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Alfreida Starnes, phlebotomist in the Pathology Department, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for November.
Starnes joined NMMC in 2001. She previously worked in the Food and Nutrition Department. Starnes is a Shannon High School graduate and attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton and Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School.
In her nomination, Starnes was cited for being a considerate coworker who is good at her job. “Alfreida always greets everyone with a smile and has a very kind and caring spirit about her,” one coworker wrote. “She is filled with compassion and treats everyone with the utmost respect. She is always encouraging and giving to others. She keeps a positive attitude and never complains.”
“Alfredia has superb phlebotomy skills and is often called upon to draw specimens from the most difficult patients,” another coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is very committed to caring for our patients and always gives superior customer service. She has such a positive outlook and it is always uplifting to be in her presence.”
Starnes said she enjoys assisting patients and coworkers alike. “The best part of my job is meeting new people every day and being helpful to others—patients as well as staff,” Starnes said. “What I love about my job is that I’m always learning new things that I can share with others.”
She and her husband Marcus have two grown children—Martinez Riley and Marcus Starnes—and four grandchildren. They attend Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
Brigitta Walker, speech-language pathologist at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, has been selected as North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for October.
Walker has been with NMMC for 23 years. She previously worked in NMMC’s Rehabilitation Institute and Acute Rehabilitation. A graduate of Houston High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from the University of Mississippi and her master’s degree in speech pathology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette).
In her nomination, Walker was described as compassionate, trustworthy and an excellent leader. “Brigitta is a goal-driven leader who maintains a productive environment and confidently motivates, mobilizes and coaches employees to meet high performance standards,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is a resourceful team player who excels at building trusting relationships with her colleagues.”
“Brigitta Walker is the most competent, compassionate speech-language pathologist that I have ever known or had the pleasure of calling a ‘co-worker,’” another coworker wrote. “Regardless of her full work schedule and home responsibilities, she is always pleasant and ready to help in any way she can.”
Walker says the most rewarding part of her job is that she gets to help others. “What I love most about my job is the fact that I have been afforded the opportunity to share the knowledge and skills that God has given me to help other people on a daily basis,” Walker said. “I realize that everything I have and everything I am is a gift from God and I am able and blessed to share that gift to make a positive impact in the lives of others.”
Walker lives in Verona with her three children; Camille, Kendall and Chloe. She attends Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Tupelo, where she serves as minister of music.
Shelly Thompson, coordinator for the North Mississippi Health Services Institutional Review Board, has been selected as Employee of the Month for September.
Thompson has been with NMHS since 2001. The Certified IRB Professional is a graduate of Myrtle High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in 1999.
In her nomination, Thompson was described as attentive, patient and having a great attitude toward her coworkers. “Shelly’s job requires lots of attention, thoroughness and patience, and it shows daily,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “I cannot recall a time where Shelly complained or had anything negative to say.”
“Her personality and the way she presents herself daily are wonderful examples of CARES in action,” another coworker wrote. “She truly exemplifies the perfect NMMC employee, and over the years I have continually heard positive comments from co-workers, administration and visitors regarding Shelly.”
Thompson said she appreciates her job because there are always opportunities to learn, and she loves her colleagues. Thompson also received this monthly honor in October 2006. “I really enjoy my job and am very thankful for it,” Thompson states. “My job provides the opportunity for continuous learning. I am blessed with a wonderful supervisor and have the privilege of working with so many great people.”
Thompson lives in New Albany with her husband, Bobby, and two children, Blake and Shelby. Thompson attends Glenfield Baptist Church, where she teaches Sunday School and helps with Awana.
Joy Tomlinson, information distribution manager for Health Information Services, was selected Employee of the Month for August at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Tomlinson is a 41-year employee of NMMC. She is a graduate of Tupelo High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in medical records administration from University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Coworkers praised Tomlinson for her helpfulness and friendliness. In her nomination, coworkers and supervisors described her as a “go-to person” who is dedicated and loyal. “(Joy) has worked all her life here and wants to see our facility offer the best patient care and customer service possible,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “One of Joy’s greatest strengths is that she still appreciates the value of personally discussing issues with our customers and truly listening to understand their needs. Joy has a great ability to listen and help meet their needs.”
“Working with Joy is a pleasure,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “Her selflessness, generosity and kindness are exemplified daily by her willingness to help patients, visitors and coworkers. She greets everyone with a warm smile and a pleasant attitude and will tackle any task that arises. As a supervisor, she is the glue that holds her team together and is a valuable resource for other departments.”
