Vaughan’s Walker recognized as ‘hero’Published 9:13pm Monday, November 29, 2010
Valarie Walker, a certified respiratory therapist at Vaughan Regional Medical Center, said she has never considered herself a hero, Her co-workers think differently.
Walker was recently selected as one of 10 area hospital employees honored for their dedication to the health care industry at a luncheon in Montgomery hosted by the Central Council of the Alabama Hospital Association.
The luncheon, which was part of the association’s eighth-annual statewide “Hospital Heroes” contest, recognized the accomplishments and compassion of hospital employees and highlighted their health careers.
The selection, Walker said, came as a shock.
“I was excited that they would actually see me as a hero,” she said. “I just come to work and try to provide the best patient care that I can. That has always been my goal.”
In her nomination Walker’s co-workers said she “has stood steadfast in her 19 years of service to her patients.” The nomination continued to say Walker “is known to face challenges with confidence and determination and to readily share her knowledge with others.”
Vaughan CEO Barry Keel said Walker is a model employee.
“Our Employee Pledge at Vaughan starts out my stating that ‘We are in the business of serving others… that is what we do, who we are, and why we are here.’ That is Valarie Walker to the core,” he said. “She lives and breathes it with her behaviors everyday. When I think about heroes that I admire in my life, without a doubt, one of the common threads that weave through all of those people is a genuine sense of humility. Again, that is Valarie.”
Though Walker is not the most outspoken member of the staff, Keel said she still has a positive influence.
“She is reserved and quiet in nature but hugely influential in our hospital in a positive way. For over 19 years now at Vaughan, Valarie has discreetly been a prime example of simply how to take great care of people. It is my honor to recognize Valarie Walker as our 2010 Hospital Hero,” said Keel.
Walker often volunteers to speak to groups at local schools, health fairs and other community events.
Many times, she said her hard work at the hospital pays its highest dividends well after the patient has gone home.
“When you see patient’s family members at the store and they recognize you and thank you for taking care of someone in their family, it really feels good,” she said. “That’s what makes this job great.”