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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.
Corena Jones, episode manager with the Pontotoc branch of North Mississippi Medical Center Home Health, has been named NMMC’s Employee of the Month for May.
Jones has worked at NMMC for 13 years. She previously served as a staff and charge nurse on the neurology and neurosurgery unit.
A graduate of South Pontotoc High School, Jones earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Itawamba Community College in Fulton. She is working toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mississippi University for Women. Jones is a member of the Mississippi Nurses Association.
Jones said the best part of her job is the people that she works with. She also said she loves helping people in the community.
Coworkers complimented Jones for her attitude and her compassion for patients. “Corena has the ability to motivate others, relates well to employees and creates a sense of unity among staff,” a coworker said of Jones. “Corena has a can-do attitude. She is calm at times when chaos seems to prevail,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. The nomination also noted of Jones: “Corena always exhibits care and compassion to the patients and to her fellow employees. Patient satisfaction for the Pontotoc branch for 2011 is at the 99th percentile. She will tell you it’s a team effort, but her can-do attitude and willingness to serve in whatever capacity certainly contributes to that high score.”
Jones and her husband Jason have three children, Corey, age 18; Bailey, 10; and Lexi, 5. The family resides in Pontotoc.
Missy Rorie of New Albany, a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at North Mississippi Medical Center Women’s Hospital, has been selected as NMMC’s Employee of the Month for March.
A graduate of West Union Attendance Center, Rorie earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville and has been a registered nurse for 22 years. In addition, she is a Neonatal Resuscitation Program instructor, certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support and trained in Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) line placement.
She and her husband Ricky have three children, 19-year-old Sam and twins John Casey and Cara Ann, who are 16. They attend Hillcrest Baptist Church, where she teaches the 2-year-old Sunday School class and helps with the youth group.
Coworkers cited Rorie’s caring and respectful attitude toward patient’s needs and feelings. “Missy forms long-lasting relationships with our NICU families, and many ask for her by name to take care of their baby,” her nomination reads.
“The best part of my job is being able to see the tiniest of God’s miracles grow and thrive,” Rorie said. “I love making special bonds with my patients and their families. These are bonds that can last a lifetime.”
Not all of Rorie’s contributions come during her work shift. In one particular instance, Rorie cared for premature twins at home after they were discharged from the hospital so that their parents could enjoy an evening out. She volunteers a great deal of time to organize the NICU Reunion, which is held every two years for NICU graduates and their families. She also serves on NICU’s developmental committee with the goal of offering the best care for fragile newborns.
“I always enjoy helping plan and attend our NICU reunion that we have every other year,” Rorie said. “It is great to see how our graduates have grown and flourished after they go home from the NICU.”
Rorie participates in NMMC’s ADVANCE program for clinical advancement and has worked on several NICU performance improvement projects. She also volunteers for Project Hope, Relay for Life and March of Dimes.
Cassie Lang was named the February Employee of the Month at North Mississippi Medical Center. She serves as the night shift supervisor in the Pathology Department.
Lang joined NMMC in June 2010 as a medical technologist and was recently promoted to her current supervisor position.
After graduating from Columbus High School, Lang attended the University of Mississippi where she earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2007. After that, she attended Mississippi State University where she earned another bachelor’s degree in medical technology in 2010. She completed additional training with the NMMC Medical Technology Program.
She has been American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certified since 2010.
Lang loves working with her team members and producing the best results possible. Her coworkers praise her hard work and commitment on the job. “Cassie always shows kindness and appreciation to her coworkers and above all displays a high concern for patient care. She is extremely knowledgeable about laboratory procedures and never fails to help her coworkers when they have questions or concerns with regards to patient care,” said one of her coworkers, “Hardworking does not even begin to describe Cassie’s work ethic.”
“Cassie is such an unselfish and considerate co-worker/employee. She is always willing to go the extra mile in the lab to make sure tests are resulted in the most timely manner possible,” another coworker noted.
She is engaged to James Harris, and the two will be married on April 27, 2013. She attends WhiteHill Missionary Baptist Church.
Amanda Mitchell, clinical educator for Respiratory Care, was named the January Employee of the Month at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Mitchell has been with NMMC for 18 years. She has served in her current position for five years. Before that, she worked as a floor respiratory therapist, respiratory therapist in the Critical Care Unit, day-shift supervisor, Mediserve coordinator and interim manager of the Sleep Disorders Center.
A graduate of Hatley High School, Mitchell earned her associate’s degree from Itawamba Community College in Fulton in 1995.
Mitchell was praised as a hard worker and knowledgeable in her job as an educator. “Amanda is a person who is very conscientious of her work, and also very thoughtful and caring about the people she comes in contact with,” a physician wrote in her nomination. “Amanda is not only giving in her role at work but within the community that she lives. She is an asset to NMHS.”
