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Melissa Coker, registered nurse on the Mother Baby Care unit at Women’s Hospital, was named the Employee of the Month at North Mississippi Medical Center. Coker joined NMMC in 2011. She previously worked on 3 East Stepdown Unit before moving to Women’s Hospital.
She earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Northeast Mississippi Community College and completed work on a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mississippi University for Women. Coker is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and the Neonatal Resuscitation Program.
“The best part of my job is getting to witness families welcome their new additions and helping them transition through that process,” Coker said. “It is truly a blessing and is very rewarding.”
In her nomination, coworkers described Coker as professional, caring and kind.
“She is a fantastic role model for the new graduate nurses and tenured nurses,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She trains new nurses and provides a positive example to inspire all nurses to put their patients first. Melissa is a credit to the nursing profession as well as Women’s Hospital.”
A Women’s Hospital pediatrician noted of Coker: “Personally, Melissa in my experience is cheerful, reliable and efficient in her duties. She is helpful and dependable in the most important task we have—taking care of babies and their families.”
Coker and her husband Michael live in Mantachie and have two daughters—Taylor, 14, and Bailey, 9. The family attends Mantachie First Baptist Church.
Lee Montgomery, laboratory manager in the Pathology Department, has been selected as North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for March.
Montgomery joined NMMC as a medical technologist in 1980. He is a graduate of South Pontotoc High School and earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s of education degree from the University of Mississippi. He also earned certification as a medical technologist from the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Montgomery has served as director of NMMC’s School of Medical Technology since 1993.
In addition to serving as lab manager, a role he has served in since 2009, Montgomery also is technical director of Respiratory Therapy at NMMC-Tupelo and Women’s Hospital.
“The best part of my job is knowing that I have contributed my best to the care of our patients at NMMC,” Montgomery said.
In his nomination, coworkers described him as hardworking and an asset to the Pathology Department.
“You always know that Lee will accomplish any assigned task in not only a very thorough but also a very timely manner,” one coworker wrote in his nomination. “He is extremely conscientious in everything. He takes personal responsibility for whatever he does and holds himself personally accountable for the quality of his work.”
“Lee often goes above and beyond the call of duty and never says ‘that’s not my job,’” another coworker wrote. “Lee graciously takes ownership of problems and works to resolve them. Lee is dependable, kind and efficient.”
Montgomery resides in Pontotoc and attends Fairview United Methodist Church.
Patrick Fain, end user device support specialist for Hematology and Oncology, was selected as North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for February.
Fain joined Hematology and Oncology in 2007. The clinic became a part of NMMC in 2014. The Guntown resident said what he loves most about his job is “by keeping the computer equipment fully functional, together my great coworkers can more effectively treat our patients.”
Coworkers praised Fain for his unselfishness and hard work, and recognized him as someone who goes above and beyond his job duties.
“No matter what the task, Patrick is always willing to help with a smile,” one coworker wrote in his nomination. “There is no job too daunting for him. If he doesn’t know how to do something, he finds out how and does it. I cannot think of anyone more worthy of the honor of Employee of the Month.”
“He is willing to help anyone with anything you ask him,” another coworker wrote. “He helps with everything from computer assistance to transferring patients that come in and leave by ambulance, maintenance, cleaning and lifting to weatherman.”
He is married to Angela Fain. The family attends Grace Baptist Church in Guntown.
Teresa Hidalgo, a medical technologist supervisor for the Pathology Department, was selected as North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for January.
Hidalgo has been with NMMC since 1996. She previously worked as a medical technologist at Women’s Hospital.
She is a graduate of Mantachie High School and attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton, the University of Mississippi in Oxford and NMMC’s School of Medical Technology.
“What I love most about my job is making a difference in the lives of others by producing quality lab results and assisting with the development of new employees on their journey to becoming exceptional members of our health care family,” Hidalgo said.
In her nomination, coworkers praised Hidalgo’s attitude and conscientious work ethic. “Teresa’s attitude truly sets her apart from everyone,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is always able to get the job done and obtain cooperation from her employees to ensure quality care. She treats everyone with the utmost respect. All enjoy working with Teresa, as she is filled with compassion and caring for others.”
