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Health Care

Health Care Heroes: Nurse

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 16, 2020

Honors a nurse whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other health care providers. 


Rachael Baldwin

Title: Lead communicable disease nurse 

Organization: Brunswick County Health Services 

What the nominator said: “While each member of our health team continues to impress us with their efforts, I and several members of our county leadership, Health and Human Services department, Emergency Services department and community partners cannot help but recognize the exceptional contributions Lead Communicable Disease Nurse Rachael Baldwin has made toward our COVID-19 response over the past six months. 

“As leader of our COVID-19 team, Rachael has taken on several duties outside of her normal role, performing them with the highest degree of professionalism, kindness and perseverance despite the incredible stress and uncertainty of the situation. ... 

“All the conversations you hear about contact tracing, quarantine/isolation instructions and testing guidance? Rachael leads the contact tracing team of county public health nurses who regularly check in with each positive case to see how they are doing throughout their 14-day isolation period—often making those phone calls herself ... 

“And who is there to support and guide our county’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities experiencing an outbreak? You guessed it—it’s Rachael leading the way.” 

- Randell Woodruff, Brunswick County manager 


Jurley Torian

Title: Registered nurse, account executive 

Organization: Well Care Health 

What the nominator said: “Jurley Torian has been a registered nurse for 10 years and a valued member of the Well Care Home Health team for over five years. She began at Well Care Health as an orthopedic triage nurse and then transitioned to a physician liaison role as an account executive. 

“She began her career with a bachelor’s degree in communications and worked for years in retail management. Then she earned her associate’s in nursing from Cape Fear Community College. 

“Now in a liaison role, Jurley doesn’t do direct patient care, but she is very involved in their care management. She works with healthcare providers in the community to ensure patients get the help they need. ... 

Sadly, Jurley’s husband, a U.S. Marine, passed away while deployed in Afghanistan in 2014. ‘When an opportunity to work with the VA came up, I immediately raised my hand and said, ‘I’ll take it!’ I want to do everything I can to help veterans. It is my way of giving back after losing my husband,’ she said. 

“Jurley is passionate about keeping patients safe at home and goes the extra mile to make sure they are healthy and happy.” 

- Zac Long, CEO 


Mitchell Watson

Title: RN 

Organization: New Hanover Regional Medical Center 

What the nominator said: “Mitchell first became a nurse three years ago after graduating from Cape Fear Community College. He went on to be a nurse at New Hanover Regional in their Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU). 

“I believe that in 2020, amidst the COVID crisis, that I have seen Mitchell surpass all expectations to serve patients, co-workers and the community. In late March his STICU was transformed into a permanent COVID patient unit. Each shift, I have watched him suit up ... and go to work and love on these patients. 

“It has been an extreme learning curve as he and his team are learning about a new virus with many sick patients. ... 

“Outside of working directly with his patients, Mitchell has been able to help spread joy and happiness to his team, and other health care providers. He wrote to Hershey’s chocolate company in April asking them to help him bring some cheer to what has otherwise been a very strenuous and taxing work environment. Hershey’s wrote back with a 75-pound donation of all their best chocolate. ... 

“He continually talks about how it is all the little moments of joy right now that are keeping people going.” 

- Mackenzie Watson, wife 


Read more about all of the 2020 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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