EASLEY — Baptist Easley Hospital, one of the city’s largest employers, has had a busy past couple of months honoring veteran employees, physicians of the quarter as well as welcoming two new members to its Board of Directors.
On May 6, the hospital held its annual Employee Service Awards banquet. Seventy-nine employees in total were recognized, with their span of employment ranging from five to 35 years.
Among those attaining the 35 year milestone were Vickie Andrews, Deborah “Lynn” Cooley, David Cox and James “Jimmy” Hill.
According to Baptist Easley spokesperson Allison Greene, Andrews first began her career as an LPN while completing her RN. The job appears to run in the family as both Andrew’s mother and her mother-in-law worked at Baptist Easley for 30 and 20 years respectively. Andrews said that the hospital employees are like a second family.
“We care not only about our patients but also for each other,” said Andrews.
As a Medical Technologist, Lynn Cooley has spent the entire span of her 35 year tenure working in the lab. Cooley stated that she loves the people she works with and is especially grateful to leader Joan Clardy for always takes time to listen to her opinions and make a positive difference.
Pharmacist David Cox said that he likes working in a place where he can have a positive effect on the lives of others. Besides his work at the hospital, Cox volunteers with Boys Club 567 at First Baptist Church where he mentors boys who do not have a father present in their lives.
Cox said that his greatest mentor was his own father, along with Mr. Stokes Alexander whom he worked for at Alexander Drugs. David remarked that he learned many things from Mr. Alexander which simply could not have been taught in pharmacy school.
Jimmy Hill first began his long career at Baptist Easley in Environmental Services before making the transition to OR Nursing Assistant. When not at the hospital, Hill enjoys movies, exercising and helping out with the devotion at his church. Hill says that he likes helping patients, and that his co-workers are like family.
On National Doctors’ Day in April, Dr. Michael Fox and Dr. William Wheeler were honored by the hospital as the Cam Underhill Practicing Excellence Physicians of the Quarter.
Fox is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and currently practices at Mountain View OB-GYN. A patient nomination for Fox stated: “This is the first gynecologist in my life who has actually listened to me! I had been experiencing extreme pain for about five years and had seen several doctors concerning the matter. Not one of them was able or willing to take the time to actually find out what was wrong with me. One doctor actually just said, ‘Welcome to womanhood.’ In one short visit, Dr. Fox was able to listen to my complaints, and he immediately began working on the problem. Everyone at his office has been nothing but caring and courteous with me.”
Wheeler’s nomination from a patient said, “I have had 17 surgeries in the past two-and-a-half years. I have had the same wound that just would not heal. I came to the Wound Care Center and saw Dr. Wheeler; he was truly amazing. I’m healing and feeling so much better. He has a wonderful bedside manner, and his staff is amazing as well. … He has a smile on his face every time I see him, and I put 100% trust in him. He is very gentle and tries his best not to hurt you. He is one of the best doctors I have ever had.”
Along with honoring current employees, the hospital welcomed two new members to the Board of Directors last month, Jeanne Ward and Dr. Malcolm Rodgers.
Ward holds a doctorate in education from Clemson University, along with a Master’s degree in Public Health in Nursing Administration from the University of Minnesota, a bachelor of science from St. Joseph’s College in Maine, and a diploma from Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing, PA.
Prior to joining the Greenville Hospital System, Ward served as CEO/President of Oconee Medical Center in Seneca.
Rodgers comes to the Board in a new ex-officio position, representing the Medical Staff as its current president. He is Board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and completed his anesthesiology residency at Vanderbilt following a residency in general surgery at East Tennessee State University.
Rodgers graduated medical school from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed his undergraduate education at Davidson College. President of Blue Ridge Anesthesia Associates, PA, Rodgers originally joined the Baptist Easley medical staff in 1992.
In other news, long time Baptist Easley Foundation Executive Director Mark Eisengrein announced his retirement, effective May 15, 2015. Eisengrein has directed the hospital’s foundation for almost 20 years having previously served in various fund-raising positions at Clemson University and Valdosta State University in a career that has spanned more than 35 years.
“Let me express gratitude for the past and current hospital leadership and for the privilege to serve as the Foundation’s executive director,” Eisengrein said about his resignation. “Let me also thank the Foundation Board members who served selflessly during my tenure. We could not have accomplished all that we did without their help, guidance, encouragement, and financial support.”
Baptist Easley CEO Michael Batchelor thanked Eisengrein for his years of service saying: “I am grateful for Mark’s leadership in raising funds to enhance the quality of care and for his years of service to Baptist Easley and the community. He leaves with us a legacy of support in this community that we will continue to nurture. Our prayers go with him and his wife Sallie as they begin a new chapter in their lives.”