Published on November 01, 2021

NMMC Volunteer Awarded Top Mended Hearts Honor 

Cheryl Storey

Mended Hearts Chapter 97 representatives Frances Cobb, Cheryl Storey and Norma Pettigrew show off the Visiting Chair Excellence awards won by Storey at the divisional, regional and national level.

TUPELO, Mississippi—The Mended Hearts Inc. recently honored Cheryl Storey, a volunteer with North Mississippi Medical Center, with the national 2021 Visiting Chair Excellence Award, the organization’s top visiting award.

Storey was chosen for the award because of the dedication she has shown to her Accredited Visitors, NMMC, heart patients and families in the community, and the Mended Hearts® program. The Accredited Visiting Program supports patients and families who are facing the diagnosis of heart disease and help them realize they are not alone and that there is hope in the midst of the crisis. The Accredited Visiting Program is needed because even well-meaning family and friends and compassionate medical staff may not be able to offer patients, caregivers and families the strength and comfort they need. Accredited Visitors are trained volunteers who have survived these same difficult situations. Storey has been a member of Mended Hearts Chapter 97 since 2015 and currently serves as Chapter President and Accredited Visitor.

During 2020 and 2021, Storey did not let the fact that she couldn’t visit in-person because of the pandemic affect the support she gave. Understanding the importance of connection, she worked with the NMMC staff to find ways to support patients and families after surgery. She called patients twice a week after their surgeries and followed up by mailing them a letter of support and information about how to join Mended Hearts. In 2020, she made 370 phone calls supporting patients and mailed 396 letters. In addition, she made sure that all of her chapter’s visitors completed the required training and helped mentor them through the on-boarding process.

“I receive tremendous support both personally and for our Mended Hearts chapter from NMMC’s Volunteer Services Department,” Storey said. “I could not have done the phone visits and letter writing onsite during the pandemic without their help. In addition, they schedule speakers and help plan our programs, which will resume as soon as in-person gatherings are permitted.”

Storey was honored with the award at the divisional and regional level before receiving the national award. “We are honored to recognize Ms. Storey for the outstanding work she has done to support heart patients and their families,” said The Mended Hearts, Inc. President Ron Manriquez. “That she has won this award is proof of the deep commitment she has to patients, the hospital and her chapter. We are grateful for the work she has done, and continues to do, to support The Mended Hearts Inc. mission.”

The Mended Hearts Inc. supports patients and families through its in-person and virtual visiting programs, educational resources and webinars, group meetings and educational forums. The Mended Hearts Inc. inspires hope and improves the quality of life for heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support. For information on how to join or support Chapter 97 in Tupelo, contact Storey at cheryllstorey@yahoo.com

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