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Pizzino receives Webb scholarship
Willie Webb, widow of Dr. Ray Webb, presents the Dr. Ray Webb Scholarship to Mary Pizzano, the health information manager for Effingham Hospital. Pizzano is finishing a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati online. Alongside are Mary Lee Webb, left, and Norma Jean Morgan, the administrator for Effingham Hospital, right. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

It’s quite a balancing act for Mary Pizzino.

She and her husband have two children, Miranda and Steven. Her husband Steven is home — for now. In about a week, he rejoins his unit, the 3/7 Cavalry Squadron, on duty in Iraq. Pizzino is also one year away from finishing her degree in health information management from the University of Cincinnati.

Pizzino, the health information manager for Effingham Hospital, was awarded with the Dr. Ray Webb Scholarship on Friday. The hospital began the scholarship program — for health care professionals furthering their education — last year.

“It’s great. It’s a great opportunity,” Pizzino said. “It’s a privilege and an honor.”

Pizzino’s experience in medical records was in nursing homes. Effingham Hospital is the first hospital she’s worked at, and she’s been there since March 2006.

“I do like small communities,” she said. “I’m from a small community. Meeting my Effingham family has given me a lot of opportunities.”

Pizzino, who wants to be a registered health information administrator, praised her staff for helping her understand the rules and regulations.

“My girls have been fabulous,” she said. “They have taught me a lot.”

Dr. Webb died in December 2005, so Pizzino never met the man whom the scholarship is named for. But she shares a lot of his traits, Effingham Hospital Administrator Norma Jean Morgan said.

“She wants it now, and she wants it perfectly,” she said. “And that’s just like Dr. Webb. She keeps us on our toes. Dr. Webb would be very pleased that Mary is the recipient.”

Ruth Lee, one of the scholarship committee members, said the hospital was Dr. Webb’s dream.

“He nurtured it through thick and thin,” she said. “He thought it was the best thing in the world."