Fri, December 14, 2018
WellStar West Georgia Medical Center has honored Lois Walker, a cashier in the hospital cafeteria for the past 28 years, as its 2018 Team Member of the Year.
“Lois is probably one of the few people each and every team member at WellStar West Georgia has had a conversation with at some point during their tenure here,” said Jerry Fulks, WellStar West Georgia’s president. “What is amazing about Lois is that, even though that interaction may be as brief as 10 seconds, everyone who meets her walks away with the feeling they have met someone truly special. She personifies customer service and is a model on how to treat others.”
A committee of past WellStar West Georgia Team Members of the Year selected Walker for the honor out of the Team Members of the Month for 2017-18. Walker is one of the few employees at WellStar West Georgia who has been honored twice as a Team Member of the Month. She also earned the honor in 1992, about two years after she started working there.
Fulks said that in Walker’s role in the cafeteria, every day she goes even further than her duties require.
“The person who originally nominated her for the Team Member of the Month shared how Lois carries items to the tables for disabled visitors so they don’t have to get back up from their meals,” he said. “The nominator has personally witnessed her run to the back for special condiments for visitors and employees. She always maintains her composure and has a calm voice that instantly puts everyone at ease.
“She is constantly cleaning and wiping something down. She reminds employees if they receive a discount on an item. Also, if someone has not received a full serving of an item — such as two rather than three pieces of bacon, or half a scoop of gravy — she points it out so they can return for a full serving.”
Fulks said Walker has a big heart and is very spiritual.
“In fact, Lois says that a lot of people in her line have asked if she is a pastor’s wife because she has such a kind heart and spirit,” he said.
She isn’t married to a pastor, but she is the wife of Janerio Walker, who also works in WellStar West Georgia’s Nutrition and Food Services. The two met as colleagues in the hospital cafeteria and dated for four years before getting married a little more than a year ago. They live in Roanoke, Ala., where she grew up and is a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Walker said she loves her job because she gets to meet new people and also welcome team members back to work with a “Good Morning!” each day. Fulks said almost every team member has witnessed her be a calming and kind presence for hospital visitors when they are going through a difficult time.
“It can be difficult emotionally to see patients’ family members come visit the hospital,” she said. “I love people and don’t want to see anyone hurting.”
WellStar West Georgia’s other nominees for the 2018 Team Member of the Year were Jason Elliott, IT Infrastructure; Karen Watts , Palliative Care Program; Wendy Clemonts, Twin Fountains Home; Rhonda Hammock, Newborn Nursery; Natalie Shelton, Marketing; Eileen Harcrow, Telecommunications; Twyla Buttrill, Quality Improvement; Edgar Hafen, Surgical Services; Cheryl McVay, Human Resources; Philip Flanagan, Information Services; Tamrah Oliver, Volunteer Services; and Julia Wilson, Cardiac Services.