example of how valuable she is to us in OME!"

"The Cleveland campus is very lucky to have Amy.  Amy goes above and beyond for the students, making sure the atmosphere is perfect for their exams and helping them find the right avenue to get their questions answered. Amy has taken on extra tasks to cover vacations and medical leaves.  As a co-worker, Amy is an asset to the team, both professionally and personally.    She has introduced co-workers to local lunch spots and is the unofficial founder of our staff "Facebook club." Amy also finds time to act as our "Technical Generation Gap Closer," teaching the older people on the staff software with patience and kindness (although she is WAY too polite to call us old).  Amy's quick wit and sense of humor help make our work environment joyful."


Sarah Lawrence, Assistant Director of Student Events & Leadership, Athens

Sarah Lawrence

"I am nominating Sarah Lawrence because of the tremendous work and dedication she has demonstrated in the short amount of time in her new role as Assistant Director, Student Events and Leadership. This job is extremely overwhelming, but she handled the transition with such grace, while putting the students she works directly with first. For example, I served as the VP of SGA, which required me to work very closely with Sarah. I had explained how the Presidents' Association (a meeting for all HCOM organization presidents and treasurers) was ran in the past years. Instead of allowing things to continue to be ran the way they were in the past, she took the time to review the current rules and revamped the entire presentation and order of how things would be ran so that organizations would be ran in a smoother way. This directly improved how organizations not only functioned, but interacted with each other. Not once has she ever settled in her role or accepted rules "as they were", which can be easy to do especially when new to a role. Sarah is a role model to all of the students she meets and creates a sense of comradery that bridges the gap between administration and students. She is an asset to OU-HCOM."


Jean Rettos, Associate Clinical Professor, Osteopathic Medical Manipulation, Athens

Jean Rettos

"Dr. Rettos is instrumental in creating and implementing the Osteopathic Medicine, Manipulation and Principles Course Curriculum for MS3 and MS4. Over the past three years she has worked tirelessly to develop a meaningful and interactive course that will prepare students to enter their residency programs well prepared to treat their patients osteopathically.  Dr. Rettos has worked with students and clinical faculty to accommodate schedule changes, firewalls, and a myriad of unforeseen challenges when launching a statewide curriculum taught by faculty at our clinical sites.  Her good humor and dedication to developing this course and our students' success is commendable.  She has truly earned recognition for this accomplishment."


Melissa Thomas, Assistant Professor, Primary Care, Athens

Melissa Thomas

"Dr. Thomas is someone who I highly respect and look up to, and there is no mistaking how much she genuinely cares about the students and people she works with. I and many of my fellow students consistently look forward to my weekly meetings with Dr. Thomas where she has a pivotal role in creating an open, empathetic, and welcoming environment for everyone and ensuring the time we spend together is purposeful and productive. I believe Dr. Thomas is one of the best examples of someone who embodies HCOM's Mission and Vision as a faculty member and researcher who emphasizes primary care, supports Appalachian communities, encourages public service, aims to improve the health and well-being of underserved populations, embraces diversity, and most importantly, demonstrates compassion. When I think of just a few ways Dr. Thomas has impacted my time here (like when she sent out warm, encouraging wishes to my small group before our first Acute semester exam, how she went out her way to make Fridays particularly special during holidays, or the insight and guidance she has generously shared that helped make medical school more meaningful) I have no doubt that she has significantly contributed to my immense regard for HCOM."

"From our first day back to school she has shown us nothing but support while providing an amazing small group environment that is low-stress and important for recovery from a long week of classes. She has always given us supportive wishes before all of our exams, has brought food and cool activities to partake in multiple times, and has always matched our energy every day. We always look forward to seeing her at the end of our week."