Winners Feature

Five Winners Announced in ImageFIRST’s HeroesFIRST Contest, Honoring Healthcare Heroes

Heroes from N.J., Ga., Ariz., Minn., and Calif. will be awarded $1,500 for their efforts in enhancing the patient experience

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., November 9, 2022ImageFIRST® Healthcare Laundry Specialists announced the five winners of their 2nd Annual HeroesFIRST Contest – where ImageFIRST associates recognize exceptional Healthcare Heroes who go above and beyond to positively impact the lives of their patients. After receiving over 450 nominations from the ImageFIRST Service Team, 10 regional Healthcare Heroes were chosen as finalists. Votes were cast by the public on the contest’s website for the regional Hero who inspired them the most.

Following the nationwide vote, the Hero in each region (five) that received the most votes will be awarded a $1,500 grand prize.*

  • Lisa Malzone, Advanced Vascular Associates in Morristown, NJ (Northeast)
  • Etha Weems, Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan, GA (Southeast)
  • Robin Hutto, SKI Vascular Center in Peoria, AZ (Southwest)
  • Amy Howe, Midwest Surgery Center in Woodbury, MN (Midwest)
  • Nancy Aragon, Murrieta Valley Surgery Center in Wildomar, CA (West)

Local celebrations will be held for each of the five winners. Details can be shared upon request.

HeroesFIRST winner Amy Howe learning that she was nominated for the HeroesFIRST contestThere were many heartwarming stories throughout the contest for ImageFIRST associates and their customers. “Our Hero Amy lives the meaning of ‘going above and beyond,'” says Ed Patula, an ImageFIRST Service Manager in Minnesota. The Minnesota team’s nominee Amy Howe was voted one of the five winners. “When we were letting Amy know why she was selected, there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd, yet everyone was smiling at the same time. Amy is the heart and soul of Midwest Surgery Center, and we are truly honored to have the opportunity to nominate her for the HeroesFIRST contest.”

“This experience throughout HeroesFIRST has been quite surreal,” says Amy Howe, Operating Room RN at Midwest Surgery Center and the HeroesFIRST winner of the Midwest region. “I was speechless when I found out I won, and if you know me, then you know that that is never the case! I am humbled by this nomination and recognition. It gives me great joy each and every day to do what I do.”

The remaining five finalists and runners-up will also be awarded a cash prize of $500 for their remarkable work.*

  • Susan Alexander, The Reading Hospital SurgiCenter at Spring Ridge in Reading, PA (Northeast)
  • Brenda Peters, Volusia Endoscopy & Surgery Center in Ormond Beach, FL (Southeast)
  • Patricia Divers, Baylor Scott & White Surgicare Centennial in Frisco, TX (Southwest)
  • Katherine Lunn, North Shore Surgical Suites in Pleasant Prairie, WI (Midwest)
  • Ginny Ogle, Pacific Medical Ambulatory Surgical Center in Seattle, WA (West)

*If preferred, an equivalent donation will be made to a charity of their choice.

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ABOUT IMAGEFIRST Founded in 1967, ImageFIRST® is the largest and fastest-growing national linen rental and laundry service specializing in the healthcare market. Acquired by private equity firm Calera Capital in 2018, ImageFIRST serves medical facilities nationwide providing linen, patient gowns, scrubs, safety & hygiene programs, and more while managing their clients’ linen inventory for cost management. With a customer retention rate of over 97%, ImageFIRST is dedicated to improving staff and patient satisfaction through their quality linen and remarkable service. As infection prevention leaders, they own and operate the most HLAC-accredited facilities in the industry. For more information, visit

Media inquiries: 
Halle Forbes, ImageFIRST

Melissa Varone, ImageFIRST 

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