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Quick-Thinking Managers Receive Extraordinary Story Award for Rescuing Volunteer

  • Category: In The News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Melanie Zaffuto

North Oaks Health System President/CEO Michele Sutton recently presented Volunteer Manager Malissa Gonzalez and Gift Shop Manager Katrinka Schexnayder with Extraordinary Story Awards for rescuing a coworker in her time of need.

From left are Gift Shop Manager Katrinka Schexnayder, Volunteer Elaine, Volunteer Manager Malissa Gonzalez and President/CEO Michele Sutton.

North Oaks Volunteer Services/Foundation Director Staci Arceneaux explains:

"You can set your clock by Elaine’s punctuality. So when the former North Oaks Volunteer of the Year did not report for her scheduled shift distributing menus and reading materials to patients, Volunteer Manager Malissa Gonzalez and Gift Shop Manager Katrinka Schexnayder became extremely concerned. Unable to reach her or her emergency contact by phone, Malissa and Katrinka became even more alarmed and knew they had to take action by driving to Elaine’s house for a welfare check.

"Upon arrival at Elaine’s residence, they found the house secure, the car in the garage and newspapers on the porch. When she did not answer the door, they walked around the house knocking on every window and calling out to Elaine. At the very last window, they heard Elaine calling out for help. In her weakened state, she was able to explain that she had fallen the day before and was unable to get up.

"Katrinka and Malissa immediately called 911 for help. The first responders arrived, quickly found a way into Elaine’s home and transported her to the hospital to receive medical attention.

"We are happy to report that Elaine, who has been a North Oaks volunteer for 31 years, has recovered from her ordeal and resumed her duties at the hospital. And Malissa has taken further initiative to research medic alert systems available in the area, which has since been shared with all volunteers as a resource for them to get help in an emergency.

"Elaine is very grateful for Katrinka and Malissa and their quick-thinking actions. Her outcome could have been much different had they not checked on her.

"Katrinka and Malissa’s actions are a shining example of the commitment the North Oaks team has to one another."