“Teresa is an excellent supervisor and mentor for new hires and newly promoted supervisors,” another coworker wrote. “She has a wealth of knowledge that is invaluable on her shift, and her attention to detail is second to none. She works extremely well under pressure and almost always completes tasks ahead of schedule.”
Hidalgo is married to Jose Hidalgo and they reside in Mantachie. They have four children—Tessa Parker, Sabrina Holloway, Alexandra Hidalgo and Joseph Hidalgo, and one grandson.
Linda Roberts, transcription office coordinator for the Heart Institute, was selected as North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for December.
Roberts has been with NMMC since 1992. She previously worked as a Home Health aide and as an ambassador. Roberts retired in December but is still working on a part-time basis.
She is a graduate of Mantachie High School and attended Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville and Itawamba Community College in Tupelo.
“The best part of my job is knowing that I had a small part in helping our patients. I love that feeling of personal satisfaction at the end of the work day knowing that I gave more than I took,” Roberts said.
In her nomination, coworkers praised Roberts’ work ethic and attitude. “Linda is always positive no matter what,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is very dependable and willing to help out wherever she’s needed without complaining. She is always in a good mood no matter what she’s going through. She is a very patient person when training another employee and a great listener.”
“Linda has so many job responsibilities, and she does them all so well and always with a smile on her face,” another coworker wrote. “She is just an overall excellent employee. She always has a kind word and a smile for everyone she comes in contact with. Linda always makes every day brighter when you see her.”
Roberts is married to Joe Roberts and they reside in Baldwyn. They have two children—Jody Roberts and Amy (Roberts) Bratton, and three grandchildren. Roberts attends East Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Margaret Hadley, receptionist for Outpatient Rehabilitation, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for November.
Hadley has worked at NMMC for 37 years. Before joining Outpatient Rehabilitation, she worked as ward secretary on 3 West/Pediatrics. She is a graduate of Tupelo High School and attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton.
Coworkers commented on Hadley’s giving spirit and contagious positive attitude.
“Margaret has a true love for the patients who come through Outpatient Rehabilitation at Longtown,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “When they enter, they see her smiling face and probably one of her many ‘hats.’ She literally wears many hats as she completes her daily work. She also wears many work ‘hats’ that include greeting patients, scheduling patients, getting patients to their needed locations, answering the phone, making charts for new admissions, organizing the petty cash fund, taking payment for supplies, answering questions from staff and fulfilling staff requests. She smiles through it all. Margaret Hadley is one of a kind and I am so grateful that God has blessed our organization with her service and love. She is Employee of the Century in my book.”
“Margaret is the face of Longtown,” another coworker wrote. “She always has the brightest smile and greets everyone she encounters with a warm welcome. She makes every person feel like they are the only person who matters.”
Hadley said she considers making patients and family members happy part of her job.
“The best part of my job is serving our patients and their families in any way needed,” Hadley said, while also expressing her appreciation for her coworkers.
“I love making people smile and helping them to feel good about themselves, whether it’s me singing a song (and I cannot sing) all the way to wearing the hat of their choice,” Hadley added.
Hadley has two children, daughter Naketha Hadley and son Brenton Hadley, and four grandchildren. She attends Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, where she serves as youth director. Hadley also has two sisters who work at NMMC—Betty Witherspoon, who works in the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, and Shunda Payne, who works in Dietary.
B.J. Johnson, dispatcher with Ambassador Services, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for October.
Johnson worked at NMMC from 1979-1984 as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). She returned to the hospital in 1985 as a ward secretary and monitor tech before joining Ambassador Services when the department opened in 1993. Johnson is one of two original ambassadors remaining in the department. She is a graduate of Okolona High School and attended Northeast Mississippi Community College.
“The best part of my job is meeting people and caring for them and my coworkers,” Johnson said. “I love to see the patients smile and thank you for taking such good care of them. Especially when they remember you from previous visits.”
Coworkers had some kind words for Johnson in her nomination.
“B.J. should be Employee of the Month because she is one of the most dedicated employees that NMMC has,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “They don't make them like B.J. anymore. She is a hard worker who keeps her mind on her work. She can do just about anything. I respect and admire her.”
