Health Care

Health Care Heroes: Health Care Professional

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 15, 2021

Honors any health care providers other than physicians or nurses whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other providers.


Title: Director of nursing for surgery center
Organization: Wilmington Health
What the nominator said: “Fran Johnson has led our COVID-19 vaccination clinics from the very beginning, along with being the clinical manager of one of the busiest specialties throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which is Pulmonology. Our Pulmonology providers are serving on the front lines at the COVID ICUs, and Fran serves as direct support for our pulmonology heroes. Fran Johnson also has sacrificed much time outside of her day-today responsibilities to be sure the COVID-19 vaccination clinics are running smoothly, as well as that we are providing staff support and vaccines to our underserved communities. She supports our community in not only getting vaccines but also supports the care provided to our COVID-19 infected patients and supporting their return to recovering from COVID-19. Fran’s dedication and service to our entire community throughout this pandemic have been crucial and surely appreciated! She is a TRUE health care hero.”
- Desirae Hrynko, Wilmington Health marketing manager


Title: Manager of respiratory services
Organization: Novant Health
What the nominator said: “Michelle has over 17 years experience as a respiratory therapist. She started her career in medicine working for the Emergency Management Services in her hometown before pursuing her degree in respiratory therapy. As the manager of respiratory services at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center (NHBMC), she oversees respiratory care services, cardiovascular diagnostics and cardiac rehabilitation. This has put her and her team on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic; treating the sickest COVID patients who need help breathing, monitoring supplemental oxygen or placing patients on a ventilator. The ICU has often reached and exceeded capacity, meaning long, difficult shifts for Michelle and her team. Every day, she works alongside them providing leadership and support. … Michelle has also led her team in implementing the tele-ICU program for remote monitoring and treatment of intensive care patients at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center with five tele-ICU carts. Along with other care team members, Michelle’s team rounds with the Telehealth providers on the floor to consult on each patient’s care plan. During the pandemic, it has allowed for family members to remotely be involved in their loved one’s care.”
- Danielle Stevens, Novant Health nurse manager for SCU & Telemetry


Title: CNA
Organization: Well Care Health
What the nominator said: “Cassandra Taylor goes above and beyond when it comes to taking care of her patients and assisting the Well Care team. Providing individualized care for each patient comes naturally to her, and she gives 100% of her energy to making sure everyone is well-cared for and as comfortable as possible. Her days begin early and often end late, as she regularly works late to ensure that all her patients are taken care of. Yet, even on long days, she never complains about anything. Cassandra is exceptional at taking care of her patients. … Cassandra makes patients laugh and constantly smile, even on their bad days. She is one of the reasons Well Care has so many repeat patients – they all love her and do everything they can to make sure they see her again. Even years after patients were cared for by her, her patients rave about how much they love her and miss her. Cassandra is always in demand by patients because of the quality care she provides and the compassion she brings. If patients are wary of accepting help, we always emphasize just how great she is and how much they will love her – and they always do.”

Read more about all of the 2021 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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