Grissom Selected as NMMC Volunteer of the Year
TUPELO, Miss.—North Mississippi Medical Center has named Nancy Grissom as Volunteer of the Year.
Grissom will represent NMMC at the Mississippi Hospital Association Volunteer Awards program in Jackson on Oct. 19.
“My elderly mother was hospitalized and diagnosed with congestive heart failure,” Grissom explains. “I went to the Food Court for breakfast and the worker assisting me said, ‘You look like you could use a hug.’ This act of kindness meant so much to me. I didn’t realize how alone I felt until that moment.”
That act of kindness also spurred Grissom to help others in similar situations at NMMC. “It means so much when somebody takes the extra step,” she said.
Grissom graduated from Tupelo High School and studied business at Itawamba Community College. In 1966 she was hired to work at the Child Development Clinic as secretary to Dr. L.L. McDougal, the pediatrician who was instrumental in founding a residential treatment facility for children with developmental disabilities. “I learned compassion from two important men in my life, my Dad and Dr. McDougal,” she said. “There was no one more compassionate than them.”
Dr. McDougal did not live to see his dream become a reality; the McDougal Center was named in his honor. She continued to work for the clinic and for the Mental Health Center for more than 37 years. In 2003 she retired to care for her ailing mother. After her mother passed away, Grissom began volunteering at the information desk in NMMC’s main lobby in 2015.
Over the years she has volunteered in the Resource Center, Human Resources and Emergency Department, as well as helping in other areas. Now she works each Monday in PreAdmission Testing, where she assists the nurses by escorting patients, getting their height and weight, and verifying their birthdate. She also assembles anesthesia information packets, scans records and delivers lab work for processing.
Each Wednesday she works in Short Stay Surgery, where she welcomes patients, accompanies them to their holding room and secures any needed supplies. She also continues to fill in at the information desk when asked.
“Compassion for the people we encounter on a daily basis is of utmost importance,” Grissom said. “As volunteers, we have the time to give patients and their families extra attention, show our concern and offer any assistance we can to make their experience more positive.”
Grissom also serves on NMMC’s Patient and Family Advisory Council. “That’s important to me because I’m not clinical, but I can speak out on behalf of the patients,” she said. “I am proud of the work the council has accomplished since it was established.