Feb 15, 2018 | CHI St. Gabriel's Health News

Jeff Hoffman

Jeff Hoffman

The director of rehab services at CHI St. Gabriel’s Health, Jeff Hoffman, PT, was chosen for the 2017 Francis Award at the organization’s celebration luncheon held February 13, 2018, in the hospital cafeteria.

The award is presented each year to a CHI St. Gabriel’s employee “who goes beyond the call of duty, serving the community and the organization with heart and hands.”  It recognizes employees for the way they exemplify the organization’s mission, vision, values and behavior standards as well as their commitment to the community and the organization.  CHI St. Gabriel’s Health includes approximately 500 employees of St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Family Medical Center, Little Falls Orthopedics, Alverna Apartments and CHI Health at Home, as well as Family Medical Center’s satellite clinics in Pierz and Randall.

Hoffman, a physical therapist and director of the rehab services department, joined CHI St. Gabriel’s Health on June 30, 2000.  His nomination related how he is an educator who readily shares his knowledge and expertise regarding rehab with others.  The nomination specifically noted his integrity and how he exemplifies the behavior standard, PAR (praise, acknowledge, recognize) for the Course.  He has worked hard to create a work environment where praise and recognition is commonly shared among the staff.

Carla Zupko, vice president of patient care for CHI St. Gabriel’s Health and Hoffman’s supervisor, says he is a great Francis Award recipient.

“Jeff exemplifies our core values of reverence, integrity, compassion and excellence in his daily work,” Zupko says, adding, “He is a wonderful example of living out our mission in servant leadership.”

She continues: “Jeff is patient, kind and trustworthy.  He mentors other leaders and is so willing to share his knowledge and expertise to change things for the betterment of patients and staff.  He is always willing to listen with an open mind, to help out wherever he can and he always follows up. We are very fortunate to have him as one of the leaders in our organization.”

Hoffman says receiving the Francis Award is quite an honor, but it also makes him a little uncomfortable.  “The first thing I thought about when my name was called is that out of the 18 nominees, there were others who are more deserving,” he says.  “I thought how can this be?”

Zupko says Hoffman’s humility is readily apparent, “When praising Jeff for a job well done, he always says ‘it wasn’t me, it was the staff.’ He includes them in projects, is often seen thanking them and letting them know that he appreciates all the work that they do.”

Hoffman says his leadership style has evolved over the past 18 years at CHI St. Gabriel’s.

“I’ve learned a great deal in my tenure at St. Gabriel’s,” he says.  “Some of my department’s culture assessments pointed to improvements that needed to be made.  I saw that in being honest with myself, I needed to change the way I interacted with my staff in order to build trust and create a positive working environment.  This change was critical to enhancing the culture in our department.

Hoffman was successful in building that trust thanks, in large part, by focusing on key culture goals.

“We concentrated on building key attributes like collaboration, communication, conflict management, and engagement and the trusting relationships followed.  It’s been very rewarding to see how our department has grown into a more trusting and cohesive team.”

Zupko says Hoffman reflects the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. “Jeff is a calming presence,” she says. “He never gets angry and speaks only nice things about people.  He’s quick to forgive and truly seeks to understand issues. I feel that he embodies the spirit of the St. Francis of Assisi and was a great selection.”

There were 18 Francis Award nominees in 2017.  The other 17 nominees for the award included Michelle Athmann, Brenda Baum, Mischelle Blenkush, Carolyn Boser, Doug Feustel, Cherri Funk, Paula Garrison, Jessica Jarnot, Marie Kummet, Kathy Lange, Vicki Maleski, Nathan Scheuman, Jane Schneider, Laura Schoonover, Diane Tamm, Brenda Vaverek and Therese Waddell.

CHI St. Gabriel’s Health is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national, non-profit health system based in Englewood, Colorado.  The faith-based system operates in 18 states and includes more than 100 hospitals, outpatient clinic and services, residential and long-term care facilities, and home health and hospice agencies.  For more information about CHI St. Gabriel’s Health, including employment opportunities, please visit the organization’s website at or call 320-632-5441.

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