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Its about service for Helmey Award winner
norma and boyles 2
Effingham Hospital CEO Norma Jean Morgan presents Mary Boyles with the 2011 C. Edward Helmey Award. - photo by Photo by Calli Arnold

The winner of Effingham Hospital’s C. Edward Helmey Award is the part-time employee who says her purpose is to serve, Mary Boyles.

Boyles, 77, has worked part-time at the hospital for 24 years as a pre-certification coordinator. Her formal duties are to verify that a patient’s insurance will cover a procedure before the orders are given. But it’s what she does beyond her job description that make her stand out.

“Really, what I do, I don’t expect recognition, I don’t,” said Boyles. “I do it because that’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s what God put us here to do … to make everybody else we come in contact with, their lives better if we possibly can. I just try to do that.”

Fellow coworkers described her as “the most beaming person here.” They said that anything that’s asked of her is done as soon as possible. Also, they said that in spite of her age, Boyles is quite energetic and “industrious.”

“Out of all the nominees this year,” said Effingham Hospital CEO Norma Jean Morgan, “Mrs. Mary was certainly the person we felt was the most industrious, the most willing to go beyond her job and to just be an advocate for not only the patients, but an advocate for the employees and an advocate for this facility. She’s just an outstanding employee.”

A patient who Boyles helps to her wheelchair every morning said, “even though I don’t ask her, she there, she’s dependable, and she really helps me a lot.”

In addition to her service working at Effingham Hospital, Boyles also volunteers with the pre-kindergarten class at her church and with the Effingham Hospital Auxiliary. She also loves to work in the yard.

The other two finalists for the 2011 Helmey Award were Alfreda Williams and Margaret Edwards. A certified nursing assistant at the hospital’s nursing home, Williams was emotional as she accepted her finalist statue and embraced her four children and extended family before giving thanks for the recognition.

“I have walked many days in the rain and in the heat,” said Williams, who does not have a car and walks to work. “I walked not only because I had to work, but this is my family, and family is very close and dear to me. I’d do anything and everything for my family and this is my family away from my family. And I want to thank each and every one of ya’ll for everything that you’ve done.”

Williams was described by Morgan and her supervisors as “always willing, and always interested in doing what was best for the Care Center.” They noted that Williams is a single mother and they said that she was “one of our most committed CNAs” at the Care Center.

Edwards is a radiology technologist who has been with Effingham Hospital since June 1984. Morgan said that through personal tragedy, including losing an eye, Edwards “has been an example in our x-ray department,” and that “she has been the type of person that Mr.Helmey would want to get this award.”

“We have worked with her through several traumas in her life,” said Victoria Little, head of human resources and personnel at the hospital, “and she always puts that aside and focuses on her patients because she loves them and makes sure that they get the care they need at that time regardless of what’s going on in her life at that time.”

Employees can recommend any co-worker for the Helmey Award. A committee represented by each branch that comprises Effingham Hospital reviews the nominations and selects those who are exemplary employees but also active members in the community.