Tamela Elkins
May 2023
University Health Services
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan
Ann Arbor
United States




I can’t express how much her kindness and heartfelt determination meant to me.
Good day to you and well wishes! I am submitting this nomination along with my heartfelt gratitude for Tammy Elkins, RN. Where does one start when you receive not just dedicated and devoted help from a nurse, but also a restoration of faith in a world where compassionate and passionate people don’t exist? I have been working with Tammy for a few weeks, but it all started when I went to have my contraceptive replaced. The wonderful team at UHS did try to remove it, but it turned out that it had migrated and couldn’t be removed in the office setting.

The UHS team tried to get me scheduled for an OR procedure, and after some scheduling issues, finally got it scheduled. Unfortunately, I have no family or close friends at this time as I was subject to many years of abuse by my biological family, and that lead me to legally change my name and to separate from them. Additionally, I had moved to Michigan with my now ex-husband, and just have not had any luck making friends. All of this is to say that it is extremely difficult for me to deal with the requirements of having a responsible companion for the OR procedure.

With Tammy’s dedicated and sincere help, we did everything we could to try and make the procedure happen. Tammy went above and beyond in trying to speak with other UM representatives to make the arrangements. It wasn’t just the logistics, mind you, Tammy’s communication with me revealed a heartfelt concern for me. She kept me updated constantly and was severely disappointed that I had to cancel the procedure. Despite my attempt to secure a hotel room nearby, and get someone to help me, I just couldn’t get it done. While the website offers assistance to people in this kind of situation, they direct people to extremely costly hired services, costing me hundreds of dollars. I just couldn‘t pay for the hotel and the services, so I decided that since the procedure wasn’t life-threatening I would cancel. Fortunately for me, I had a co-worker who was able to help me the next week. I contacted Tammy, and although I figured it couldn’t be arranged on a day my co-worker was available, just like that Tammy was able to speak with the team. I received a call from the schedulers and the procedure was scheduled for the next week!

Most of all, I want you to know this…life is difficult without family or close friends. While I am independent and strong, it can sometimes be unbearably sad to know that if you need someone to help you with medical procedures, you are on your own. Tammy provided much more than a dedication to logistics. I can’t express how much her kindness and heartfelt determination meant to me. It really made me feel that I am cared about! That is something I don’t feel as often as I would like to. Tammy never forgot about me, and endlessly tried to make this work. My gratitude to her is immense! She helped me with my problem, with my sometimes sad heart, and gave me hope that there are good-hearted people in this world who care for their fellow humans.

I will never forget how Tammy made me feel. Both my inner child and my adult self received more than physical healing because of her efforts, I receive healing in my very tired heart. I hope you will consider Tammy for this award as she certainly deserves it and so much more.