When it’s time to bring the sunshine, the Rehabilitation Hospital team members know to call on Sarah Bentley.
Sarah, a Licensed Recreational Therapist, works tirelessly to brighten the day for patients, staff and volunteers. Sometimes, she will grab a wheelchair and take off across campus, pushing her patient to have a better day than the day before. A few minutes of fresh air, sunshine and a destination are a welcome respite for a patient who might stay at our facility for several weeks. And Sarah understands this.
She spearheaded the effort to procure the wall planters and furniture for the Rehab patio. It’s now a more relaxing space for patients to spend time with visitors or their therapists.
And when patients can’t get outside to enjoy the sunshine, Sarah brings it to them.
She organizes the annual gingerbread build contest that gets staff and patients to work together in a fun, collaborative event that employees look forward to each year. She also organizes ice cream socials, played an integral role in the Rehab Hospital’s 25th anniversary celebration, and is the organizer of the bi-annual Rehab Olympics. This is one of the most popular events on campus as staff members and employees embrace the Olympic spirit while performing events that further their rehabilitation. Recently, she has virtually taken her team to Rio and Pyeongchang, and you can bet she’s already making plans for Tokyo 2020.
Before she turns the Rehab Hospital into an Olympic venue, though, she’ll continue to advocate for her patients and her community. For her, this mission never stops.
Sarah is an avid volunteer at the Miracle League with her team from the Rehabilitation Hospital. She served as co-facilitator of the 2019 Miracles in Motion Race, which NHRMC sponsored. She readily volunteers her time and is not the least bit shy about approaching community businesses to gain their support for NHRMC Rehab Services and the people we serve. And she has been relentless in advocating for handicap parking access, which makes a difference for patients, family members and volunteers.
Sarah also advocates for assistive technology, equipment, and resources that support patients in optimizing their functional levels. Recently she went above and beyond working with the Pender Memorial Hospital team to secure funding for an athlete to obtain a specialty wheelchair so she could compete in track & field at the high school level. Ultimately this para-athlete went on to become the state champion. What a positive difference our team made in this young athlete’s life!
This employee does all of this because she cares about her hospital, her team and, most of all – her patients and the community.
For brightening the days of everyone who passes through the Rehab Hospital, Sarah Bentley is the December Employee of Excellence.
2020 Employees of Excellence
January: Gray Boone
February: Mary Hamrick
March: Sherrie Elixson
April: Crystal Eason
May: Joan Hancock
June: Ellen James
July: Astrid Keusseyan
August: Nikkie Maddox
September: Alison Greco
October: Brian Gore
November: Maggie Cooper
December: Sarah Bentley