SAMC team members awarded for service
Six well-deserving SAMC team members were recently named SAMMY recipients at SAMC's annual Awards Night Banquet at the Dothan Civic Center.
This year's SAMMY recipients are, from left, Dana Gaylord, Marketing; Beth Gilley, Quality Management; Robert Washington, Radiation Oncology; Andy Gifford, Plant Services; Teresa Williams, Environmental Services; and Micki Williams, Pulmonary Medicine.
The recipients are examples of the many compassionate healthcare workers who daily provide quality care and promote wellness to those they serve at SAMC. The SAMMY award recognizes employees who exemplify the best qualities of SAMC. They have gone above and beyond their daily duties and responsibilities, as well as setting themselves apart by making a positive difference in our community.
SAMMY recipients are nominated by their peers and must meet strict qualifying criteria.
Robert Washington started his job at SAMC when Radiation Oncology was located in the basement of the old building. Over his 27 years of dedicated service, Robert has seen many changes in the department of Radiation Oncology. He has transitioned well from film-based planning to the current CT simulation. Robert has never feared change, adapting over the years and easing patient fears by patiently explaining in great detail to our patients what they can expect from treatment.
Robert is an excellent employee and works in any area of the department with great ease. His primary responsibility is the simulation of patients for treatment to be sure equipment and procedures are properly set prior to actual radiation. Yet on any given day he may be found scanning documents into a patient's chart, transporting a patient to the floor, assisting a patient into their car, filling in at one of our network locations in Enterprise or Marianna, coming in over the weekend to treat a patient, or answering the telephones at the front desk.
Robert also functions as the system administrator of the Cancer Center's electronic medical records system and sets up and trains all new users. He is one of the first team members to arrive at work in the mornings. Robert also participates in nearly all team activities involving the cancer program, from Champions of Hope to birthday parties.
But most of all, Robert is a patient pleaser. "He runs out the door if he sees a patient having trouble getting in," one coworker said. "I have seen him jump over the counter to prevent a patient from falling. He is very personable with employees and they all know him and love him."
Outside of work Robert has assisted many people, including a former employee and breast cancer survivor with projects around her home. On one occasion after a storm Robert cleared a fallen tree out of a driveway of this elderly lady's home so she could get out. There is not any single large task or experience that makes Robert deserving of a nomination but the many cumulative things he does for his patients and coworkers each and every day that make him a remarkable asset to SAMC and the Cancer Center.
Teresa Williams has been an employee of SAMC since February 2011. Since the day she joined the Environmental Services team, her hard work, dedication, smile and inner beauty has proven a blessing.
A co-worker describes her as a special classy lady and a mother hen. "One of the things that I love the most about Mrs. Teresa is her concern for people. It doesn't matter to her the color of your skin or how much money you have. She just loves people and enjoys serving and encouraging others."
Her hard work and dedication on the job flows over to the community as well. She is a dedicated member of Burdeshaw Street Missionary Baptist Church where she can often be found in the kitchen preparing meals. When she hears of a need among co-workers, she is the first to go into her pocket or make telephone calls in an effort to fill those needs. When a church family was in need of clothes and toys for their children at Christmas, Teresa spearheaded an effort to help the family.
She has often taken on the role of caregiver in the community, helping people like Miss Gracie, an elderly woman whose husband was ill and confined to his bed. Teresa would call daily when leaving work to see if there was anything the couple needed; she checked on them often. She also ran errands for them, doing whatever she could to make their lives easier and to make sure their needs were met. For the last four years at Christmas, she has volunteered with Turkeys from Heaven, a non-profit organization that reaches out to over 600 families at Christmas.
She routinely touches lives of those less fortunate. She serves meals each month at Mama Tina's soup kitchen. She works hours to help prepare food and uses her own money for supplies. Teresa is truly a blessing to her co-workers, in her church and the community.
Andy has been employed in the Industrial Maintenanceshop for 29 years. He repairs laundry and kitchen equipment and plumbing. He is cooperative, always lending a helping hand to co-workers. Andy is a generous person, willing to give you the shirt off his back. But an addiction in his life led him to be a taker rather than a giver. His habit led him to spend less quality time with his family, becoming a stranger to those who loved him the most. He spent time and money fueling his habit – money that should have been spent on his family. Andy was no longer able to give a hundred percent at work; he disappointed those who tried to help him. Andy was an alcoholic.
With the help of family and co-workers, Andy made a change in his life. He wanted to be around to see his grandchild – now grandchildren – grow up. SAMC's Employee Assistance Program pointed him in the direction of healing through counseling, intervention and support programs. He began his journey to sobriety and appreciates all that was done for him; he is most grateful to God for the change in his life.
Andy has become a more valued asset to Plant Services and is someone his co-workers can depend on. His family is glad to see him sober, alert, smiling and happily serving God through helping others.
His grandchildren are enjoying being in his life. Andy has become a giver again. Many of those he helps are strangers.
He volunteers weekly in Behavioral Health, taking time to share his personal journey to patients in BMU. He gives them encouragement, assurance that they are not alone and an invitation to become a part of the ongoing support group meetings after they have completed their initial stay at SAMC. On Thursday nights he shares his message with patients at the Haven. Other nights and again on Sunday mornings he is with his 'Big Book Group' sharing, encouraging and being encouraged by what God has done for him. He often goes out late at night or in the early morning to help someone. He is always available by phone and is listed on the AA hot line to help someone on the verge of taking a drink. He helps in other ways as well, repairing leaky roofs and faucets, shopping for groceries and taxiing others who are too drunk to drive. He is on the board of trustees for the Wiregrass Club, serving as chair person for building and grounds and organizing fundraisers for the organization.
