Serena Thompson was Soin Medical Center’s nominee for the Ohio Hospital Association’s 2017 Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year Award. One employee from each campus is nominated for this award, which is presented annually to one Ohio hospital caregiver who personifies a leader, gives back to the community, reflects the mission and values of his or her organization, and routinely goes beyond the call of duty. You can read Serena’s nomination below:
Serena Thompson, team lead of social services at Soin and Greene, serves her team members by being available to support them. Serena’s authentic passion for her work is apparent. On many occasions, she has come into work in the middle of the night to be with patients who are victims of domestic abuse, ensuring they have a safe discharge plan. She once organized an Easter egg hunt in the hospital for the children of a patient who was battling cancer. She has applied for and received two grants to pay for cribs and car seats for new parents who could not afford these safety essentials. Serena not only provides resources for people in need, but also lends a listening ear, which has its own healing effect. She passes on her knowledge and compassion by mentoring students who are interested in social services.
As the team leader of all discharge planners, social workers and crisis/evaluation services members at Soin Medical Center and Greene Memorial Hospital, Serena leads many people and is involved in a large number of patient cases. An important part of Serena’s day is being there for her team, and she makes sure to connect with the staff each day and makes herself available to help them troubleshoot issues. She gives positive feedback with every single message she delivers. Serena serves her team selflessly by covering calls or working on the units in order for them to have more time available to spend time with their families and attends events for their children. Serena is committed to the patients and staff of the hospital, oftentimes working extra hours to ensure that all needs are met. The newer team members in Social Services appreciate the time Serena takes to guide them in their training and help identify areas in which they can grow. Serena sets an excellent example for her staff to emulate and they look to her for guidance and direction.
Goes Beyond the Call of Duty
Serena’s team has example after example of ways that she goes beyond the call of duty for the patients and families at Soin Medical Center. She has come into work during the middle of the night to be with patients who are victims of domestic violence, and she has sat with young children who are admitted to the Emergency Department due to abuse. She spends countless hours taking care of our smallest patients in the Special Care Nursery, dotting every “i” and crossing each “t” to be sure that these fragile patients have a safe discharge plan and that they are going to homes who can take care of them. Serena takes action to make her team’s ideas come to life. For example, she turned a team members’ idea into reality by organizing an Easter egg hunt in the hospital for the children of a patient who was suffering from cancer. Serena goes out of her way on a daily basis to remove obstacles that her team is facing in patient care, and she advocates for all patients in the hospital.
Reflects the Mission and Values of Kettering Health Network
Serena lives out the mission of improving the quality of life for people on a daily basis, taking initiative to innovate and make a lasting improvement in the lives of community members. Serena applied and was approved for two grants, allowing the hospital to receive funding to provide cribs and car seats for indigent parents who could not afford these items on their own. Serena demonstrates exceptional care when meeting with all adoptive parents, foster parents, and biological parents, offering resources and assistance as they transition. She builds them up when birth moms are at their lowest point. She selflessly offers her time and listens to them. No matter what type of patient or how big the need, Serena approaches her leader on a regular basis asking for time or funds to help a patient in need. A few recent examples in which Serena did this was to buy a nebulizer device for a patient in need of one, deliver prescriptions to a patient directly, transport patients home from the hospital, or get an emergency oxygen tank. Whatever the challenge, Serena embodies the network’s mission to improve the lives of people in the communities we serve.
Gives Back to the Community
Serena has built strong relationships with others to ensure that the community is well-served by Soin Medical Center. Representing the hospital, Serena meets every other month with a team of local law enforcement officials, Area on Aging, Greene County Prosecutors Office, and others to make sure that the patients discharged from the hospital go to safe homes. She is an advocate for education on community issues, speaking on the local heroin epidemic and organizing training about human trafficking for hospital Staff. She also serves the community by working with local students. She supervises and meets with Social Work interns, and she also coordinates a Christmas gift drive for student volunteers at the hospital who have special needs. In addition to helping students at the hospital, she helps the community through her role as President of the PTO at her child’s school. it is not uncommon to find Serena hosting a 5K fundraiser, coordinating Donuts with Dad events, or feeding all of the teachers at the school. Serena’s dedication to her staff and patients ultimately has lasting impact on the community as a whole.