Tomlinson does volunteer work at the Tree of Life Free Clinic. She is a blood donor and volunteers regularly at NMMC Employee Blood Drives. She also helps the HIS department’s Christmas project in collecting money and buying items for residents at Baldwyn Nursing Home.
Tomlinson said the thing she enjoys most about her job is interacting with people and fulfilling requests. “What I love most about my job is the customer service aspect,” Tomlinson said. “This can be internal or external customers. I get a new question every day and no two days are ever the same. Each day is a learning experience.”
Carrie Kimbrough, RN, business development coordinator for North Mississippi Medical Center Home Health, has been selected as Employee of the Month for July.
Kimbrough has been with NMMC for 17 years. She previously worked on 5 South and has held several positions with Home Health. A graduate of Smithville High School, she earned her associate’s degree in nursing at Itawamba Community College and completed a bachelor’s degree at Mississippi University for Women.
Kimbrough is a member of the Zeta Rho chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society and is a 2014 winner of a Nursing Excellence Award from Mississippi University for Women.
In her nomination, Kimbrough was described as a hard worker and giving to her patients, coworkers as well as her community. “Carrie is a team player, always willing to assist fellow employees and volunteers to help when needed,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “Carrie is always willing to go above and beyond to provide patients with the very best care possible.”
“When Carrie meets with patients and families, they feel an instant connection and a sense that she is going to do her best to help them,” another coworker wrote. “She gives them her telephone number and encourages them to call her with questions or concerns. And they do.”
Kimbrough says the most rewarding part of her job is her relationships with patients and her coworkers. “I feel blessed every day to have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of those I serve, their caregivers and my community,” Kimbrough said. “My current role allows me to cover a large territory and to form wonderful, long-lasting relationships with various health care providers. I consider those that I work with not only my coworkers but also my friends. I am greatly humbled by this honor.”
Kimbrough lives in Amory with her 12-year-old son Jake. She attends Smithville First Baptist Church.
Brandie Wise, respiratory therapist at Women’s Hospital, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for June.
Wise graduated from Okolona High School. She studied at Itawamba Community College in Fulton and received an associate’s degree in Respiratory Therapy.
Wise joined NMMC in 2002 as a respiratory therapist. She is a registered Respiratory Therapist, Asthma Instructor and Neonatal Pediatric Specialist. In 2013, she was awarded Respiratory Care Practitioner of the Year by NMMC’s Women and Children’s Services.
Coworkers made mention of Wise’s dedication to her job and patients, as well as her willingness to help others do their jobs.
“Brandie brings commitment and enthusiasm to her job that positively influences those around her,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “You can definitely see this in the way she relates to patients and families on the pediatric floor and the NICU.”
“Brandie is a people person. She always has a pleasant smile and displays a caring attitude toward both her coworkers and our customers,” another coworker wrote. “She utilizes her customer service skills in providing the care our patients deserve.”
When asked what she loves most about her job, Wise responded, “The best part of my job is my patients and their families. I love each and every one of my coworkers. They are all more than just coworkers; they are family. I love being able to care for our sweet pediatric children and our tiny neonates.”
Wise has been married to her husband Doug for 12 years. They have two children—Lauren, 10, and Travis, 7.
Mary Murphree, inpatient coder in Health Information Services, was named Employee of the Month for May at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Murphree has been with NMMC since 1988. She graduated from Mooreville High School. After two years at then Itawamba Junior College in Fulton, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management from University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Murphree became a registered record administrator in 1984 and earned her certification as a coding specialist in 1993.
Murphree was cited for her coding expertise and willingness to help others.
“Mary is a great asset to this department,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is extremely knowledgeable and is always willing to teach.”
“Mary is such a valuable resource to have because of her knowledge and expertise in the area of coding,” a coder at NMMC-West Point wrote. “As a coder in an affiliate hospital, it is so helpful to have someone like Mary that I can always rely on when I need guidance or a second opinion on a difficult chart. Mary is always friendly and willing to assist in any way.”
Murphree lives in Mooreville and attends Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
“NMMC fosters an environment of community, family, faith and mission,” Murphree said. “I love that I can do a job that interests me and allows me to work with great people to offer a vital service to the community. I love that my job allows me to use my Christian beliefs to help others.”
Samantha Betts, phlebotomist in the Pathology Department, was named Employee of the Month for March at North Mississippi Medical Center. Betts joined NMMC in 2008. She is a graduate of Houston High School. She earned an associate’s degree from Itawamba Community College in Tupelo.