Andy is a clear example of someone who truly cares about others. He has opened the book of his life to those who are lost in the grip of alcoholism.
Elizabeth "Beth" Gilley is a special person who thinks what she does is no big deal, but her actions are seen by many as upstanding and commendable. Her deeds inspire others to step outside the box and lend a hand to those in need.
Beth, who recently moved to Quality Management from the Cardiovascular Services floor, has shown much love to our indigent patients who don't have family support. Beth goes above and beyond to help these patients and their pets. She has been seen visiting department stores and using her own money to purchase items patients need. She also goes to their houses to pick up necessary items, takes care of their animals while they are hospitalized and cleans up their homes before they are discharged.
She also does charity work in the community. Beth helps promote blood drives, finds homes for stray animals and assists with special education activities at a local school. While doing this charitable work, she enlists the help of her family, friends and co-workers.
Beth also is an excellent preceptor and mentor. She is a highly sought after preceptor and is often used to train new nurses hired to 7 East to help develop their skills. Based on her reputation at SAMC, she is consistently requested as a preceptor of nursing students from local schools. Everyone loves to work with Beth.
Beth is the epitome of a SAMMY award winner. She has been a great nurse and a loyal employee for more than 11 years and during her time here she has grown to be the charitable person that she is today. People like Beth are rare these days, so she should be honored for her contribution to the patients of SAMC and the community.
Dana Gaylord is a frequent flyer when it comes to going the extra mile. As a marketing specialist for Advanced Home Medical (AHM) and the Sleep Disorders Center, Dana selflessly puts others first. "Dana is a true blessing to our family and anyone she comes in contact with, always wearing a beautiful smile," Dana's sister, Deborah Vann said about her. "If she was having a bad day, you would never know it."
Dana spends much of her time marketing directly to physicians and their staffs. She takes the time to get to know the physicians and their office staff. She is always looking for ways to be more productive and efficient in her job as she strives to increase patient volumes. When the Enterprise Sleep Center has patients during the day, Dana is there making sure they are provided breakfast and lunch.
When a reimbursement is pending because a patient order has not been signed, Dana delivers the paperwork to a physician's office and takes it to be filed. When she is in the office, Dana helps answer phones and assists customers. Dana is not one to complain or say, "That's not my job," when it comes to pitching in. When it comes time for weekend and evening health fairs, she always volunteers.
About a year ago, Dana's mother was diagnosed with lung disease and is on oxygen. Besides making sure the oxygen is delivered, Dana cleans her mom's house and she takes her kids every two weeks to work in the yard. She also takes care of the grocery shopping for her mom.
Despite being a single mother, Dana never misses any of her children's activities. She is always in attendance at her son's football games. She also made time to be at her daughters' softball games and cheering events.
Dana helps people who are less fortunate. Last year, she helped a family without transportation. She volunteered to take the family wherever they needed to go.
Dana is active in her church, Victory Family Church in Dothan. At church, Dana is in charge of Guest Relations. She is the first person to greet new people at church. She is also a care minister and can often be seen bringing snack baskets to patients in CCU, as well as coloring books and stuffed animals to the pediatric floor. She takes gift bags to the local fire stations along with letters of encouragement and support. Dana's heart for helping people isn't limited to Dothan; this summer she took part in a mission trip to Africa to work with an orphanage.
Pulmonary Medicine Department
Micki has always been one of those people who will go out of her way to help anyone. She has on numerous times performed random acts of kindness for patients, visitors, new employees and others.
She has paid for the meals of new employees when their badges were not working in the system. She has purchased a meal for visitors who didn't have enough money to pay for what they had gotten. Micki, who lives in Georgia, has even been known to give patients' family members rides home.
One of her most recent acts of kindness occurred when Micki struck up a conversation with an outpatient she was performing a test on. Micki routinely chats with her patients, and from this particular lady, she learned the woman had walked to the Medical Center for her test that day. As the conversation continued, Micki found out that the woman holds down two different jobs, is raising her three grandchildren and she does not drive due to a head trauma she received several years back. Because of this, the woman ends up walking five to seven miles a day just to go to work. That day when the patient left, Micki called her a cab and paid for it out of her own money.
Over the next few days Micki managed to round up an adult bike and some clothing for the children. She then called the woman on the telephone and delivered the items to her. The lady was extremely grateful! Not only did she now have clothing for her grandchildren but also a bike to ride back and forth to work so that she did not have to walk.
Micki demonstrates what we should all do in our daily walk of life. She looked for, found and acted upon an opportunity to help someone else. Even though it may be something as simple as picking up the cost for a stranger's meal, Micki's actions are a message to others.
Patient Portal iPad winner
Susan Horne of Newton, left, was the winner of the iPad in the Patient Portal signup drawing. Each quarter, SAMC gives one free iPad to a patient who signed up for the online portal. Making the presentation is marketing representative Kim Atwell.
Infection Prevention -- Handwashing is Key
According to the Alabama Hospital Association, germs are everywhere, and they can lead to infections if we're not on guard. Normally, our bodies' immune systems can fight off infections, but when we're sick and in the hospital, it becomes more difficult. Not only are our immune systems weaker, but if we have an open wound or a place where a tube has to be inserted, we have to take extra precautions.
To learn more about infection prevention, visit the Alabama Hospital Association's Infection Prevention page.