“B.J.’s dedication is over the top. She is also a trusted friend and co-worker,” another coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is called upon by many because of her dedication and loyalty to NMMC. This facility is fortunate to have this type of employee. My hat is off to her for her many accomplishments.
Johnson has one grown son, Daniel Johnson, and two grandchildren—Korwon, 19, and Danielle, 11. She has been a Girl Scout leader for seven years. Johnson attends Gateway Missionary Baptist Church in Tupelo. In her spare time she enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her grandchildren.
Mindy Forsman, RN, has been selected by her peers as North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for September.
Forsman joined the NMMC staff in 2008 as a registered nurse on the medical-surgical unit. She has also worked in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and as a clinical nurse educator. She served as Spine Center clinical coordinator until Aug. 31, when she transferred to Management Information Services as a clinical systems analyst/educator.
A graduate of Ripley High School, Forsman earned her associate’s degree in nursing from Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of North Alabama in Florence and a master’s degree in nursing and healthcare administration from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. She is certified as a Basic Life Support instructor and Advanced Cardiac Life Support provider.
“Mindy provides great customer service. Anytime a patient could not make it to her scheduled class, Mindy visited each of those patients in Short Stay the morning of their surgery to go over the information and answer any questions,” her nomination states. “She also took time to put any worries to rest.”
“She gave reassurance to those who come to our hospital and played a key role in their journey before, during and after surgery,” another coworker wrote. “Her kindness matched with her knowledge gave the patients confidence in their care and that they had a listening ear.”
Forsman was also cited for her friendliness and willingness to help in any situation. “Mindy is the perfect example of a team player,” her nomination states. “She always goes above and beyond her job role by assisting nurses and staff with any task at hand.”
“The best part of my job is the people with whom I am blessed to have the opportunity to work serve and grow,” Forsman said.
She and her husband, Adam, have one cat named Alfee. She is a member of Hope Church in Tupelo.
April Hallmark, inpatient coder with Health Information Services, was named Employee of the Month for August at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Hallmark has worked at NMMC since 1993. She grew up in the Brewer community, is a graduate of Shannon High School and attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Health Record Administration at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. She received additional training to become a certified coding specialist.
Coworkers commented that Hallmark is a hard worker who is very knowledgeable about her job.
“April is an excellent employee and coder who is always willing to help out when needed,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “She was extremely helpful as a resource for our CDS nurses for coding questions as we started and continue to grow the program. She is really friendly and always has a smile. She has been a valuable mentor to our newer coders.”
“(Coding) requires skill, knowledge and a tenacious attitude,” another coworker wrote. “(April) works with physicians and other departments to ensure the accuracy of her coding. She has a pleasant attitude and is very easy to work with. She exemplifies the attitude and the aptitude of an Employee of the Month.”
When asked what she loved most about her job, Hallmark said: “Each chart I code brings challenges, and using my skills as a coder to figure those out each day makes for an exciting job. My goal is to apply codes to each patient’s record for reimbursement and also trending health issues. The best part of it is all the friendships I have made with all the coders and employees of HIS. I cannot imagine working with any other group of people. They are simply the best, and I love them all!”
She and her husband Ronnie Hallmark II have two sons—17-year-old Tyler and 12-year-old Trey. The family attends First Baptist Church of Shannon.
Pam Wiginton, a phlebotomist in the Pathology department, was named North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for July.
Wiginton, who has worked at NMMC since 2010, graduated from Saltillo High School and attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton, obtaining certification as a nursing assistant.
Before joining the Pathology department, Wiginton worked as a certified nursing assistant on 3 South followed by a stint on 5 West.
“Pam is quite frankly one of the sweetest people on the face of the planet,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “She never fails to put a smile on someone’s face, whether it is by cracking a joke or giving a word of encouragement. Pam is a competent phlebotomist who is dedicated to her job and never leaves her coworkers in a bind. It’s not uncommon for Pam to take a big part of the workload, complete those tasks, and come back and ask, ‘What do you need me to do next?’”
“Pam has a great relationship with team members, nursing units, and many off-site facilities,” another coworker stated. “She is known for her positive attitude and her sincere compassion to ensure the best possible patient care. She is the epitome of ‘Every Patient, Every Time.’ Pam’s work ethic shows her diligence, sincerity and perseverance to promote the vision of NMHS. She consistently exhibits a calm and uplifting demeanor. She brightens every room she enters.”
