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Vanessa Kennedy, office coordinator for Home Health Psychiatric Services/Utilization Review, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for March. Kennedy joined NMMC in 2005.
“There are two things I love most about my job, the people and the variety,” Kennedy said. “The people are the best to work with—they are compassionate and loving at the office and out in the homes with their patients. I enjoy the variety of work as well. One minute I might be on the phone with a psychiatric nurse or patient, the next I might be doing chart audits, then later I might be working on an accreditation project.”
Kennedy was praised for her attitude and her job performance. “Vanessa has a rare gift for anticipating the needs of others and going beyond that to exceed your expectations,” said Leslia Carter, director of NMMC’s Home Health Agency. “What makes Vanessa so worthy of Employee of the Month is not only her skill and expertise, but the attitude with which she performs her duties. Vanessa is fully engaged and always looking for ways to improve not only her work but the lives of those she works with.”
Tony Alford, radiology technologist, was selected North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for February.
Alford joined NMMC in 1985 and was promoted to shift supervisor. He later worked in Special Procedures before moving to the Main Unit Outpatient Center. He currently works in the Radiology section of the Center for Digestive Health.
“What I like most about my job is watching patients walk in to 589 Garfield, worried to death, and walk out thinking, ‘That was easy!’” Alford said. “The people here are so good at what they do. They take very complicated procedures, GI related or surgical, and make them look like a walk in the park. It’s fun to be a part of that.”
“Tony is a real asset because of his experience in fluoroscopy and procedures,” one radiologist commented in his nomination. “He handles patients in a supportive, caring manner that helps put the patient at ease during a procedure. His knowledge of anatomy and pathology is a real asset to the radiologists.”
“Tony never allows anything to get in the way of helping others,” a coworker wrote in his nomination. “You will never hear him complain or say something is not his job.”
Vickie Arnold, RN, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for January. Arnold, a breast health specialist at NMMC’s Breast Care Center, joined the hospital in 1993.
Arnold worked in Surgery for more than 11 years before joining the Breast Care Center in 2004. “I try to treat patients like I’d want my family members treated,” said Arnold. “I’m a breast cancer survivor so I can empathize with what our patients are going through."
“Vickie is very dedicated to her job. She’s very caring and personable with the patients,” a coworker wrote. “She puts patients at ease and, after they have their procedures, she will go to the hospital to check on them and meet their needs as much as possible and calls them at home to check on them.”
“Vickie is constantly looking for ways to improve services offered to patients and ensures that everyone she comes in contact with knows that they received the best possible care,” said Sherry Craig, technical director of the Breast Care Center. “She is one of the most dedicated people I know.”
Gary Harper, a surgical technician in North Mississippi Medical Center’s Surgery Department, was named Employee of the Month for December. Harper has been with NMMC since 1983.
“Gary is living proof that nothing is too difficult to accomplish,” said Melissa Enlow RN, Surgical Services clinical director. “Gary is the first to volunteer for extra work when the department needs help. He is the one who you can say, with confidence, is an employee who goes above and beyond his job description.”
Harper started his NMMC career as an attendant and has worked his way through to surgical tech. He has earned Perfect Attendance recognition in each of his 25 years at the hospital. When asked what he loved most about his job, the Tupelo High School graduate said, “everything and everybody.”
Christy Whitley, perinatal social worker at Women’s Hospital, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for November. Whitley joined the Women’s Hospital staff in 2007.
“As a perinatal social worker, she is the best,” one coworker said of Whitley. “Christy makes our job easier and gives our families the best possible care. She is a great comfort to them in their time of need. She also checks in on us as coworkers and friends to ensure we are coping well when caring for an infant who is dying.”
“My dream from childhood has been to one day become a hospital social worker,” Whitley said. “Surprisingly, the two things I love most about my job are the two most difficult for patients, their families and our staff at Women’s Hospital. As a perinatal social worker, I am able to walk the fearful and lonely path of grief with our parents who experience the death of a child. By doing this, my ultimate goal is to provide encouragement and hope when all hope seems to have vanished. I also get to celebrate with families quite often, especially in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is these reasons and many more that confirm I am exactly where God can use me the most.”
Mary Ballard, a charge nurse on 2 West, was selected October Employee of the Month at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Ballard joined NMMC in 1994. A resident of Detroit, Ala., she is a graduate of Marion County High School and received her nursing education at Northwest-Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
“She doesn’t have to ask you if you need help, she already knows what needs to be done and does it,” a nurse on 2 West said in her nomination. “She is a compassionate nurse, dedicated and a great team leader.”
Ballard’s service extends beyond her job. She donates money, clothes and furniture to families in need. She furnished an entire house for one family with furniture from her own house.
She said the best parts of her job are working with the patients and her coworkers. “The people I work with are a talented, caring and dedicated group of nurses, doctors and secretaries,” Ballard said.
Deb Munn, office coordinator for North Mississippi Medical Center Home Health Agency’s Pontotoc branch, was selected Employee of the Month for September.
Munn joined NMMC in July 1993 as a part-time employee in the Pontotoc branch and moved to full-time seven months later as a file clerk. She has worked at Home Health offices in Okolona, Houston, Eupora, Ripley and Home Health’s administrative offices. She also serves as branch office coordinator preceptor for Home Health.
“Deb has always been an inspiration to me,” a Home Health registered nurse wrote in her nomination. “She is always helpful, friendly and even when things get hectic, she jumps in and gives advice and is able to make wise decisions.”
“I work with a great group of people who have become a part of my family,” Munn said. “And every day I have the feeling that I have served or helped somebody.”
Chenelle Holiday, RN, diabetes clinician, was selected Employee of the Month for May at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Holiday, an NMMC employee since 2000, has been with the Diabetes Treatment Center since 2006. She previously worked on 6 South for five years and in the float pool.
Holiday says the best part of her job is “to be used by God to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support to both patients and their family members. “My belief is that we are here to be the mother to the motherless, father to the fatherless, love those that feel unloved and to lend a helping hand to those in need,” she said. “If we are not here to serve others, then what are we here for?”