Open Accessibility Menu

Salinas Valley Health STAR Award Recipient Saves Choking Patient

Salinas Valley Health STAR Award Recipient Saves Choking Patient

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

People who work with the latest STAR Award recipient at Salinas Valley Health praise Ramon Vega as being the kind of colleague everyone wishes they had regardless of their profession. In this case, Ramon also happened to jump into action to save a patient from choking.

Leaders at Salinas Valley Health Medical Center presented Ramon with 2022’s first STAR Award which stands for the hospital’s core values of Support, Teamwork, Accountability and Respect. Those gathered for the ceremony shared how Ramon’s outstanding attitude and “always” behavior of cooperation are enough to earn him an award, however there was one incident in particular that pushed his nomination and selection as a STAR recipient over the top.

Clinical Nurse Manager, Anna Linn, RN submitted the STAR nomination with her account of Ramon’s immediate response to a patient experiencing trouble. Anna wrote that at approximately 7:50 in the morning, a patient was choking on her breakfast omelet and Ramon was in the room and initiated the Heimlich maneuver with a positive outcome.

“I was actually a little scared but I knew I had to act quickly,” says Ramon Vega, clinical nurse aide. “I’m really honored by this award. I didn’t realize what a big deal it is to get it and it feels good. I love my job and the people I work with here.”

While his quick action prompted the nomination, Anna says Ramon is a natural choice for the STAR Award. “His work ethic is beyond exceptional,” she says. “Ramon sets a great example of what a team player is and is always there to assist our patients.”

In addition to Ramon, Gael Loris, a clinical pharmacist and Angelica Plascencia, human resource specialist also received a STAR nomination.

Each month, Salinas Valley Health recognizes two outstanding employees, one with a STAR Award (for all staff) and another with a DAISY Award (specifically for nurses). Nomination forms and drop boxes are located throughout the medical center and online. To learn more about the awards visit Nurse Recognition | Salinas Valley Health or STAR Award | Monterey County Health System (

Editor note: Photo attached (L to R): Lisa Paulo, MSN/MPA, RN, Chief Nursing Officer; Ramon Vega, CNA; and Anna Linn, RN.

Sign Up For Our E-Newsletter

We are providing our community with health and wellness information. If you would like to receive these e-newsletters, sign up below.