BY JIM JONES, DIRECTOR OF INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
Bowls hand-crafted by residents of the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center will be among the ‘goodies’ distributed to winners of the Governor’s Award for Excellence at a ceremony on Nov. 19.
A Department of Health and Human Services employee is among this year’s winners of the North Carolina Governor’s Awards for Excellence, the highest honor a state employee may receive. Heather Lewis, a Recreational Therapist at the O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center in Goldsboro, won the award in the category of customer service.
She is among 20 nominees submitted to DHHS for consideration. The 11 individuals and three teams from across state government receiving the Governor’s Awards for Excellence this year will be honored Nov. 19 during an awards program to be held at the N.C. Museum of History auditorium. The week is set aside as Excellence in State Government week in honor of all nominees for the awards.
The program is designed to acknowledge and express appreciation for outstanding accomplishments that do not fall entirely within the scope of normal duties, but are in the nature of a major contribution reflecting credit on the person and state service. The meritorious service or accomplishment is so singularly outstanding that special recognition is justified.
Lewis went above and beyond her assigned duties when she volunteered to keep an aquatics therapy program running for 30 residents of the Center after it had been closed due to two unexpected staff vacancies and the closing of the facility’s 35-year-old pool. She makes arrangements to schedule time for each resident at a nearby Family Y pool and is there to meet the individualized therapeutic needs of each resident.
In the nomination for Lewis’ award, she is described as modeling the ancient ‘customer service’ teachings of the Greek philosopher Aristotle as summarized by Will Durant: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not a single act, but a habit.
Lewis, will receive three days of special leave from DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, and the 19 other nominees will each receive a full day of special leave from Secretary Wos. All 20 employees will also receive a letter and certificate from the Secretary.
The other nominees and the categories they were nominated for are:
- Customer Service - Doris Alicea, Murdoch Developmental Center; Mary-Allison Bunch, Disability Determination Services; Dorothy Chapin, Cherry Hospital; Dr. Timothy Crawford, J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center; Madge Marie Gupton, Central Regional Hospital; and Jean Parrish, Office of the Secretary.
- Outstanding State Government Service – Connie Barnette, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services; David Burton, Central Regional Hospital; Bryan Scott Elliott, Murdoch Developmental Center; Alice Jones, Disability Determination Services; Carolyn McClanahan, Division of Medical Assistance; Belinda Pettiford, Division of Public Health; Sharon Wilder, Division of Aging and Adult Services; and Priscilla Wortham, Murdoch Developmental Center.
- Human Relations – Robin Cohen, Central Regional Hospital; and Kay Daughtry, O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center.
- Efficiency & Innovation – Kandra Cook, J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center; and Thomas Jones, O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center.
Other award categories are Public Service, Safety and Heroism, and Spirit of North Carolina.
Employees are nominated for the award by other state employees including their supervisors, co-workers and subordinates. Nominees must be permanent state employees, including managers and administrators, who are subject to the State Personnel Act. State agency educators may also be nominated.
Congratulations to our DHHS winner and nominees!