Coworkers complimented Betts’s manner and demeanor with patients and coworkers alike. “Samantha is such a joy to work with,” wrote a coworker of Betts. “She doesn’t let the fast-paced workload and juggling of all her duties stress her out, and that carries over to her coworkers, making the whole lab more positive. I’ve also witnessed her around patients, and she is so compassionate and patient toward them.”
“Sam is a very dedicated employee,” another co-worker wrote. “She is a hard worker and doesn’t complain about doing her job. She is always willing to help out if we’re shorthanded and she’s not one to say ‘that’s not my job.’ She does what needs to be done.”
Betts praised her coworkers when listing the things she enjoys best about her job. “What I love most about my job are my coworkers,” Betts said. “After reading all the comments and praises they bestowed upon me, I realized that without them I wouldn’t perform at the level at which I perform.”
Betts, her husband, Fred, and their children, Cristin, Aubrey and Gracie, live in Tupelo. They attend Word of Life Church in Tupelo.
Shawn Skinner, cardiology registry assistant/data analyst at the Heart Institute, was named Employee of the Month for February at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Skinner joined NMMC in September 2004. He is a graduate of McNairy Central High School in Selmer, Tenn. Skinner has held multiple jobs at the Heart Institute including monitor tech, unit coordinator and cardiovascular/cardiac case manager assistant.
Coworkers complimented Skinner’s demeanor and work ethic. “Shawn is very smart and goes beyond his duty,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “(Shawn) is a family oriented person; he makes himself available for neighbors and others in his community that need help. He is a very compassionate person.”
“As someone who has worked with Shawn since he came from the nursing floor, I have seen him grow into his position by leaps and bounds,” another coworker wrote. “(Shawn) took the role of a secretary of Heart Institute Registry Department, learned the ins and outs, and created his own position into what it is today – Cardiology Registry Assistant. His work speaks for itself.”
Skinner praised his coworkers at the Heart Institute when listing the things he likes most about his job. “The best part of my job is getting to work with some great people who care about the patients, their care and wellbeing,” Skinner said. “My thanks to Alice McAnally for giving me a chance when she hired me as a monitor tech. As I look back on the nine plus years, it’s amazing how many people have touched me, not only with their knowledge, but friendship as well.”
Skinner is a native of Corinth, Miss.
Bridget Neal, staff technologist at the Family Medicine Residency Center, was named Employee of the Month for January at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Neal joined NMMC in 2008. She is a graduate of Lauderdale County High School in Rogersville, Ala. She studied at the University of North Alabama in Florence before transferring to Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala., where she earned an associate’s degree in applied science.
Coworkers complimented Neal’s manner and demeanor with patients and coworkers alike. “Bridget’s attitude and work ethic is infectious,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “Whether it is a team member who is having a bad day, a patient who is scared of needles or a physician who has had to tell a patient bad news, Bridget has a way about her that makes everything better.”
“(Bridget) is definitely one of the ‘shining lights’ in our clinic and is universally seen as a good will ambassador with our patients and their families,” another coworker wrote. “Bridget’s smile is natural and is a warm, calming influence for those needing lab tests and X-rays.”
Neal praised her coworkers at the Family Medicine Residency Center when listing the things she enjoys best about her job. “The best part of my job is getting to work with such wonderful people that I am blessed to call my friends,” Neal said. “Everyone that I work with at FMRC goes above and beyond daily to provide great quality care for our patients. My coworkers set great examples and make me always strive to learn more, work harder, be kinder and find ways to take even better care of our patients.”
Neal and her husband Marshall have been married for 11 years and have lived in Belden for the past six years. They attend Macedonia Church of Christ in Florence, Ala.
Belinda Foster, indigent reimbursement coordinator for Outpatient Infusion, was named December’s Employee of the Month for North Mississippi Medical Center.
A graduate of Nettleton High School, Foster first joined NMMC as a full-time employee in 1994 working in the Pharmacy at the Main Unit. She served as ward secretary and later as a pharmacy technician. She returned to full-time service at NMMC in 2007.
In her role as indigent reimbursement coordinator, Foster is responsible for coordinating reimbursement benefits and enrolling patients who qualify for manufacturers’ indigent drug and co-pay assistance programs. In 2013, thanks to Foster’s work, the Patient Assistance Program had a reduction of bad debts and write-offs of more than $2.5 million.
Foster says the best part of her job is helping people. “Many of the people who get indigent medications or co-pay assistance would not be able to get the medical attention they need,” she said. “Knowing that I have helped someone’s length or quality of life fulfills me. I never think of what I do as a job but instead as a commitment to the people of our service area to make a positive impact on our community and leave people with an unmeasured respect for North Mississippi Medical Center.”
