Sparrow caregivers honored for improving patient experience

Elizabeth Butz 2021 PRC winner
Elizabeth Butz, Patient Experience Coordinator
Sparrow Hospital
Marti Samsel 2021 PRC winner
Marti Samsel, Clinical Services Manager
Sparrow Specialty Hospital

Published: October 20, 2021

LANSING, MI – Two Sparrow caregivers have received national leadership awards for their exemplary work in patient quality and experience.

Sparrow Hospital Patient Experience Coordinator Elizabeth Butz and Marti Samsel, clinical services manager for Sparrow Specialty Hospital, were given 2021 Healthcare Leadership Awards from Professional Research Consultants Inc., a leading national organization dedicated to improving the healthcare experience.

The awards recognize healthcare professionals from across the country who reflect PRC’s dedication to excellence in healthcare and embody the core values of quality, service, collaboration, innovations, and growth. The awards are based on nominations from healthcare staff and leaders.

Butz was honored with a Healthcare Impact award for helping to carry out Sparrow’s innovative policy of allowing a limited number of family members to visit COVID-positive patients. The policy was among the first in the country and has received international media attention.

“When I was asked to help support this program it became personal, as I also have lost family members to COVID,” Butz said.  “I spent many evenings and weekends in addition to my full-time job answering and returning calls to loved ones of COVID patients.

“I understand the value and potential positive impact these visits would bring to the patients and their families. The value of a supportive touch from a family member means the world to our patients who at the time were feeling so isolated and alone.”

Samsel received the Patient Experience Award for Sparrow Specialty Hospital’s exemplary record in improving patient satisfaction scores to rank in the top 10 percent among all healthcare organizations in PRC’s database. SSH, a long-term acute care facility, reviewed patient feedback, identified barriers to improvement, and increased patients’ involvement in the discharge process, among others.

“SSH’s success is truly an interdisciplinary team success.  We are so proud that we achieved such high marks in patient satisfaction, but it is not by accident.  Every moment with every patient, every day is important, particularly during these difficult times,” Samsel said.

“Staff have really continued to focus on the most important things at SSH - our patients and each other.  I am so proud to be a part of this incredible team.  We are a family and together we share in this award.”

Earlier this year, SSH and the Sparrow Carson, Clinton and Eaton community hospitals received major awards from PRC for patient satisfaction, while Mary Free Bed at Sparrow Inpatient Rehabilitation was honored for a third consecutive year as a national top performer in patient care.

As the region’s only community-based, community-owned and community-governed health system, Sparrow is proud of the care it provides to Mid-Michigan residents.



Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ionia and Carson City as well as Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, the Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 Caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and Patient experience. For more information, visit