Editor’s note: Throughout the year, Jeffrey Lewis, President of Legacy Health Endowment, honors different healthcare professionals and/or community leaders who continually make a positive impact on the community at large.
This week’s Healthcare Heroes are Regina Amador, Allie Jeffery, Cortney Hartsfield and Terrie King. These women are grouped as healthcare heroes because of their ability to successfully balance work and life. Whether caring for their children and grandchildren or working outside the home, nothing stops these women. Regardless of illness, weather, or exhaustion, each strives to make sure that their professional responsibilities are addressed while balancing the needs of their families.
Amador is a young grandmother of five. She and her husband, Bruce, care for each grandchild – one every night. Their after-school childcare program provides each grandchild the safety of a grandparent’s home, the love of their grandparents, and invaluable education.
Regina’s healthcare advocacy and care for her grandchildren allow her adult children to better manage their family lives, spend more time with each child, and some time with each other. Regina and Bruce have created family-based healthcare and mental health program to ensure that their grandchildren always have whatever healthcare services they need. And, Regina also serves as her mother’s healthcare advocate often late into the night. And then starts her workday at 6 am.
Working as the director of operations for a healthcare foundation, Regina moves from one challenge to another every day. Nothing is ever the same. She is relentless in her pursuit of healthcare excellence and helping the healthcare foundation care for more people every day.
With a smile, relentless determination, and a commitment to excellence, she makes it all work. She is an exceptional grandmother, wife, and friend. Every healthcare CEO should have a Regina on their team: humble, effective, caring and amazing.
Jeffery has two young daughters who are gifted and talented and challenge their mother (and father) every day. Their needs and demands never stop (though they are usually quite polite). But as every working mom understands, you never stop being a mom even when you are working outside the home. The challenges, demands, and sleepless nights increase. You never catch up, but somehow you make it through.
Multiply this by 10, and you have Allie, the consummate community volunteer. Caring for her community is part of the fabric of who she is and always has been. Whether ringing the kettlebell for the Salvation Army, spending endless hours helping at Kiwanis events, or finding medical or dental care for the homeless and uninsured, Allie never stops. She is the little engine that could!
She does all of this and holds a full-time job with nonstop energy, compassion, caring, and courage. Allie is never afraid of a challenge, and her boss relishes that. She is smart, determined and relentless – qualities many working moms have, but Allie takes these to a new level.
Her family includes her mom (who lives with Allie), her husband, and their two children. Her mom has the wonderful opportunity to sit back and watch her daughter in action. And her extended family could too if they only opened their eyes to how amazing she is. In many ways, Allie personifies the Energizer Bunny – she never stops until the job or volunteer activity is finished or her children’s needs or problems are resolved.
Allie can often be found volunteering at fundraisers for local nonprofits, volunteering to wave street flags on local 5K runs, and handing out information at community events. She shares her love of learning about other cultures and volunteering in the community with her two young daughters, who often join her to judge parades, feed the homeless, or assist local organizations in their fundraising efforts. When not at work, Allie loves to cook and binge-watch crime shows on Netflix. But, when her phone rings and someone needs help solving a problem, she is ready for action.
Jeffery is gifted, humble and a true healthcare champion.
Hartsfield is an ordained minister, a mother, wife, daughter, and Director of Operations for EMC Health. And she is one of the faces behind why the Festival of Trees is always such a success.
Most important, Cortney is a healer of souls. Her care for family, friends, and colleagues never stops. Listening to her soothing voice, you understand why God called on her. She has such a gentle and wonderful spirit that no matter how stressed, busy, or upset someone might be, talking to Cortney, even briefly, can be instantly healing.
Cortney’s full-time job brings her in contact with people from across the community and beyond. People often remark how nothing seems to rattle Cortney (except bugs) regardless of how busy she may be. She works nonstop to meet project deadlines and is never late.
Her work-life balance is exceptional. She never forgets the value and importance of family and faith. And, along with her husband, who is also an ordained minister, they bring peace to every life they touch. In a world where emails, the internet, or work often drive our schedules, Cortney understands the power of touching one life at a time. She takes the time to listen, never interrupting, just listening.
She will never know just how much her pastoral skills help everyone around her. Her timeless energy, supported by an IV of Starbucks coffee, gives comfort to colleagues, friends, and family. Cortney never stops caring or giving. Always touching hearts and healing minds, her family and all of us around her know how special she truly is.
King recently retired. A mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, and friend, Terrie has redefined the value and importance of caring and giving. There are very few lives she has not touched. And, for those she has, remembering how life got better at that specific moment in time when Terrie became part of your life puts an enormous grin upon your face.
Terrie spent years at Emanuel Medical Center in a variety of positions, excelling at each one. What some people may never have realized is that Terrie is wicked smart. Some took her for granted; those were the uninformed ones. But those who worked with Terrie quickly understood that her beautiful smile did not mean she was just another pretty face; rather, this woman had brains, ethics, and faith aplenty.
There are few who Terrie has not helped throughout her healthcare career. She was and still is the consummate problem solver. Always determined to find the answer, she is relentless in making sure that people in need are helped. In so many ways, Terrie is that angel that quietly sits on your shoulder, helping you think through an answer to a riddle or problem. Terrie has never been one for seeking credit. Her approach has always been to praise someone else for what they have done, even if they had a little unknown help from her. Some call this being humble. To me, it was just Terrie’s way of helping people grow and hopefully understand what it takes to solve a crisis or a problem.
In many ways, Terrie is the teacher you thought you left behind in high school – the smart one who always pushed you in the right direction even when you thought you were right.
A natural healer of broken egos and hearts, Terrie learned healthcare the old fashion way: one patient at a time, caring for them regardless of the time of day or night. Today, this is a somewhat lost art or skill, except for those who call themselves part of the Terrie King Team of Dreamers.
I am proud to say I am one of the team members of the Terrie King Band of Dreamers.
Each of these women is long overdue for praise and recognition. Individually, each is a healthcare hero. Each has changed people’s lives through their work, and each redefines the importance of caring, giving, and sharing. These are women with immense talent, who are incredibly smart and possess a passion for excellence in everything they do. They are being honored for being heroes in our community: exceptional women each doing common things uncommonly well.
— Jeffrey Lewis is the President of Legacy Health Endowment. The views expressed are his own.