What Wiginton loves most about her job, she said, “is being able to turn what may be a negative experience for someone into a positive, and being part of brightening someone’s day whether it be a patient or a coworker. I love to make people smile. As it says in Matthew 25:40, ‘If you do for the least of these you have also done for me.’”
Wiginton is married to her husband Frank and she has three grown children—April Jones, Jacob Dunaway and Preston Wiginton. She attends Bethel Baptist Church in Fulton and does charity work for several organizations, including Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Maisy Morris, analyst in Health Information Services, was named Employee of the Month for June at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Morris has been with NMMC, and HIS, since 1989. A graduate of Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, she attended Itawamba Community College and the University of Mississippi, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“What I love most about my job is that in addition to my assigned duties there are always opportunities to help out in other areas and do something different. Rarely is there a dull moment,” said Morris.
In her nomination, coworkers complimented Morris on her work ethic and dependability.
“For 25 years, Maisy Morris has been the epitome of professionalism in the Health Information department,” one coworker wrote. “From her dress, to her speech, to her demeanor, she has been a person that inspires us all to work a little harder, to be a little better. She is an answer person in this department; someone who knows how to do almost everything and has demonstrated she will go the extra mile to find an answer of which she is uncertain. She is respected by the physicians she works with every day.”
“Maisy is one of the people who meets with all new physicians for orientation. Many have commented on her cheerful disposition,” another coworker wrote in her nomination. “After meeting with Maisy, one physician said, ‘I was in sort of a bad mood this morning, but not anymore.’ I think that describes how most people feel about Maisy. She makes people smile.”
Morris is married to John Thomas Morris Jr. and lives in Nettleton. She has three grown sons—John, 33; Vincent, 32; and Roger, 27, and three grandsons.
Jerri Cutlip, RN, case manager for North Mississippi Medical Center’s Women and Children’s Services, has been selected by her peers as NMMC’s Employee of the Month for May.
A graduate of Weir High School, Cutlip earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1989. She joined the NMMC staff as a registered nurse in 1991, left briefly in 2001 and returned in 2002. She served as a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for eight years and as nurse manager of the NICU for more than two years. She has been in her current role since 2007.
“Despite serving in an office that many people would avoid, Jerri brings energy, optimism and genuine problem-solving abilities to her role,” a coworker wrote in her nomination.
“She has a very kind and approachable nature that puts no one on the defense,” another commented.
In addition, coworkers cited Cutlip for working extra shifts in the NICU when additional help is needed. “Keeping her nursing skills fresh helps her be a better team player and more informed case manager,” the nomination states.
“The best part of my job is the satisfaction of assisting a patient with their insurance/financial problems so that they can focus on their medical recovery,” Cutlip said.
She and her husband, Tim, live in Blue Springs and have a 23-year-old son, Matt. They attend church at The Orchard.
Kristie Jumper, a registered nurse with North Mississippi Medical Center’s Home Health Agency, has been selected NMMC’s Employee of the Month for March.
Jumper joined the NMMC staff as a part-time aide in 1993 and became a full-time registered nurse in 1995.
She is a graduate of Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville where she received her associate’s degree in nursing in 1995. She has also received certification to be a medical-surgical nurse.
“Kristie demonstrates exceptional work with the best of smiles,” her nomination states. “She consistently is energetic, positive, motivating and encouraging to all employees she comes in contact with.”
Another coworker wrote that staff never hesitates to call Jumper with questions or clarifications because they know that she will always be happy to help. “Kristie works well with everyone. Her compassion and respect for others shines through every conversation.”
Jumper said that her field is a very holistic area of health care. Her favorite part of working in Home Health is that she gets the opportunity to have an impact on her patient’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and socioeconomic health.
“You have to really love people and love caring for people,” Jumper said of her work. “I love fighting for what the patient needs, to get their health care approved and cost covered. I love the challenge of constantly looking for smarter ways to do our jobs every day.”
Jumper currently lives in Pine Grove with her husband Wayne and their five children—18-year-old Elijah, 16-year-old Mollie Grace, 14-year-old Macie, 12-year-old Izabella and 9-year-old Selah Sophia. She is a member of Dumas Baptist Church.
