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Extraordinary RN Honored as October Fire Starter of the Month

Extraordinary RN Honored as October Fire Starter of the Month
October 15, 2021 Janet Long

October 15, 2021 – When it comes to role model employees, Morris Hospital’s Sara Gorham is at the top of the list. In addition to being an amazing RN on the hospital’s 2 East nursing unit, Gorham is an incredible mentor to new employees, radiating positivity and calmness. A caring, patient, thoughtful, team player who never hesitates to jump in and help others, Gorham was selected as Morris Hospital’s October Fire Starter of the Month.

“There’s no one more deserving than Sara,” says Karie Stecken, 2 East Manager at Morris Hospital. “We’re so fortunate to have her. She role models all of the behaviors that are expected of employees and truly is an inspiration to our unit.”

Gorham joined Morris Hospital in July 2014 after graduating with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Illinois State University. A lifelong resident of rural Morris and graduate of Seneca H.S., Gorham was always associated with Morris Hospital through her RN grandmother, Billee Thetard, who spent most of her career at Morris Hospital.

“I remember going to the hospital to visit my grandma when she was working,” says Gorham. “I always wanted to be a nurse, and I always pictured myself working at Morris Hospital.”

Gorham’s grandmother must be so proud. According to Stecken, patients absolutely love the energetic 2 East nurse.

“Sara is routinely mentioned by patients during our discharge call backs as someone who provided excellent care,” says Stecken. “She is so caring and always puts patients first, even doing things like surprising a patient with candy when the patient’s spirits were down. She’ll work with Case Management to come up with the best discharge plan to assure patients are taken care of after they leave the hospital. She sees the whole picture with the patient.”

Rene Joder, Physical Therapist who nominated Gorham as Fire Starter of the Month, calls Gorham an incredible nurse.

“Sara demonstrates compassion, patience, kindness, skill, and teamwork with patient and team interactions, even on the busiest of days,” says Joder. “Her patients consistently rave about her excellent care. She is always busy, moving, and communicating, all while maintaining a smile, fun sense of humor, and calm attitude. She truly seems to love her job and inspires me to do my best with patients and work as a team to provide the best overall care we can.”

The positive impact Gorham makes goes beyond the patients she cares for. As one of the main preceptors on 2 East, she trains the majority of the unit’s day shift staff.

“Sara makes sure new staff is ready and knowledgeable,” says Stecken. “They can’t say enough about how helpful she is and that they love working with her.”

Whether she’s taking care of a patient, helping a family, interacting with another department, or training a new employee, Gorham truly shines.

“I love being able to help people, whether it’s a patient, coworker or family member,” says Gorham. “I enjoy teaching new employees about the unit and helping them become good nurses. All of the interactions are really special. It’s especially rewarding when I hear that I made a difference in someone’s day. It feels good being able to be there for someone when they need me.”

Adds Gorham, “We are part of a great team that all works together to safely get patients where they need to go.”

In early civilizations, fire starters were individuals who had the important job of keeping the flame alive. With over 1,400 employees, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers is the largest employer in Grundy County.

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