Uvalde Memorial Hospital’s Nursing Supervisor Denise Fletcher Named Hospital Representative of the Year

Fletcher awarded prestigious award from San Antonio AirLIFE

Uvalde Memorial Hospital’s Nursing Supervisor Denise Fletcher Named Hospital Representative of the Year

AirLIFE Director of Business Development Steve Soliz; UMH Nursing Supervisor Denise Fletcher, RN,; and AirLIFE CEO/President Shawn Salter

Let’s face it: hospitals can be a scary place.  When you or a loved one experience an illness or injury, the time spent in a hospital can be stressful and difficult to deal with.  However, when you encounter a caring member of the hospital staff, the experience can seem a little less daunting. 

Uvalde Memorial Hospital (UMH)’s Nursing Supervisor Denise Fletcher, RN, is one of those staff members you want to encounter.  Armed with a friendly demeanor, sweet Southern drawl and a kind smile for everyone, Fletcher has an ease in interacting with patients and their families and making sure they are all being taken care of. 

When it comes to recognition, Fletcher is not only a stand-out when it comes to UMH; she is also a stand-out amongst medical professionals state-wide. 

Recently, on August 12, 2011, San Antonio AirLIFE awarded Fletcher its Hospital Representative of the Year award.  The recipient of the award is chosen by AirLIFE flight nurses, flight paramedics, and flight communicators based on interactions they experienced with hospitals, EMS agencies and individuals in emergency medicine.    All facilities and agencies in the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Trauma Service Area “P” were included.

Fletcher, accompanied by her two sons, Byron and Ryan Fletcher, was recognized during AirLIFE’s annual “Leaders in Emergency Care” recognition dinner at the El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel.

Understanding Fletcher’s role within the hospital and during the transfer process is key to appreciating the significance of the award: “When a patient needs to be transferred to another hospital, she coordinates that transfer.  When unusual events cause disruption to the normal course of patient care, she is the first to address the situation,” UMH Administrator Jim Buckner described.     

Ever a humble person, Fletcher commented that she “was overwhelmed to receive such an exceptional award.”

However, for those who know Fletcher, it was an award given to a very deserving individual.  Fletcher began working at UMH on April 19, 1993, and has spent half of her career to date with UMH.   

 Her professionalism and commitment to her nursing supervisor position are highly praised within the hospital.  “We are fortunate to have Ms. Fletcher in our organization.  We value her not only for her many years of experience and leadership, but she is simply a kind hearted, dedicated professional nurse who puts patients and their needs first,” Buckner said. 

UMH Chief Nursing Officer Jeannie Leake also admires her commitment to the job: “Denise is passionate about her job and goes at it with 110 percent,” she said.

Commenting on the recognition dinner, AirLIFE president and CEO Shawn Salter stated: “The purpose of this event was to take the opportunity for AirLIFE employees to recognize others in the region that work hard at ensuring the best care is given to their patients.”

San Antonio AirLIFE is a highly-recognized and well-respected air medical transport service dedicated to safety, rapid transport, and superior medical care of patients requiring critical care twenty-four hours a day within a 150-mile radius of San Antonio.  AirLIFE is utilized when a medical condition is life-threatening, and/or in the event that UMH does not have the medical equipment or service available to treat the patient. 

Fletcher’s award marks the second award AirLIFE has bestowed upon UMH within the past year.  Last August, AirLIFE recognized Uvalde Memorial Hospital as Rural Healthcare Facility of the Year.

The award is also the latest accolade UMH has received this year.  In April, Buckner was awarded the prestigious Gordon Russell Merit Award from the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals. 

When it comes to recognizing a job well done, Buckner is quick to give credit where it’s due: “When the patients think the hospital is working well to address their needs, especially the timeliness of care, it is because a great house supervisor like Ms. Fletcher is working very hard behind the scenes to make it so,” he said.