Thursday, April 19, 2012

Meet a few of the staffers honored at this year's banquet

Tonight CoxHealth employees will make history with our largest ever awards banquet. More than 1,000 employees and their guests will gather at University Plaza Convention Center to celebrate 13,470 combined years of service of our honorees and recognize our team members for winning Daisy and Prestigious Partners awards.

While the years of service of our special guests are truly appreciated by CoxHealth, it is the tremendous care and compassion shared during careers of up to 55 years that has made CoxHealth such a tremendous place for care and employment. Our CoxHealth team clearly has made a difference in the community we call home. Please join all of us in saluting our long-serving team members and award winners on this very special day.

Chris Cruzan
Pre-Hospital, 30 years 

Q: When you started at Cox, how long did you expect to be here?

A: The first day I was here, I knew I wanted to retire from here. It was a perfect fit of my personality and their personalities. It felt like it was home. The personalities jibed well and I still feel that way. People I met 30 years ago at North, I see them in the halls now and it’s like 30 years ago was last week – we haven’t missed a beat. I couldn’t have found a better fit than working here.

Q: What motivates you in your daily work?

A: There are a lot of people out there who need our help and I’m glad to be the one to provide it. Every patient I see, whether it’s a good call or a bad call, I thank them all and I wish them well. And, especially if I was driving, I ask them how the ride was; I’ve done that for 30 years.

Q: Is there a day that stands out in your career?

A: Assisting in a childbirth on a very cold afternoon in 1988 or ’89 at highway MM and U.S. 60 near Republic. That was one of the calls I’ll never forget. We were in the right place at the right time. There was the potential of a not-so-good outcome, but I was with an experienced partner – Mike Dawson – who made it look easy. It was like, “this is what it’s all about. This is it.”

What advice would you have for people starting out their careers?

A: If you enjoy what you do, that’s what you need to keep your focus on. You can’t do this job 24/7, 365. I’ve known too many people who started their careers doing that. I’ve found myself doing that. You have to focus on your career, but when it’s time to clock out, it’s time to forget about it until you clock back in, otherwise you’ll burn out. A lot of people at Cox have figured that out and they’ve been doing their jobs a long time.

Q: How do you spend your free time?

Music has always been my escape; I love it. I have an extensive CD collection at home and over the years I saw a lot of concerts at the Shrine Mosque and the old Hammons Center. Any time I’m seeing somebody on stage, I’m having a good time. Back then, Three Dog Night was my band; I saw them many times. Even now, if I’m driving down the road and a Three Dog Night song comes on, I’m cranking it up. 

Cindy Bourey
Accounts Payable, Cox Monett, 20 years

Q: What is your favorite part of working at Cox Monett?

A: I have made so many wonderful friends over the years. Because I work at a small hospital, I have had the opportunity to really get to know my co-workers and their families. I can’t believe I have worked at Cox Monett for 20 years.

Q: What is the most important thing you’ve learned working here?

A: I have learned many things from working here, but the most important to me are the friendships I have made. I have witnessed firsthand how generous my co-workers can be when there is an employee in need. We truly are like family.

Q: What originally drew you into accounting?

A: I was already working at Cox Monett part-time as an assistant in Human Resources when this position came open. I was really interested in learning something new. Over the years my duties have changed a little, but I enjoy the challenges and experience that comes along with this position.

Q: How do you spend your free time?

A: I love to be with my family. My husband and I have two daughters, ages 27 and 22. We have also been blessed with a three-year-old grandson. We love the time that we get to spend with them. We also enjoy riding our Harley-Davidson. I have also recently become a big fan of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR). My favorite place to vacation is anywhere there is a beach. 

Q: What’s your radio tuned to right now?

A: My radio usually stays on a classic rock station. I enjoy all kinds of music, but it doesn’t get much better than the old time rock n’ roll. 

Mandy Dewitt
Women and Newborn Unit, 15 years

Q: What drew you into nursing and the Women and Newborn unit in particular?

A: I’ve always had a love of family and being able to be a part of that from the beginning. Being a part of those special moments as a family experiences their baby has always been of interest to me and that’s why I got into nursing. In my family growing up, Cox was always the hospital you went to, so I knew this is where I wanted to be. When I first interviewed to be a PCA in Women and Newborn the nurse manager asked me about my long-term goals and I said, “I hope someday to be leading a unit just like this.”

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of the job?

A: My reward is just helping new families learn and understand. Parents are very eager and willing to learn. I enjoy being the person they can depend on for education and advice. So many families have given me as much as I’ve given them. I love new dads and how eager they are. I try to incorporate them as much as possible, since sometimes dad gets lost in the shuffle. I remember when my sister had her oldest child here at Cox. I was in nursing school at the time and they took the time to work with her husband and that was really special to him and it made an impression on me.

Q: What advice would you have for others who are at earlier stages in their careers?

A: Everyone should love their jobs. If you don’t, that is reflected in your actions and the care you provide. It’s not easy, it can wear you down; you can’t care for people if you’re not balanced yourself. You have to love your job to do it well. Whether you’re a nurse or a taxi driver, if you don’t love your job it makes life more difficult.

Q: What are you reading or watching right now?

A: I’m working on my master’s, so the reading is mostly textbooks, but on TV “The Good Wife” and “The Voice” are always on the DVR – they’re the ones I try not to miss. And Chiefs football.

Q: What kinds of things do you enjoy in your free time?

A: My husband, Tatem, and I have two daughters, Emma, 11, and Ashlyn, 9 -- both Cox babies. We like floating and camping and we just started geocaching. I never would have thought something so simple would be so fun; we started just because we were looking for something cheap to do last summer (laughs). I also decorate cakes. My mom is Martha Stewart – she was always making cakes growing up. I wanted to be able to decorate cakes for my kids, so I took lessons. It’s a good stress relief. I’d love to open up a bakery after I retire. Maybe near the ocean – a bakery at the beach!

Janet Andrews
MRI, Cox Monett, 10 years

What is your favorite part of working at Cox Monett?

A: It may sound cliché, but I truly like the small hospital setting and how I can come into work with morning greetings and those who know more about me other than “she works in MRI.” I have worked at Cox in Springfield, which was a great place and I learned a lot, but nothing beats a small-town atmosphere where it seems your co-workers are more like family.

Q: What do you like best about your job?

A: I like the challenges in MRI but the biggest blessing I find is that I get to work with supportive, fun and intelligent friends.

Q: What is the most important thing you’ve learned from working here?

A: That two heads are better than one. When things aren’t working right, it’s best to troubleshoot with others. Everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are different, and I find the greatest success is when we can utilize each other to get the best result.

Q: How do you spend your free time?

A: My husband and I operate a part-time archery shop from our home which keeps us plenty busy. We love to travel and especially like to visit national parks. We also like to cycle (when we have the free time), and I am a huge social butterfly, so I like spending time with friends and family.

What are you reading or watching right now?

A: I like a good sappy love story, but I also like a true-life lesson book. If I get lucky and have control of the remote, I enjoy funny sitcoms or “The Voice.”