By Lauren Perry
Every profession has an award intended for a person in that field who shows the most eagerness, dedication and efficiency. Literature awards the Pulitzer Prize, artists are given the National Medal of Arts and individuals who show outstanding leadership are honored with the Nobel Peace Prize.
Among medicine’s most prestigious honors is the Mae Berry Award for Service Excellence granted by the Mayo Health System. Only eight people are honored every year – two from each Mayo clinic in Georgia, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.
One of this year’s Mae Berry recipients – selected from 13,500 Mayo employees – hails from La Crosse’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU.) Barbara Mauss of Caledonia, the daughter of Francis and Alice Beck, joined MCHS in 1986, moving to the NICU three years later. Coworker Linda Hilton describes Mauss as “energetic, enthusiastic, caring and compassionate.”
The Mae Berry Award, endowed by Len Berry, Ph.D, is given in honor of his mother, Dr. Mae Berry, a professor of marketing at Texas A & M University.
“The Mae Berry award recognizes staff members who provide exemplary service to patients and coworkers. Candidates must exhibit excellence in customer service by giving timely, reliable attention to the needs of patients, clients and coworkers,” the Mayo Clinic Health System website says.
The NICU demands a high level of personal attention with the infant and parents, something Mauss has perfected, coworkers say.
“She always greeted families, told them who she was and how she would be caring for their newborn. When it was time to leave, she thanked them for the opportunity to care for their child and reminded them to come back whenever they could,” Hilton said.
Mauss was honored, along with the other seven Mae Berry recipients, June 5 at a ceremony in Rochester.