The director of operations for Amedisys Home Health Care, 500 Pine St., Suite 3, has been named Caregiver of the Year in Home Health Care by the company.
Teressa Garrison worked at Amedisys for a year and in the health care profession for more than 14 years. Out of more than 16,000 employees nationwide, 21 winners received the 2011 Spirit of Excellence Award.
The nomination came from Garrison's coworker, Leslie Mutschler, clinical manager, who suggested Garrison on the last day possible.
Teressa Garrison, director of operations for Amedisys, was awarded the 2011 Caregiver of the Year award.
For Mutschler, Garrison deserved to be recognized as a caregiver of the year because she worked as both nurse and director when they were short-staffed, but still focused on the patients.
"I was just impressed with the time and effort she's putting in it," Mutschler said. "She puts patient care first."
One such example is how she advocated to save the toes of a wounded man. Doctors wanted to remove the toes, but Garrison worked tirelessly for him to receive a treatment, which worked.
Garrison does not see what she did as anything less than what she should do.
"I don't think that was anything special," she said. "I do what I do every day. ... I don't compromise. I want to do the best for the patient. I will do anything to save that person's limb."
Because she did not know about Mutschler's nomination, Garrison thought the phone call she received from Bill Borne, founder and CEO, was just to discuss the staffing problem the branch had, since it was so short-handed.
"I thought it was weird," she said. "There are 700 centers (throughout the country). He said he didn't call about staffing. He wanted to personally congratulate me."
Directors usually do not receive the caregiver of the year award simply because they do not serve as caregivers, but since Garrison said her branch was so short-staffed, she helped as needed. In fact, when she received the call from Borne, she was driving on a back road after having just worked with a client.
Garrison was quick to share the credit of her award with her coworkers.
"I have a good, enthusiastic team," she said. "I couldn't do what I do without my team."
Garrison said the best part of the award ceremony held in Baton Rouge, La., home of Amedisys' corporate headquarters, were the videos of coworkers praising the winners.
"It was a tearjerker for everyone," Garrison said.
The branch in Williamsport is the first start-up in the state for Amedisys. Most of the branches are acquired.
"We started from nothing and we are still here," Garrison said.
Garrison said the reason for the branch in Williamsport is for the large aging community in the area.
Amedisys Inc. delivers personalized health care services to patients and their families, in the patients' home, with about 10 million patient care and education encounters per year. There are two divisions: home health care and hospice.