“Amanda is an excellent educator and displays genuine care and concern for her staff and patients,” a coworker wrote. “She has a positive attitude and works well with others. Amanda is very knowledgeable and portrays excellent leadership qualities.”
“What I love most about my job is being able to interact with patients at some of the most crucial times in their lives, hoping in some way, somehow I can make a difference,” Mitchell said.
She and her husband Scott have three children—14-year-old Madison, 12-year-old Macie and 2-year-old Morgan. The family lives in Amory and attends Rocky Springs Baptist Church.
Jennifer Johnson, physical therapist assistant in Home Health, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for December.
Johnson has been with NMMC since 1996. She previously worked as a physical therapy technician in Acute Care and a physical therapist assistant in Acute Care and Outpatient Rehabilitation.
She is a graduate of Itawamba Agricultural High School. Johnson earned an associate’s degree and did her physical therapist assistant’s training at Itawamba Community College. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala.
“What I love most about my job is working with outstanding, loving and caring coworkers,” Johnson said. “They are like family to me and I cannot imagine working with anyone else. Also, I enjoy rehabilitating my patients as they attempt to become more independent and reenter the community. This makes them happy and makes me one happy physical therapist assistant.”
Coworkers noted that Jennifer is always friendly, cheerful and encouraging with her patients and is an excellent coworker.
“Jennifer Johnson is a joy to her patients,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “They often say that she brightens their day, despite the work therapy involves, due to her smiling encouragement. Her fun, loving attitude makes therapy seem enjoyable”
“Jennifer Johnson is a huge asset to NMMC Home Health,” another coworker wrote. “Jennifer cares about her patients and her overall job performance. She treats all her patients with respect, dignity, compassion and, most importantly, she treats everyone like they are her only patient. I could write a book on stories about ways Jennifer serves her patients. She amazes me every day.”
She and her husband Kevin have one child—6-year-old Kailey. The family lives in Saltillo and attends The Orchard.
LaDonna McCarley, registered nurse on 2 West, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for November.
McCarley has worked at NMMC for 10 years. She previously worked on the Neurology unit prior to joining 2 West, the cardiovascular step down unit.
A Hamilton, Ala., resident, McCarley graduated from Hamilton High School and attended Bevill State Community College, where she earned her LPN certificate and completed requirements for her associate’s degree in nursing.
McCarley is a member of the Mississippi Nurses Association. She volunteers with the American Red Cross, and she is certified in basic life support and advanced cardiac life support.
“My job gives me the opportunity to care for others in their time of need, to promote health and provide comfort to the patient, as well as their family in the last stage of life,” McCarley said. “I also love my job because I work with a wonderful group of people, who understand the importance of teamwork.”
Coworkers noted her dedication to patients and coworkers in her nomination.
“She isn’t just another nurse in the hospital setting but always goes above and beyond her call of duty,” a coworker wrote. “In times of crisis, she is the first one to volunteer. She genuinely cares and listens to her patients. She feels their pain and can empathize with them as well.
“LaDonna is very compassionate about her nursing. She comes to work knowing she is going to make a difference in someone’s life.”
McCarley and husband Chad have three children—Tanna Miller, 17; Andrew McCarley, 14; and 11-year-old Chaston McCarley.
Daniel Cirino, lead medical technologist in the Pathology Department, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for October.
Cirino joined NMMC in 2009. He is a Hattiesburg native and a graduate of Oak Grove High School. Cirino earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. He also completed the medical technology program at NMMC.
“What I love most about my job is the privilege to be a part of a first-rate team working for a shared mission,” said Cirino.
Coworkers praised Cirino for his generosity and his kindness. They also noted that he can always be counted to lend a helping hand.
“Daniel is courteous, friendly to everyone,” a coworker wrote in his nomination. “He is a true gentleman. He is a person who has your back. You can trust him to always do the right thing. He does not criticize nor complain. He does not say ‘that’s not my job.’”
“Daniel is a very dedicated and conscientious employee who always makes sure his work is completed correctly and in a timely manner,” another coworker wrote. “He is more than willing to take on new endeavors. It doesn’t matter what you ask him to do, he never says no.”
Cirino and his wife, Casey, attend The Orchard in Tupelo.
Eric Plunkett, laboratory information system analyst in the Pathology Department, was selected North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for September.
Plunkett joined NMMC in 2000. He worked in the Pathology Department as an outreach courier, customer service representative and billing compliance coordinator before assuming his current duties.
An Amory High School graduate, Plunkett attended Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville and the University of Mississippi in Oxford and Tupelo.
“The best part of my job is having the opportunity to be part of a team that provides the very best in health care to the people of our community,” Plunkett said.
Coworkers cited Plunkett’s people skills and knowledge as two of many areas that he excels in.
