Brooke Whitaker, a registered nurse in the Texas County Memorial Hospital emergency department, is the 2016 employee of the year. Pictured are, from left: Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer; Doretta Todd-Willis chief nursing officer; Whitaker; Wes Murray, chief executive officer; and Jerri Sue Crump, emergency department nurse manager.

Texas County Memorial Hospital named its manager and employee of the year Friday night during its 33 rd annual employee celebration.

Ellen Willis, of Summersville, took top honors as manager of the year at TCMH for 2016. Brooke Whitaker of Licking received the employee of the year honor.

About 100 employees and their guests — for a total of 200 — attended the celebration at Faith Fellowship. Thirty-eight employees were honored with service awards.

Willis, an employee at the hospital since 2001, is a physical therapist and director of the TCMH physical therapy department.

“Ellen has taken initiative to take on additional duties and pursued additional training to bring new services to her department,” said Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH.

Pamperien said Willis took on oversight of physical therapy services for Home Health of the Ozarks shortly after taking over as director of the PT department.

“When I asked Ellen about working with Home Health, she said, ‘We’ll make that work,’ and it has been very successful,” Pamperien said.

Willis has also pursued board certification in wound therapy and certification in LSVT BIG for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

“Ellen is always looking for ways to better herself,” Pamperien said. “She’s a terrific asset for our hospital.”

Willis took over leadership of the department in 2012.

“Ellen exhibits the leadership qualities that meet our expectations for the department and the hospital,” said Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH.

Willis takes call for physical therapy and wound therapy patients at the hospital. She works closely with members of the TCMH medical staff for inpatients and outpatients.

“Ellen has the respect of all of our physicians,” Pamperien said.

Employee of the year is limited to the individuals who have received the honor of employee of the month since the 2015 employee awards ceremony. All employees are allowed to vote for employee of the year by choosing one employee of the month in a secret ballot vote.

Whitaker is a registered nurse in the emergency department at TCMH. She has worked at the hospital since 2014. She won employee of the month honors in August. Doctors, nurses, patients, visitors and other departmental staff members all interact with Whitaker as a nurse in the emergency department.

“Brooke is positive and energetic, and she takes initiative when she’s working,” said Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH chief nursing officer.

Murray said Whitaker has the respect of the TCMH emergency room physicians.

“Brooke is known for having a sound knowledge base,” Murray said. “She has a gift for balancing patient care with handling patients and their families and the many different situations that are presented in the ER.”

“Brooke is a ‘go-to’ employee, and her future in healthcare is bright,” said Jerri Sue Crump, emergency department nurse manager.

The managers of the year and the employee of the year were honored with an engraved plaque, $500 cash, a pin and a day of paid time off.

The TCMH Customer Quality Team honored two employees that exemplified excellent customer service in the hospital organization in 2016. Tamma Floyd, a technician at TCMH Hutcheson Pharmacy, and Frank Steelman, a paramedic in the emergency medical services department, received the honor.

Floyd and Steelman were each awarded a plaque for their efforts and given a cash award.

The Customer Quality Team also recognized two departments with a “Customer Service Department of the Year” award. TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks and Plant Operations received the honors.

Home Health of the Ozarks staff has consistently received “four out of five star” ratings and are “above average” in the scored areas on their patient satisfaction surveys in 2016. They have been in the 90th percentile of “recommended home health agencies” for six months in a row.

The plant operations department is known for consistently providing excellent customer service to all departments within the hospital. The department has also taken on several large in-house renovation projects in 2016 in addition to handling routine duties of the department.

Both departments will receive a special meal in their honor.

Murray and Dr. Jim Perry, OD, chairperson of the TCMH board of trustees, and board member, Omanez Fockler, recognized employees with service awards. Honored were:

• Linda Sullins, 40 years.

• Terri Bailey, 35 years.

• Nancy Branson and Kim Jordan, 30.

• Kelly Bell, Kathy Carr, Angie Gimpel and Carol Turner, 25 years.

• Brenda Barton, Yvonne Cope, Andree Havens and Linda Pamperien, 20 years.

• Hope Best, Lisa Merritt, Patty Norris, Steelman, Vicky Tidwell and Willis, 15 years.

• Becky Brawley, Krista Elliott, Crystal Finley, Geoff Hall, Nancy Hayes, Colleen Lebel, and Steve Mitchell, 10 years.

• Mary Barnes, Ashley Carr, Shelby Ellison, Paul Fockler, Jonathon Gibby, Sharon Gliem, Chastidy Graen, Rick Hardwick, Tommi Hogan, Malina Jordan, Lance King, Christa Mitchell and Janell Postlewait, five years.

TCMH also gave out prizes to hospital employees who had volunteered at hospital events throughout the year.

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