In her nomination, others wrote of Foster’s concern for patients’ needs and ability to work with others throughout the system and outside to get help for infusion patients.
“(Foster’s) job requires teamwork with everyone in our health care system from physicians, nurses and pharmacists to insurance representatives,” one coworker wrote. “It also requires a special type of compassion as she works with the patients to assure them she is working hard to get their medications reimbursed by the drug companies. She demonstrates care and compassion as she works with our patients.”
“Patients love talking with her, and frequently send back positive comments,” another coworker wrote. “We frequently have patients who call and specifically ask to speak with her, because they know she will work hard to help meet their needs.”
Foster has two daughters, Anna, 14, and Olivia, 8. She resides in Nettleton and attends Cason Baptist Church.
Gidget Garrison, medical technologist in the Pathology Department, has been named North Mississippi Medical Center’s November Employee of the Month.
Garrison has been with NMMC since 1986. She grew up in Belmont and is a graduate of Belmont High School. Garrison did post-graduate studies at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville and Mississippi State University in Starkville. She completed NMMC’s School of Medical Technology in 1986.
In her nomination, coworkers complimented her as a skilled employee and humble person. “Gidget is one of those silent warriors that never seem to get upset and is kind to everyone,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “Regardless of the situation or the chaos that may surround her, she is always soft spoken, calm and efficient.”
“(Gidget) is extremely conscientious while always producing high quality lab results in a very timely manner,” another coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is an expert in toxicology and is often the go-to person with any issue that arises. Gidget is trusted and well-respected by all of the Pathology staff. Her calm demeanor and integrity instills confidence. She treats everyone with the utmost dignity and respect.”
Garrison is a certified Department of Transportation drug screen collector and breath alcohol tester.
“Working in the lab is always busy and we learn new things every day,” Garrison said. “I think this job fulfills a purpose in this life that God has given me—helping others by providing lab results and information that leads to healing.”
She and her husband Larry Garrison have three sons—Cody, 23, Luke, 21 and Grant, 17. The family lives in Tupelo and attends Belmont United Methodist Church.
Natalie Carraway, an RN in the Emergency Department, has been named Employee of the Month for October at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Carraway is a Tupelo High School graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mississippi College in Clinton. She has worked at NMMC for six years.
“She continually raises the bar to find ways to provide excellent care to our patients,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is always willing to assist coworkers, answer call lights, take patient calls and approaches anyone she feels is in need. Her patients know her name and compliment her on her care.”
“Natalie displays a strong sense of intuitiveness in predicting what is needed for the patients and has a sound working knowledge of disease processes and conditions treated within our Emergency Department,” one physician wrote about Carraway. “She is efficient and prompt in carrying out physician orders, and I can always trust that the patient will receive excellent care. The Emergency Department can be an extremely stressful environment, yet Natalie appears to have a sense of balance between efficient delivery of care without appearing rushed.”
While her job can be difficult at times, Carraway finds it very rewarding to care for patients at critical times. “Even though I sometimes see people at some of the worst times in their lives, I feel honored to be a part of helping their loved ones and families,” Carraway said. “I enjoy patient care and being a part of changing others’ lives.”
Carraway is a member of the Emergency Nurses’ Association and the Mississippi Nurses’ Association and she serves as chair of Education Nursing Council for Shared Governance.
She is a certified instructor for the Trauma Nursing Core Curriculum. She is also certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, and Tuberculosis Surveillance and Testing.
Carraway’s husband, Jason, works as an RN in NMMC’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit. The couple lives in Saltillo. Carraway’s mother, Wanda Wallace, is program director for NMMC’s Hospitalist program.
Sue Hawkins, Pathology Department secretary, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for September.
Hawkins is a graduate of Tupelo High School and has worked at NMMC for 19 years.
“What I love most about my job is working with all these great people,” Hawkins said. “Pathology is like one big happy family. We always pull together and help one another. Whether it is personal or work-related, we know we can count on each other.”
“Sue has the highest job integrity and work ethic,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is able to deal with any issue in an exceedingly sincere and professional manner while administering extraordinary customer service. She has done a fabulous job in building relationships with our staff, clients and NMHS departments.”
“I can say, without hesitation, that Sue is one of the finest employees in our department,” another coworker wrote. “She possesses a can-do attitude and she is always willing to learn new things. ‘That’s not my job’ is not in her vocabulary as she takes ownership of any and all issues, whether they be customer service related or process issues.”
She and her husband Mike have two sons—Wesley, 21, and Scotty, 18. The family resides in Tupelo and attends St. James Catholic Church.
