At the NHRMC Service Awards Banquet last week, 10 employees were honored for 40 years of service. And Johnsie Davis, Director of Patient Safety was honored for 45 years of service!
Service Awards Banquet Photo Gallery
3 and 5 Year Reception Photo Gallery
Prior to the banquet, some of our veteran employees captured some of their memories of working at NHRMC through the years. Here are some excerpts:
Brenda Brunson, Patient Accounts
Starting at what was New Hanover Memorial Hospital 40 years ago really seems like just the other day. My son was just 8 months old and just beginning how to walk and I will never forget one of my co- workers told me to enjoy my baby now because before I know it he will be all grown up and she was right about that.
Over my 40 years here I have learned so much and I have taught so many. It really has been a great journey and a pleasure being part of this great establishment.
Deborah Musselwhite, RN, New Hanover Medical Group
Forty years ago, I joined NHRMC as a young green UNC-W nursing graduate on 4th floor, which at that time, was OB-GYN, in all whites including my proudly worn school affiliated cap. After one year, I transitioned to a busy Family Practice office that, years later would become New Hanover Medical Group. MY NHMG journey was an amazing one, filled with exponential growth and opportunities to work with exceptional, talented, dedicated providers as well as my beloved NHMG work family.
My professional goal has always remained the same, to keep the patient at the center off all we do. I would like to acknowledge the privilege and pride I feel to be part of such a worthwhile service organization.
Joe Guyton, Staff Nurse, Cath Lab
I was hired September 17, 1978. I started as an LPN working all over the hospital. Yes I worked PRN on the OB floor with the babies. I gleaned a lot of experience by working all of the areas. I finally settled in the cardiac area which started out on the fifth floor, then moved to the seventh floor, and finally the ninth floor. Twenty years ago, I transferred to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Taking care of sick patients has been my forte. I have enjoyed nurturing them back to health.
Johnsie Davis, Director of Patient Safety
I always wanted to become a nurse and take care of others. God granted me this aspiration and allowed me to practice nursing at New Hanover Regional Medical Center over the past 45 years.
Professionally, I stand on the shoulders of many great nurses in my career. There were so many however, I will only name a few: Willa Hatcher, Mary Lockhart, Helen Lofton, Ruth Foy, and Caroway Robeson. These nurses helped shape my professional career. I hoped that I have paid it forward to the next generation of nurses. I am very proud of the nurse leaders of today. Many of them, I knew when they were new nurses starting out. Now, they are providing leadership for the next generation of nursing.
Sandy Andrews, Outcomes Manager
40 Years ago seems like yesterday.
I was 23 years old in May 1978. I had accomplished one of the biggest tasks I had ever set for myself, completing the ADN program for nursing. I was so proud!!
I clearly remember my job interview with Ms. Dorothy (Dot) Godley, Nursing Supervisor at the time. I was absolutely scared to death. Ms. Godley was an imposing figure - wearing her white, starched uniform; shiny white polished "Clinic" shoes, with white hose and her starched Nurse's cap on her head. I wanted to be just like her.
Ms.Godley asked me if I had any particular area of interest in which to start my career. I replied "Yes,Mam", I'd like to work in Labor and Delivery. I wanted to be a Labor and Delivery Room Nurse more than anything. She knowingly smiled at me, patted my hand and said "I have a day/night rotation position on Neurology/ENT. You can start in July. You will start at $4.35 an hour."
I thought I had hit the Jackpot! I was grateful that I had been offered a position and couldn't imagine making so much money!
That started my career that has lasted 40 years. I learned from the best including Johnsie Davis, Sharon Todd, Brenda Brunson, (and yes, Ms. Godley) plus many RNs, LPNs and NAs. Their words and teachings have never left me.
Sandy Steed, CDI Educator
On May 15, 1978, two days after graduation, I started my career on 6th South(Med-Surg) at New Hanover Memorial Hospital, generally caring for 20-21 patients with the help of an aid or LPN. We did it all back then - bathed our patients, made beds, ordered supplied, emptied Foleys, changed dressings, did treatments, passed meds and always turned our bedbound patients every 2 hours. I am most proud of the fact that none of my patients ever developed a decubitus ulcer!
I have had the good fortune to work with many fine nurses, managers and departments throughout my career. Looking back from where we have come to the technology we have at our fingertips now…. I never dreamed health care would be what it is today. What a ride!
Sarah Strong, Staff Nurse
In May of 1978, I graduated from UNC-W with an A.D in Nursing. The following Monday, I began my nursing career on the 6th floor (surgical) of NHRMC. I came to work with my white nursing uniform, white stockings and shoes and of course my nursing cap ( which was required at that time.
When the surgeon came in to the nursing station, if we were seated, we stood to see if he needed anything or to offer our chair if one was not available. We made rounds with the surgeons, taking verbal orders and then transcribing the orders onto the patients charts. Technology has definitely changed the way nursing looks in 2018. I learned many years ago to embrace the change if I wanted to be a part of the health care arena.
Sheila McRae, Nurse Aide, 6th Floor
I am pleased and blessed to have been part of NHRMC for 40 years. It has been a great experience. The love and support that I have received has been a blessing. I want to thank all who have come across my path on this amazing journey.
Tammy Gainey, Staff Nurse, Employee Health
I started my career as a nurse as a fresh graduate from UNCW in 1978. I applied, was interviewed and basically hired on the spot making $4-something an hour. I took a position in maternal child rotating 2 weeks on 7am to 3pm and 2 weeks on 11pm to 7am. Well it didn’t take me long to figure out my body was not designed to adjust to that schedule, so I took a rotating job of 7-3 and 3-11 in L&D where I spent my next 20 years. We had 8 little rooms, and I mean LITTLE, where we labored patients. We still occasionally put Mom’s “to sleep” for their labor, Dad’s weren’t allowed in delivery rooms, twins were often a surprise and you didn’t know the sex of your baby. My how things have changed. We did open the first birthing room while I was there, and later we moved out on the third floor where the Mom's labored, delivered and recovered in the same room.
New Hanover has been more than just a job to me. It has been my second family. I have been guided by so many wonderful people that will forever hold special places in my heart. I can't believe how fast 40 years has gone by.
Other 40 year honorees include Judy Duncan, Data Control Specialist; and Sharon Pitts, PFS Coordinator.