Emergency Department Registered Nurse Brenton “Brent” Kraushaar was named Lompoc Valley Medical Center 2021 Employee of the Year during a ceremony on Monday.
“I’m very excited,” Brent said. “It is absolutely an honor. It’s a huge organization, so it’s nice to be singled out. I appreciate all my coworkers and all the support I receive here.”
Brent, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Southern Maine, grew up in Solvang. He has been employed at LVMC for about three years. He also earned a Bachelor of Science with high honors in Physical Geography from UCSB.
“I enjoy making people feel better,” Brent said. “I’ve always had the motivation to serve and to help others. This job is one that gives me that opportunity. I feel I have found my calling.”
He said he is proud of the work done at Lompoc Valley Medical Center. In the time of the pandemic, Brent added that it is nice to feel supported by the community.
“It’s a difficult job,” he added. “It’s much harder than before. There are a lot of new challenges. It’s been very challenging. All of us are doing our very best to weather the storm and keep on trying. We keep on coming back. It’s been amazing, the amount of fortitude, we all have.”
Chief Executive Officer Steve Popkin said there were many great nominees and that it is a very difficult choice to decide upon the top employee. Brent was chosen from among 14 other Employee of the Quarter nominees named last year.
“This is one of my favorite things to do because we get to recognize many of our stellar employees, and there are a lot more stellar employees than Employees of the Quarter,” Mr. Popkin said. “The Employee of the Year really exemplifies everything we hope for from all our employees and ourselves as well.”
Emergency Department Director Ryan Stevens said Brent always cares for patients “without judgment, with an open mind and heart, despite their circumstances.”
Brenton is, he added, “an exceptional human being.”