Humboldt General Hospital Honors Top Employees

Jose Barajas says he felt "very humbled" to be selected as Humboldt General Hospital's 2014 "Employee of the Year."

"It means a lot to me that people have noticed my strong work ethic," he says.

Barajas has been on staff with Humboldt General Hospital's Environmental Services Department since November 2003.

Among hospital staff members, he is known to be a hard worker who also generously shares his contagious smile.

"I feel great satisfaction and great pride in helping to maintain a clean hospital," he says, "and it brings me great joy to know I am well received by my co-workers."

Humboldt General Hospital EMS Rescue EMT Dave Baker says he was totally surprised to be named the 2014 "EMT of the Year."

"My reaction when I got the award was something else," he relates. Initially, Baker didn't hear his name called, so his wife leaned over to whisper that he had received the award.

"Still not sure, I just clapped away with everyone else," he says. "Then I heard people saying, 'Good job, Dave.' That's when it sunk in."

Baker is actually employed full-time by Newmont Gold Corporation, where he is also captain of the mine rescue team.

On his days off, though, he works casual call for HGH EMS Rescue. In 2014 alone, he volunteered approximately 1,600 hours with the agency.

Baker says he appreciates the training he receives, both through HGH EMS and Newmont Mine Rescue, as well as the chance to rub shoulders with this area's emergency responders.

"I really enjoy my co-workers," he says. "They have helped me to learn so much in this time."

Humboldt General Hospital Chief Financial Officer Sandi Lehman was honored as the 2014 "Manager of the Year."

The Idaho native became CFO in October 2012 after working as the hospital's controller since January 2012.

While Lehman's primary duties involve financial matters, she says she truly enjoys every aspect of the healthcare spectrum.

"And I especially like the fact that I get to work with so many wonderful and talented people," she says.

"I really want to thank our hospital administrators for choosing me as Manager of the Year. It is a great honor and I look forward to continuing to help our facility meet the needs of our community."

HGH CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish says it has been an honor for him and other staff members at the hospital to be able to work alongside fine employees like Barajas, Baker and Lehman.

"These are steady, thoughtful people who are all about helping in whatever ways they can," says Parrish. "We all appreciate these three so much; they have made Humboldt General Hospital a better place through their dedicated service."

Barajas, Baker and Lehman each received a plaque and a check for $500 during the hospital's annual Christmas banquet. Their photos are included in a special wall display located in the hospital.