Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg held its quarterly Sunshine Awards on Friday, recognizing non-nursing hospital support staff for outstanding patient care and service.

Much like the quarterly DAISY Award, which honors nurses, staff are nominated for the Sunshine Award by patients and patients’ families for exemplary service.

Christus Spohn Kleberg recognized 36 associates who received a cumulative total of 60 nominations for the award. Staff, technicians, doctors and certified nursing assistants from the hospital’s various departments were nominated this quarter.

“It’s for all of the other staff that do everything to make the hospital run,” Chief Nursing Officer Laci Lasater said.

This quarter’s recipient was sterile processing technician Rachel Hernandez, who has been with Christus Spohn Kleberg for 15 years. Hernandez said her job has her sterilizing equipment that is used in the hospital’s operating room.

“My friend Grace helped me get this job, and I am so glad that she did,” Hernandez said. “I love working here.”

Hernandez was nominated for her work assisting with processing equipment for “going above and beyond for our hospital and our sister hospital at Shoreline,” Lasater said as she read the nomination.

“When Shoreline’s sterilizer went down, Rachel volunteered to help process trays,” Lasater said. “She worked an extra 20 hours above her regular 40 hours. She worked late into the night to get trays ready. One night, she stayed until 1 a.m.

“We told her she was saving lives and making an impact. The instruments she processed were used in very important surgeries.”

Hernandez said she was surprised not only at the nomination, but in receiving the award.

“This is a big deal for me,” Hernandez said. “I was not expecting this at all. It’s an awesome feeling, and I’m just very speechless right now.”

Honorable mentions for the Sunshine Award this quarter were ICU CNA Estrella Martinez, environmental services staff member Flora Martinez and maintenance worker Karl Heinz-Hernandez.

Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at or (361) 221-0251.

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