Dana Hobby, speech pathologist for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Outpatient Rehabilitation, has been named Employee of the Month for August.
Hobby has worked at NMMC since 2003. A graduate of Bayou Academy in Cleveland, she earned a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Delta State University and received a master’s degree in communicative disorders from the University of Mississippi.
“She makes us all better because of her tireless effort to make each and every one of us more developmentally conscious when caring for our babies,” a NICU charge nurse wrote of Hobby in her nomination. “I have never worked with anyone so energetic and excited about their job like Dana. She makes me want to do more.”
“Dana is extremely pleasant in her interactions with other staff and with families,” another NICU nurse wrote. “She is always upbeat and ready for any challenge. She works diligently to provide the best developmentally appropriate practices that will benefit our infants.”
Hobby is a certified lactation counselor through the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice. She is a certified Neonatal Touch and Massage Therapist. Hobby also earned the Neonatal Developmental Specialist designation through the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
“What I love most about my job are the wonderful people that I work with each day and the tiny and precious babies that I am fortunate to provide care to. I absolutely love my job,” Hobby said.
She and her husband Cliff have been married for 10 years and have two children—Cullen, 7, and Grayson, 4. The family attends The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo.
Emily Fowler, RN, charge nurse in North Mississippi Medical Center’s Emergency Department, has been named Employee of the Month for July.
Fowler has worked at NMMC since 1998. She is a graduate of Itawamba Agricultural High School and earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Itawamba Community College in Fulton. Fowler is Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support certified and completed the Trauma Nursing Core Course.
“Emily treats the people she works with, patients and their families with respect at all times and always seems to wear a smile,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She encourages her staff to work as a team and she leads by demonstration, working as a team with the ER nursing staff, doctors and ancillary departments.”
“Emily has always shown exceptional leadership skills,” an Emergency Department physician wrote about Fowler. “She is a very productive, caring and compassionate person. She leads her team in this same way. She has always shown ability to manage any situation thrown her way. She is a great asset to our department and to our organization.”
Fowler says that what she loves most about her job is “working with a dedicated team that strives to provide the highest quality patient care and customer services to our community.”
She has two children—Chezney, 19, and Chloe, 16, and lives in Tupelo.
Judy Ellis, RN, case manager at North Mississippi Medical Center, was named the hospital’s Employee of the Month for June.
Ellis has been with NMMC since 1987. She previously worked in Hospice for 10 years and has worked as a case manager for 15 years.
A graduate of Houston High School, Ellis received her registered nurse training at Gilfoy School of Nursing in Jackson. She is a certified case manager and also held certification in gerontology.
“Judy provides care to the whole patient, not just the part of the patient that needs Case Management services,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She never hesitates to meet a patient or family’s need regardless of the effort it takes to meet the need.”
“My mother is my hero,” wrote her daughter, Claire Harrelson, nurse coordinator and educator for NMMC’s Heartburn Center, in Ellis’ nomination. “I have always respected and admired her as a nurse. She is the reason I am a nurse today. I would always tell others that if I can be just a fourth of the nurse my mother is then I would be the best nurse around.”
Ellis said the best part of her job is helping patients. “What I love most about my job is knowing that I have been a part of a patient’s hospital experience and working to make it as pleasant as possible,” she said.
Ellis has three children—Jason Ellis, Claire Harrelson and Katie Simmons, and nine grandchildren. She lives in Saltillo and attends Saltillo First United Methodist Church.
Linda Shields, Home Health registered nurse and care transition coach, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for May.
Shields joined NMMC part-time as an aide while in nursing school and was hired full-time in 1990. She worked for 12 years in neurology/neurosurgery and has spent 11 years working in Home Health. In 2009, she was recognized as NMMC’s Nurse Mentor of the Year.
Shields is a graduate of Itawamba Agricultural High School and received her associate’s degree in nursing from Itawamba Community College.
“Linda strives to provide quality care and shares this knowledge with the staff that she mentors,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is available to staff when needed. She looks for ways to lean current processes and to improve how and what we do each day.”
“She always goes above and beyond what is expected of her,” another coworker wrote. “The love and caring that she shows for her patients and her coworkers is evident daily through her words and actions. Linda treats everyone with respect and dignity and the patients truly love seeing her smiling face when she visits them.”
When asked what is the best part of her job, Shields answered, “the people, patients and teammates. “What I love most about my job is the blessing that I receive from each encounter. Nursing is a calling, and I truly believe it is mine.”
Shields is a resident of Fulton and attends Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. She has three children, sons Nick and Cole and daughter Lindsey.