Miranda Aldridge, a phlebotomist in the Pathology Department, was selected as North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for February. Aldridge joined NMMC in 1989 and has been a member of the staff now for more than 25 years. She is a graduate of Okolona High School and earned her certification in phlebotomy in 1987 from Itawamba Community College. She is also licensed in cosmetology.
“Miranda is a dedicated employee and truly is deserving of the distinction of Employee of the Month,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She always performs her duties with a quiet and humble disposition that is soothing to her patients.” That coworker added that Aldridge is known as being one of the most skilled phlebotomists and is always the one to “go to” if a patient is a difficult stick. “Miranda has proved herself over and over as an asset to her profession and I feel that she is well deserving of this honor.”
Another coworker wrote that Aldridge is a model employee because of her work ethic and attitude. “She is a hard worker, always doing what is asked of her. Miranda never complains; she just simply comes to work every day and does her job to the best of her ability,” the coworker wrote in her nomination.
Aldridge lives in Mooreville and attends Andrew Chapel Church. She said that the best part of her job is getting to know people.
Paula Hanskiewicz, radiologic technologist and ultrasound tech with the Radiology Department, was selected North Mississippi Medical Center’s Employee of the Month for January.
Hanskiewicz has worked at NMMC for 26 years. She has worked at NMMC’s Center for Digestive Health for the past 13 years. She is a graduate of South Pontotoc High School and earned an associate’s degree in Radiologic Technology from Itawamba Community College in Fulton. Hanskiewicz also earned ARDMS certification in ultrasound.
In her nomination, Hanskiewicz was cited by coworkers as being a compassionate and hard-working employee. “She is the epitome of the perfect employee,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is dedicated, dependable but most of all caring to patients and her fellow employees. Her dedication to her job shines through each day by the smiles and calm demeanor of her patients.”
“Paula’s job as an ultrasound technician is the kind of job that demands energy and endurance, and she has plenty of both,” another coworker wrote. “Paula is always professional and respectful no matter what is thrown her way. She empathizes with her patients, making them feel more comfortable and less nervous. Paula genuinely cares about her patients, and it shows every day.”
Hanskiewicz, a cancer survivor, said she loves helping patients every day. “What I love most is being blessed to have the opportunity to do God’s will to serve each patient with respect, love and compassion,” she said. “The gratitude is overwhelming. Being a part of their lives and to make a difference means the world to me.”
Hanskiewicz said that the best part of her job is the people she works with in Radiology and at the Center for Digestive Health. “Everyone strives to give the best quality care—that is infectious,” she said. “I’m very blessed and grateful to be a part of that. Being a cancer survivor, and also having a child who is a cancer survivor, has really given me a sight of the patient’s side.”
Hanskiewicz and her husband Albert’s family includes two sons—19-year-old Spencer and 23-year-old Andrew, and daughter-in-law Erika. The family resides in Mooreville and attends St. James Catholic Church.
Tiffany Tubb, record processing manager in Health Information Services (HIS), was chosen as North Mississippi Medical Center’s December Employee of the Month.
Tubb has worked for NMMC for 10 years, joining NMMC in June 2004. She is a graduate of Shannon High School and received her bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2007. Tubb holds the credential of Registered Health Information Administration (RHIA).
Her coworkers cited her ability to lead and the positive attitude she continuously brings to work as positive attributes. “Tiffany truly models servant leadership with everyone she encounters; especially when you see how she supports her staff by doing anything she can to help them meet their needs,” one coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is a great individual to work with and always has a smile on her face.”
“Tiffany is a quiet leader, and when she speaks, you can rely on her contribution being accurate and based on knowledge,” another coworker wrote. “Tiffany is prompt in her responses and always conducts herself in a professional manner.”
Tubb said that what she loves most about her job is that there are endless opportunities for her to learn and grow. “I get to work with different systems, people and processes on a regular basis and I love that I am able to pass on valuable knowledge and information to those that I serve in the HIS department,” she said.
Tubb and her husband Josh have two sons; 3-year-old Connor and 4-year-old Madden. They live in Shannon, where they attend Old Union Baptist Church.
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.