Effingham Hospital honored some of its outstanding employees at the C. Edward Helmey Humanitarian Award ceremony and reception Saturday morning.
This year’s award went to Christine Hendrix, the social services coordinator for Effingham Hospital’s nursing home, The Care Center.
Hendrix started her career as a certified nursing assistant and became a licensed practical nurse, coming to Effingham Hospital in April 2007.
“Because of having done her job at the ground level, she has learned to be an exemplary, not only nurse, but a social worker for us here,” said Effingham Hospital CEO Norma Jean Morgan. “She is our auxiliary liaison and demonstrates exceptional knowledge in her job. Her personal commitment to quality is second to none. Her performance is extremely outstanding.”
Morgan said Hendrix has been solely responsible for The Care Center maintaining full capacity when most nursing homes in Georgia are only 85 percent full.
“I felt myself turning red and hot, (I was) very surprised,” Hendrix said of hearing Morgan describe her before she was presented the award.
Hendrix attributed her performance at Effingham Hospital to the caliber of the atmosphere and the people. She said “the quality of care that’s given by everyone” inspires her do her job well.
“It’s a pleasure to work here, to be in such a good group of people,” she said.
The C. Edward Helmey Humanitarian Award is given each year to an employee who reflects the hospital’s vision and mission and the work ethic of longtime Hospital Authority member, Edward Helmey. Employees nominate those who they think match that ideal, and a committee of hospital officials and an employee determine the nominees to be recognized and the winner.
“Who really goes above and beyond for that mission and vision? Who really goes beyond what their job description is, doing extra, being impassioned about what we’re doing?” Morgan said.
Two nominees were recognized: Mary Boyles pre-certifies patients fo r hospital procedures, and Denise Driggers, a medical technologist.
The reception was also an opportunity to reflect on Effingham Hospital’s achievements since August 2009, highlighting the strives made in the HUD modernization grant process and the Georgia Southern University public health outreach grant to start the Mobilizing Action for Planning and Partnerships program.
“We’re planning the future of our children and our children’s children. They’ll either have a hospital here or they won’t, and it’s determined by what we do,” said Morgan.
Jose Velasquez, pastor of Mizpah United Methodist Church in Clyo, gave the invocation and spoke of the hospital’s importance in the community.
“As we come together today to honor those who may be a little step ahead of some, we are actually honoring everybody that has anything to do with this hospital because you guys are making this hospital become better and better each day,” he said.
Helmey’s children were in attendance to support the hospital and continue their father’s legacy in the hospital.
“Well, my dad was born and raised in Effingham County. He was a farmer; he was the kind of a man that believed in an honest days work for an honest day’s pay. And he instilled in us a work ethic that still carries on,” said Eddie Helmey, Edward Helmey’s son. “But him and other honorable men came together and had a vision and they made that vision happen. It’s a blessing to see that vision carrying on today.
“So my congratulation to the winners of this award. When we can do our jobs where we come together to be an asset and not a liability, and you go the extra mile — even though we do our jobs — it’s carrying that a little further,” Helmey said.