Registered Nurse, Debbie Martin, receives Robert L. "Bob" Brown Outstanding Service Award

A cherished annual tradition at Boone Memorial Hospital (BMH) has been recognition of the highly coveted Employee of the Year Award, now known as the 'Robert L. “Bob” Brown Outstanding Service Award'.


"Every employee has gone above and beyond the call of duty to care for our patients throughout the pandemic," said BMH Chief Nursing Officer, Terri Castle, RN. "It has been an extraordinary time for all healthcare workers; so, selecting only one winner among our amazing employees was no easy task," said Castle.

However, out of over 400 employees, a registered nurse stood out - Debbie Martin.


"Debbie exemplifies the heart of a nurse," said Castle. "She takes her role as a caregiver seriously. Not only is she excellent with her patients, she is the first to volunteer for any departmental area in need. Even working long hours, during a global pandemic, Debbie remains supportive and positive."


As the Outpatient Clinical Supervisor, Debbie oversees daily operations of BMH Clinics, performs monoclonal antibody therapy, as needed, and manages COVID-19 Screeners.

Prior to her recent promotion to Outpatient Clinical Supervisor, Debbie held several important roles at Boone Memorial Hospital, including; Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room, Registered Nurse/PAT Nurse in Surgery, and House Supervisor.


"As House Supervisor, I oversaw evening and midnight shifts, filled call-ins, as needed, assisted with vaccine clinics, called in COVID-19 test results, infused monoclonal antibody therapy and scheduled/supervised door Screeners."

Debbie started her career at Boone Memorial Hospital in 1998 as a nurse extern.


"In 2000, I was a graduate nurse on the floor in the former Boone Memorial Hospital. I was transferred after about a year to the ER where I worked night shift," explained Debbie. "At that time, there was only one nurse and one doctor on midnight shift, but that was a time when things weren't quite as busy."


Debbie is a Boone County native. She graduated from Van High School and attended Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College where she earned an Associate's Degree in Nursing and an Associate's Degree in Business Accounting.


Debbie extends her helping nature from the hospital to the community.


"I love to help our schools, churches, etc., any way I can," said Debbie.


"A few years ago, my friends and I started a program called the 'Charity Hunt'. We host a haunted house each Halloween in Van and donate all proceeds to the local schools or charities. Last year, funds were used to purchase college text books. It also afforded low-income kids the opportunity to go on field trips. We offer discounted rates if customers bring canned food to the haunted house. The food is donated to local churches for holiday food baskets. It's our way of giving back to the community," said Debbie.


Debbie is a member of the BMH COVID-19 Task force and the BMH DAISY Award Committee.

In her spare time, Debbie enjoys camping, fishing, decorating her home and spending time with her family.


Debbie has been married to her high school sweetheart, Chris, since June of 2000.


"We lost touch with each other for a few years, right after high school," Debbie said. "But later we reunited. Here we are 21 years later with two wonderful children: Emma and Blake. Emma just started graduate school at West Virginia University for Audiology and Blake is in his 2nd year, also at West Virginia University, where he is a double major in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. They make us both proud every day."


Debbie attributes her strong work ethic and caring nature to her parents: Jerry Baire and Kathy Roe.


"They have instilled in me all the positive qualities I have today. I was also lucky to have a step dad, Rick Roe, who never treated me as a stepchild, but more like his own daughter."

When asked what Debbie thought when her name was announced as the 2021 Boone Memorial Hospital Employee of the Year, she explains she was overjoyed and surprised.


"I knew I had worked really hard over the past year,

wearing several different hats, but I was just doing my job. When I realized I had won, I immediately teared up. It's great knowing that my hard work didn't go unnoticed. I really felt appreciated."


Her coworkers agree that Debbie goes the extra mile.


"Debbie is an excellent nurse, always willing to help everyone - patients and coworkers alike," said Michelle Scites, Surgery Clerk/Healthcare Screener Supervisor. "She always goes above and beyond what is required of her position no matter what role she is in. Debbie has worn a lot of hats this past year and has excelled in each one. As a friend and coworker, she is someone I look up to and rely on continually."

Friend and coworker, Mary Whitmore, LPN agreed. "Debbie is a hardworking, dedicated employee and will help any coworker at any time."


Debbie concludes, "Boone Memorial Hospital has always been my home. My coworkers are my family. They treat me like family and stand for every quality I believe in: caring, honesty and integrity."


***


ACTUAL NOMINATION LETTER SUBMITTED:

Debbie has been an exemplary employee in her performance at BMH, especially over the past year during COVID-19. She is always eager to go above and beyond her routine job requirements to ensure that all staff and patient needs are met. In her new role as Evening Shift Supervisor, she stepped up to help with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Inventory and stocking during the surge of the pandemic. She developed our Screener Program for the entry points throughout the hospital and clinic and managed them through the everchanging updates and revised CDC (Centers for Disease Control) regulations. She monitored their progress and educated them with the most recent guidelines.


With new PPE restriction, Debbie stepped up to stock all departments in evening hours and monitored supplies to ensure inventory control. She would drive from home, if necessary, to re-stock PPE while staff was busy to ensure that masks, face shields, gowns and gloves were available to protect staff from being exposed to COVID-19. As the pandemic evolved and cases increased, Debbie took lead in the new COVID-19 testing processes by calling back COVID-19 positive results to patients, providing patient education regarding quarantine, scheduled patients to receive Monoclonal antibodies and infused the medication herself to expedite recovery from this deadly virus.

She commonly says, “I want this to work, I just want to do a good job!” And she always did. During the pandemic, we had many call-ins due to employees either testing positive for the virus or being exposed. Debbie filled in to cover shifts in ER, OR, Referral Department, Infection Control/Quality and Floor to ensure that our staffing levels were met and exceeded the needs of our patients and co-workers without question. Whenever a need was identified, Debbie either volunteered to help or quickly responded to many requests to help throughout the hospital-wide facility.

Debbie was an active participant in the COVID-19 vaccination initiatives for the community collaborative. She coordinated with local facilities and Everbridge to compile weekly lists of patients desiring the COVID-19 vaccine and made multiple calls to set up appointments for patients to receive the Moderna vaccine. She worked up to two days/week by giving vaccines in Racine and Madison. She even helped with the hospital initiative to provide saliva testing for patients coordinated through the State.

As COVID-19 cases began to decline, Debbie became involved with the “Get with the guidelines Stroke Project” through chart abstraction and data entry. She always took initiative to perform any task that was asked of her and showed remarkable versatility and willingness to cover last minute needs in any area.

Now she has assumed a management role in the clinics where she is assisting with compliance, developing required policies, spreading staff awareness, and working on quality improvement. Great kudos to Debbie Martin for her hard work and commitment at BMH! She has earned her right to receive the Bob Brown Employee of the Year Award.




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