201704-03-13 - Columbia VA Health Care System
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Columbia VA Health Care System



April 29, 2017

Satisfaction, passion, commitment to Veterans, employees contribute to Dorn recipient of annual Palmetto Gold Award recognition


Jennifer Scales
Dorn VAMC Public Affairs

“She goes to work ready to tackle any problems the day brings and still comes home smiling”, begins a husband, as he sings the praises of his wife. “She brings the life experience of caring for multiple people, --me, five kids, in-laws, and now her father--into her job and gets Veterans the best care, without sacrificing professionalism and customer service.”

The wife in reference just happens to be nurse manager for the Anderson, S.C. Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Tiffany Frialde, with the words of adoration from her husband, Dr. Jose Frialde, a physician at the same CBOC.

Though Frialde has been the clinic’s care manager since 2014, she was in place as a contract clinical registered nurse in 2007. Within five years she then became a Patient Aligned Care Team Care (PACT) Manager.

As with many of the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center employees, Frialde says she gets immense personal satisfaction and finds her career to be extremely rewarding.

“I have always enjoyed every job in nursing,” Frialde said.

“There is just something about Veterans,” Frialde continued. “They are always grateful, even while facing challenges. I enjoy finding the resolution to their challenges and they always thank us for doing a good job.”

When it comes to the staff at the Anderson CBOC, Frialde shared her thoughts in working with them. “I encourage them to be the best they can be, because I am 100 per cent on their side,” she said.

Frialde is a New York native, born in the town of Lockport, which is near Buffalo. Her high school alma mater rests at West Seneca East Senior High School, located in West Seneca.

Her nursing journey began with an associate’s degree acquired from Troicare College in Buffalo. Realizing that the journey was just getting started, the course of her career continued when she graduated Suma Cum Laude from Clemson University in the RN to BSN program, in which her blood became ‘orange’ for the Tigers.

Frialde proudly credits her matriarch mother, Barbara Porter, with just the right push in her career. “She had the knack for encouraging us to seek the impossible and push through adversity. She was not afraid to go out on the limb for what is right, while still grabbing the ‘bull by the horns’, so to speak,” Frialde said.

The matriarch of the family also supported her other siblings which included Frialde’s twin brother, Todd; brother Robert who resides in Illinois; sister, Mai; and sister figure, Mimi Huynh Lam.

Frialde has a rare distinction in South Carolina that makes her stand out as one of the best in her field. She and two other submissions from the Dorn VA Medical Center were selected as recipients for the annual Palmetto Gold Award at the annual Gala in Columbia, April 22.

According to the website, the award was established in 2001 when a coalition of nurse leaders representing major nursing organizations in South Carolina met to discuss the formation of an annual statewide nursing recognition program that would both showcase the valuable contributions nurses make to patient care in South Carolina and to raise funds to provide scholarships for registered nurse students.

The program’s two-fold purpose is to first recognize registered nurses in South Carolina who exemplify excellence in nursing practice and commitment to the nursing profession; secondly is to support the future of nursing by using the proceeds from the Gala event to provide an annual $1,000 nursing scholarship to each registered nurse undergraduate program in the state.

“I honestly didn’t think I would win,” Frialde said. “I am humbled by this honor and I give credit to my incredible staff, because without them, this would not be possible.”

Other staff members embrace her totally as winning and being a supervisor. “She is outstanding and always a professional,” Franklin Bruton said, medical support assistant for the Anderson CBOC. “She is organized and will always keep us informed, and is willing to find the answers if we need further assistance.”

Another employee added that there is enjoyment in working with Frialde. “She makes things run efficiently and is the epitome of professionalism,” Larisha Thompson, MSA supervisor for Anderson and Greenville CBOC’s, said. “She is veteran-centered and continues to help us, as employees, meet the benchmark.”

She is surrounded by several medical ingénue’s, in addition to her husband, in her family. Daughter Ashleigh is currently in medical school at the St. James School of Medicine in St. Vincent, Grenada, since her graduation from Clemson. Other children running ‘orange’ blood at Clemson are Amanda, studying veterinary medicine and Aaron who is involved in computer science. Son Adam is a junior at T. L. Hanna High School in Anderson while Anthony attends McCants Middle School.

Frialde likes to take a break, just like everyone else. You may find her belting out a Karaoke tune with family and friends, snorkeling, hosting monthly themed dinner parties, traveling around the world from New York to Paris, but more than likely at a tailgate event when the Clemson Tigers season is occurring.

Passion is the theme Frialde says should be the foundation in a person’s work. “If you are passionate about what you do, then you know it will be done well. That is especially applicable when it comes to working with Veterans and other staff,” said Frialde.