Cuyuna Regional Medical Center Surgical Services Administrator Joni Gutknecht, R.N., of Merrifield on May 19 received the organization’s Fire Starter Award for her outstanding leadership. The Fire Starter Award recognizes leaders who, through their dedication and passion, guide and support CRMC's commitment to excellence while keeping the true spirit of their organization alive and flourishing.
Chief Operating Officer Amy Hart presented the award saying, “Joni manages with a sense of compassion, dedication and humor. Joni seems to get put into spots that see her dealing with staff or physician issues and looked to equally by each of those for a fair and honest resolution. Joni is also very proactive and a terrific communicator. She has developed several staff-oriented, problem solving teams that address operations to employee health and wellness. The department is also always recognized during the holidays or a crisis for their outreach and financial commitment to a social problem.”
Gutknecht came to CRMC in 2016 from HealthEast Care System in the Twin Cities where she was responsible for surgical care delivered at three acute care hospitals; a total of 23 operating rooms and 11,000 plus surgeries per year. She also held management positions at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood and Fairview University Medical Center in Minneapolis. Gutknecht holds a Master’s degree in Health Administration from St. Francis University and earned her B.S.N. at Winona State University. She is a member of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and served as past president of the organization’s Twin Cities chapter.