“Eric is one of the nicest employees I have ever worked with,” one coworker wrote. “He always manages to stay calm and never seems to get rattled or upset if I have a question or a problem. Anytime I have ever needed him, he has always tried to help me and does so in a timely manner. Eric is indeed an asset to the laboratory, and represents our department, hospital and organization well.”
“Eric is a shining example of customer service skills,” another coworker wrote in his nomination. “He deals with everyone, whether coworker or patient, with the utmost respect. He has developed a wonderful working relationship with the laboratory staff and is well respected and highly regarded in all areas. He has gained expertise in the complexity of Pathology billing and works diligently to ensure that issues are resolved in a satisfactory manner, even to the point of calling patients at home to make sure that they are happy with the proposed solutions.”
Plunkett served in the National Guard and was deployed twice with tours in Bosnia and Iraq. He and his wife, Shonicie, have a 1-year-old daughter, Stella. The family attends Northstar Church.
Demetress Peterson, certified nursing assistant for North Mississippi Medical Center Home Health, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for August.
Peterson, a graduate of Ashland High School and Ashland resident, was praised for the care and compassion she gives to patients.
“I have witnessed Demetress provide home health aide assistance to my mother the past several weeks,” one coworker wrote in Peterson’s nomination. “My Mom, like so many other patients, always wants to know when will Demetress be back. It’s not just about the bath or shower, it’s about how she makes her feel when she is there helping her. Demetress is encouraging to her and makes Mom realize that she still has so much value, even though she is ‘on the mend’ for a while.”
“She is always so respectful of my time, privacy and personal goals,” one patient of Peterson’s wrote in her nomination. “I can’t say enough about the smile and attitude she brings to me with her visit. She is like an angel, and I am so very thankful for all of you. I just want you all to know what a difference Demetress has made while I have needed help.”
Peterson said she enjoys making her patients happy. “The best part of my job is bringing joy to my patients,” Peterson said. “When I see their face light up when I enter their home, it makes me feel like I make a difference.”
Peterson is engaged to Donald Watkins. She has a 15-year-old son, Travagus Peterson. Peterson attends South Ashland Church of Christ.
Annettee Cousin, analyst with Management Information Systems, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for July.
Cousin joined NMMC in 1980 and was rehired again in 1985 after leaving for a year. Cousin worked as a nurse’s aide, ward secretary, nursing office clerk and a nursing scheduler who assisted with the nursing budget before joining MIS as an analyst in 2000. She is a graduate of Nettleton High School and has an associate’s degree in computer programming from Itawamba Community College.
“Annettee is very dedicated to her job,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is a team player not only in our work group and the MIS department but when interacting with other employees throughout the system. She is known to stop what she is doing and assist with any requests made of her even when you tell her it can wait. She really gets the job done and deserves recognition for all that she does to keep our department running so smoothly.”
“Annettee is such a loyal employee,” another coworker noted. “She is willing to go the extra mile in all her endeavors. She truly exemplifies the meaning of a high performing employee.”
Cousin resides in Houston and is married to Richie H. Cousin. She has three grown children—Lealue (Sha) Triplette, 33, Shirod Cousin, 31, and Chardae Cousin, 24. She also has four grandchildren—Sharia Moore, Warren Cousin, Hailey Cousin and Kayden Triplett. She attends Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church.
Cousin said what she loves most about her job are her coworkers. “They are the reason why I’m able to do my job with a smile and go above and beyond the call of duty. This job has allowed me to help and meet such outstanding people that have become like family to me. I thank God daily for my job and my fellow coworkers,” she said.
Betsy Knight of Fulton, a nursing supervisor for North Mississippi Medical Center's Women and Children's Services, has been named Employee of the Month for June at NMMC.
Knight has worked at NMMC for five years. She previously served as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse manager and clinical coordinator.
A graduate of Eupora High School, Knight earned an associate's degree from Itawamba Community College in Fulton. She is a Neonatal Resuscitation Provider instructor and is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Knight is also additionally trained in inpatient obstetrical nursing. She is a member of the Mississippi Nurses Association.
"The best part of my job is the opportunity that I have to do what I love most-caring for others," Knight said. "How fortunate I am to work for such an outstanding organization that promotes values that are important to me. I am provided with all the tools, education and support I need to do my best for our patients. It takes a team to get the job done, and I can truly say that I get to work with the best!"
Coworkers complimented Knight for her upbeat spirit and her compassion for others. "Betsy consistently puts the needs of others before her own needs," a coworker said of Knight.
"Betsy is always encouraging other staff to strive to reach their goals," a coworker wrote in her nomination. "She is also very good to thank our staff for a job well done and consistently writes thank you notes to those deserving recognition."
The nomination also stated: "She is able to see the big picture and to ensure the needs of all units are met while keeping in mind the financial impact of her decisions."
Knight and her husband Charles have four children-Kim, Amber, Mitchell and Brett-and six grandchildren. She attends Salem Baptist Church in Fairview and is a member of the Mississippi Nurses Association.