NMMC honored 10 employees as its 2019 Stars Online All Stars, those staff members who consistently exceed expectations. These All Stars are shining examples of service in our health care system. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Stars Online, which recognizes employees for specific acts of compassion, accountability, respect and excellence, all done with a smile.
Mary Davis, MHA, LSW, of Tupelo was one of the 10 honorees. Davis joined the NMMC staff in 2016. She completed her internship at NMMC Radiation Oncology in 2015. She’s a graduate of Tupelo High School and received her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Mississippi. She received a master’s degree in health care administration from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in social work at the University of Alabama.
This is the second time Davis has been named an All Star.
“What I love most about my job is the privilege of being present for a person’s most vulnerable moments and being trusted to help guide patients and families through those,” Davis said.
She is married to Devin Davis and has two daughters – 9-year-old Ashlynn and 4-year-old Ansleigh.
Davis has been recognized on several occasions by Stars Online for going above and beyond to provide comfort to her patients. One patient had a sudden life-ending illness and the family members needed emotional support as they worked their way through a decision to withdraw life support. Davis stayed with the family for two hours after her shift to comfort them until the end. When one family member became ill himself, Davis escorted him to the ER and coordinated with the ER to assure the family member could come back to the bedside of his dying family member. In another instance, Davis helped decorate for a wedding. She purchased vases and tags and made beautiful flower arrangements from the leftover flowers to be given to patients. Another patient’s daughter expressed to Davis that she would like a stamp of her father’s hand before she made the decision to withdraw life support. Davis went home to get her stamp kit to accommodate this young lady. “Mary always goes above and beyond and this shows what kind of heart she has,” wrote a coworker who nominated her.
Adam Dunaway, EMT, of Saltillo, was one of the 10 honorees. He joined the NMMC staff in 2015. He worked as a transport specialist before becoming an EMT. He is a graduate of Saltillo High School and received an associate of applied sciences degree from Itawamba Community College in Fulton. He became a certified EMT in 2017.
He says the best part of his job is “getting to help people who don’t have anyone.”
He and his wife Stephanie have two daughters – Addison and Evelyn. The family attends First United Methodist Church in Saltillo.
Dunaway was recognized several times by Stars Online for the excellent care he provides to his patients. He saw an ambassador struggling to transport a patient plus a cart full of the patient’s belongings. He volunteered to help the ambassador get the patient up to the floor and assisted in unloading and transferring the patient to the bed. In another instance, he provided donuts for breakfast for his coworkers and helped cook chili for lunch. One patient that Dunaway was transporting home said he was hungry and couldn’t eat what had been served for lunch. Dunaway took him to Subway in the hospital and bought him a meal. “This is one of the many examples of why he deserves a star,” his coworker wrote. “He always makes sure his patients are taken care of.”
Jerry Gravat, LSW, Care Coordinator in Case Management at NMMC-Tupelo joined the NMMC staff in 2015. He is a graduate of Houston High School and received his associate degree from Itawamba Community College in Fulton. He received a bachelor’s in social work from the University of Mississippi in Tupelo. Prior to becoming a social worker, he worked as an EMT for Ambulance Services at NMMC.
“The best part of my job is giving 110% to patients and seeing the result of my work,” he said. “On day of discharge seeing patients receive the appropriate next level of care and advocating for patients that feel they have no voice.”
Gravat was recognized by Stars Online for his compassion and for putting patients first. One of his nominations said that he never lets an opportunity to impact a patient or family member pass by. He was called to the Emergency Room to consult on an adult patient. While in the ER, he overheard staff and family of a toddler trying to console the child. The toddler was asking for a movie. Gravat immediately found a video on his laptop for the child to watch receiving treatment. Another coworker witnessed Gravat pay for a patient’s walker without any hesitation. Another patient on IV antibiotics was going home by wheelchair van. Gravat volunteered to pick up the antibiotics for the patient. In another instance, a patient was brought to the ER with two small children. The mother had recently passed away, and the father and children had been living in their car. The father was admitted to the ICU. “Without a thought, Jerry took money out of his own wallet to buy the children clothes,” his coworker wrote. “He is the most caring and compassionate person I have ever worked with.”
Dana Hammitte, RN, Case Management Care Coordinator for NMMC's Acute Stroke Unit, joined the NMMC staff in 2002. She is a graduate of Red Bay High School in Alabama, and received her associate degree in nursing from Northwest Shoals Community College in Phil Campbell, Alabama.
