Local dubbed ‘hospital hero’

Published 9:03 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For the second year in a row, a Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital Employee has been recognized as a “Healthcare Hero” by the West Alabama Regional Hospital Council of the Alabama Hospital Association. Tonnie Craig, an orderly at BWWMH, was one of nine area hospital employees chosen for the honor last week.

This caps off a list of outstanding accomplishments for Craig who rejoined the BWWMH hospital staff on January 26, 2009 and, by November of that year, was chosen Employee of the month. He was recognized as the Employee of the Year in December 2009, thus making him eligible for the statewide honor.

The son of a registered nurse, Craig developed a respect and passion for the healthcare field at an early age. He currently serves as an orderly at BWWMH and, prior to his hospital employment, was a member of the armed forces where he served two years as a medic.

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“Tonnie works well with his coworkers and makes sure all tasks are completed and the patients are satisfied with their care,” said Cathy Hughes, Division Director of Patient Care Services. “He is a great employee! He goes out of his way to do the little extra things for people.

“I frequently hear him in the hallways as he is taking patients to their rooms carrying on a conversation with the patients and families. He makes them feel welcomed and lets them know we will do anything we can to make their stay here easier,” she added.

Hughes said she felt he was chosen for the award because of his caring attitude that “just comes natural to him,” she said. “I am always getting positive feedback from employees, patients, and family members. I have yet to have a complaint on him- which says a great deal. I wish I had a house full of Tonnies!!!

Other coworkers tout that patients ask for him on a regular basis, and due to his excellent reputation for customer service, he has been given the task of mentoring new orderlies. “Tonnie is very friendly and outgoing and also has a lot of concern for his patients and other staff members,” added CEO Mike Marshall. “We’re glad to have him on the staff.”

Earlier this month, Craig was recognized by Dr. Ronnie Chu as an “Angel Among Us” at BWWMH, for which he received a monetary reward from Dr. Chu.

The public is invited to a reception honoring Craig on Friday, December 17 from 2-3:30 p.m. in the hospital’s classroom.