Laakonen Named 2015 Mercy Award Winner at UP Health System - Portage

May 22, 2015

HANCOCK, Mich. – UP Health System - Portage named Brian Laakonen as the hospital’s 2015 Mercy Award winner on Thursday (May 21). The Mercy Award recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint Health’s more than 60 hospitals, including UP Health System - Portage, who profoundly touches the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded.

The Mercy Award program is an annual recognition that was established in 2002 to honor the life of Scott Mercy, LifePoint’s founding chairman and chief executive officer (CEO).  The Mercy Award is considered the highest honor a LifePoint employee can receive.

“At UP Health System - Portage, we share LifePoint’s commitment to making communities healthier, and we recognize that this is supported by the good work and service of our employees on and off the job,” said CEO Jeff Lang. “We are extremely proud to recognize Brian for his efforts on behalf of our patients and our community. Brian goes above and beyond each and every day to ensure that every person he encounters is treated with the highest level of care and compassion.”

Laakonen has over 28 years of service as a courier for the Apothecary. He supplies an essential service to the community, delivering prescription medications to homebound patients. He often carries a shovel during the winter months and will always lend a helping hand during his short delivery visit. He always carries a positive, cheerful, compassionate attitude that inspires patients and his coworkers. Delivering conversation, laughter and a smile is sometimes the best medicine.

Each hospital winner, including Brian, will be considered for LifePoint’s 2015 company-wide Mercy Award. The company-wide winner will be announced this summer and honored during a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., in August, to which Brian and all hospital winners are invited to attend.

Other UP Health System - Portage Mercy Award Nominees: 

  • Tim Andress 
  • Brian Brewster 
  • Jim Delene 
  • Jaclyn Dessellier 
  • Joni Erkkila 
  • Myrna Gondek 
  • Patricia Hill 
  • Karen Kelley 
  • Linda Kesti 
  • Marion Kreivi 
  • Rod Paavola 
  • Tiffany Paavola 
  • Glenn Patrick 
  • Della Petaja 
  • Jena Riutta 
  • Joan Rundman 
  • Debra Siira 
  • Jennifer Sleeman 
  • Kim Tober 
  • Jeff Twardzik 
  • Fawn Vater 
  • Melissa Vertin