“I love being able to serve our stroke population,” Hammitte said. “The best part is seeing patients improve and assisting them to the next level of care and one step closer to regaining their independence and returning home and back to their life.”
She and her husband, Greg, have two children – Aliza Grace and Luke. They attend Fulton Bridge Baptist Church in Hamilton, Alabama.
Hammitte was recognized on several occasions by Stars Online for her dedication to her patients. For example, one patient didn’t get her home medications back from her nurses at discharge. Hammitte volunteered to deliver the medications to the patient’s home, out of state, to ensure she took her medications and did not have to buy them again. On another occasion, a patient from out of state needed eight weeks of IV antibiotics. Hammitte went above and beyond to research the patient’s home state to find a provider to accept care of the patient. She coordinated all the patient’s test results being sent ahead of the patient, as well as the orders for medications and remaining tests the patient needed. “Dana could have easily let this patient and insurance company navigate this complex care, but instead she spent the whole day ensuring the best possible transition plan was in place,” her coworker wrote in her nomination. “This is truly above and beyond.”
Jade Hutchens, RN, BSN, with NMMC-Tupelo’s Case Management, joined NMMC in 2004 as a student extern and then worked as a nursing assistant until she graduated nursing school in 2005. She began her nursing career on 1 West and was there for 12 years. She is a graduate of West Union Attendance Center and received her associate degree in nursing from Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of North Alabama in Florence.
“I knew I wanted to be a nurse early in life and I am so thankful that God allowed me to achieve this,” she said. “I love what I do and am blessed to be part of NMMC. I love caring for people and it is truly a ministry to be able to be the hands and feet for Jesus. It is an honor to care for patients in their time of need and provide love and support for their families. I could not do my job without all my wonderful coworkers and am blessed to be part of such a great team.”
She and her husband, Josh, have been married for 14 years. They have two sons – 9-year-old Brody and 5-year-old Greyson. They attend Locust Grove Baptist Church in New Albany.
Hutchens was recognized by Stars Online for putting her patients first and for her kind heart. For example, she recently worked diligently to get a patient’s medication adjusted so that it was affordable. For another patient, Hutchens made sure that the skilled nursing facility a patient was going to was near her home so her husband could visit. She also worked with another family, who had significant cultural and language barriers with staff, to complete charity forms and other necessary paperwork. She worked with the family all the way through discharge to make sure they had what they needed.
Jackie Martin, RN, with NMMC-Tupelo’s Population Health, joined the NMMC staff in 1995. She started her career at NMMC in Pediatrics, where she worked for five years before transferring to the Emergency Room. She has been with Population Health for four years. She is a graduate of Ripley High School, and received her associate degree in nursing from Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville.
“I love the unique position I have in this role to help others,” she said. “I can help someone who has just released from the hospital who didn’t understand their discharge instructions, or who is having trouble with a new medication, or who is having difficulty affording their medication or testing. I help them navigate the health care system and take some of the burdens off of them so they can focus on getting better.”
She is married to Chris and has two sons – Jackson and Zach. She attends Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo.
Martin was recognized by Stars Online for the wonderful example she sets. For example, one patient was having trouble finding the Vein Center and was in the Population Health office. Martin overheard the conversation and volunteered to ride with the patient to show him the correct office. She walked back to her office in the rain. She helped a coworker provide Christmas gifts to the two children of one patient who was blind and unable to work, and helped another coworker provide groceries for a patient who was in need.
Samara Martin, EMT, with NMMC-Tupelo’s Ambulance Services, joined the NMMC staff in 2018. She is a graduate of New Hope High School and received her associate degree from East Mississippi Community College in Mayhew. She also attended Mississippi State University in Starkville. She is certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.
She says the best part of her job is taking care of her patients and getting to love on them and their family members.
She is the daughter of Beth and Tim Vann. She attends Smithville Baptist Church and works out at CrossFit Tupos “with the most Godly people you will ever meet,” she says.
Martin was recognized on several occasions by Stars Online for her kindness and compassion. She bought candy and mini pies for each employee on her shift. “She is always happy and wants others to feel happy as well,” wrote a coworker who nominated her. She also goes above and beyond for the patients she transports. She purchased a flannel scarf for one patient who is thin and always cold to help him keep warm, and bought a Michael Jackson shirt for another patient who always enjoys talking to her about the music he likes. Her nomination included other examples of her patience and care, even when dealing with very difficult situations that aren’t expected of someone in her role.
