Cortez Honored with RPH Mercy Award


The River Parishes Hospital Administrative Team hosted a Mercy Award Luncheon on Monday, April 9 in the Administrative Conference Room to honor the hospital’s past Mercy Award Winners, recognize this year’s nominees and announce the 2012 River Parishes Hospital Mercy Award Winner.

The nominees were Kristi Hymel, Shana Marcelin, Sharon Cortez, Trude Montz, Suzanne Schexnayder and Carissima Torres. Each nominee’s manager was invited to attend the banquet as well to share in the recognition.

Gerald Fornoff, hospital CEO, explained how proud he is to have employees who do so much outside of their responsibilities at the hospital to help other individuals and organizations in the community. He recognized each nominee and read some quotes from the nomination form. Then, he announced the 2012 River Parishes Hospital Mercy Award Winner: Sharon Cortez.

Sharon is a Registered Cardiac Sonographer/Registered Respiratory Therapist. She has been employed at River Parishes Hospital since December of 1984. She was nominated by her coworkers. “Sharon is very pleasant when explaining things to patients and speaks on their level,” said a coworker. “She is always on call and never says, ‘No’.  She never complains.”

Sharon recently sought out an alternate location to perform a diagnostic test on a patient who has an extreme reaction to a latex environment. She thought outside the box and used an open space within a non-clinical office where latex had never been used before.

Sharon carries her job of caring for patients with her to the many people whose lives she has touched outside of the hospital. She currently serves as a volunteer at St. Joseph’s Hospice because of her experience watching the staff as they cared for her mother. Also, she is considered the neighborhood “nursing assistant” as she will go whenever she is needed when called by neighbors who are elderly or sick.  “She has even gone on several occasions in the middle of the night,” said a coworker.

When asked how she feels being named the RPH Mercy Award Winner, Sharon said, “ It is overwhelming and humbling, and a great honor.”

This honor puts Sharon in the running for LifePoint’s 2012 Mercy Award Winner, which is the highest honor an employee can receive from the corporation. The company-wide winner along with a spouse/guest will be honored in June at LifePoint’s Senior Leadership Retreat in Boston. The company-paid trip includes room, airfare and LifePoint-sponsored activities. Later in the year, all hospital winners will be invited to a reception in Nashville.

Congratulations to all of our nominees and to Sharon for being named the 2012 Mercy Award Winner! You all set a great example for others to follow in giving so much back to the community we serve.

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