Shennia Mosley of Mantachie, a transporter and CNA in recovery, has worked at NMMC since 2011. She is a graduate of Mantachie High School and received her associate degree in 2017. She is also a certified first responder, unit coordinator, EKG technologist, Emergency Room technologist and is certified in phlebotomy.
“While working in the PACU for the past four years, I have seen many patients struggling with pain,” she said. “Every day presents many opportunities to help patients through extremely difficult times in their lives. I love being able to care for and support patients through new diagnoses and overall emotional times in their lives. By simply coming to work each day, I am able to be a part of a team that works diligently to improve patients’ lives.”
She and her husband Luke have been married for 10 years and have two sons – Colton, 8, and Corbin, 6.
They attend Ozark Baptist Church in Marietta and Nettleton Independent Methodist Church in Nettleton.
Mosley was nominated for helping her patients feel at ease. In one case, she noticed a pediatric patient on the schedule. She went to see him in pre-op even though no prep was needed, so that when he came to recovery he would have a familiar face. She was also nominated for going above her duties on busy days. One particularly busy day she transported a patient to another department and noticed the nurse manager helping clean rooms to allow patients to be admitted. She overheard that patients needed to be transported. Mosley jumped in and helped with cleaning rooms and transported a patient to help the unit get caught up. In another case, Mosely developed a rapport with a patient in Short-Stay Surgery, and found out the patient was very anxious and had encountered many bumps in the road during her cancer treatment. During her morning break, Mosley bought the patient a heart-shaped pillow from the gift shop to encourage her as she continues her cancer journey. She has also purchased a balloon and pillow for a special needs patient, and snacks and a gift for a patient who had no family.
Justin Parden, M.D., vascular surgeon with NMMC's Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Clinic, joined the NMMC staff in 2016. He is a graduate of St. Paul’s Episcopal High School in Mobile, Alabama. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Alabama, and his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He completed five years of residency training in surgery at Baptist Health System in Birmingham, where he was chief surgical resident. He completed a two-year fellowship in vascular surgery and endovascular therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he served as administrative fellow.
“The best part of my job is working with patients to help them in a time of need,” he said.
His significant other is Twila Smith, and he has two dogs, Cinda and Matilda “Mattie.”
Dr. Parden was recognized for his kindness and thoughtfulness. For example, Dr. Parden came to the CCU waiting area to talk to a patient’s son. “He spent a long time talking to him about his father who had been in the hospital for five days,” said a coworker who nominated Dr. Parden. “Even though he was not the primary doctor for this patient, he was very concerned about the well-being of the son. He spent much more time than doctors usually have, and then came back with five meal vouchers for him.” He was also cited for buying lunch and a drink for a patient who has hungry after a procedure. In another instance, a very sick patient’s family made the decision to withdraw care. When Dr. Parden heard this, he dropped what he was doing and came to the bedside to be with the family. He stayed with them through the whole process.
Kevin Silver, D.O., a physiatrist with North Mississippi Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, joined the NMMC staff in 2016. He is a graduate of Lakeside High School in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He received his medical degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, and completed his internship at Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan. He completed his residency at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He worked as an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University while working at the VCU Spine Center from 2013-2015.
He says the best part of his job is “working with an amazing team to help decrease pain and improve function for patients.”
“Thankfully, we are able to do what we are passionate about every day and we have a great time doing it,” Dr. Silver said. “We try to translate our passion into an excellent patient experience.”
He is married to Dr. Sara Silver, a pediatric endocrinologist. They have three children – 5-year-old Jackson, 2-year-old Leo and 1-year-old Sage. They attend St. James Catholic Church in Tupelo.
Dr. Silver was recognized for not only providing excellent care, but for going above and beyond to take care of the staff. On several occasions, he has bought lunch, provided vegetables from his garden to share, and helps the staff take care of the office plants and flowers. “He goes out of his way to thank everyone,” said a coworker who nominated Dr. Silver. “He surprised the entire staff during Nurses’ Week by hiring a massage therapist from the NMMC Wellness Center to come give us each a mini massage. We are blessed with an amazing physician.”