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Lillie Cole, RN

Surgical Services

February 2019 - Employee of the Month

We are pleased to honor Lillie Cole as WellStar West Georgia’s February 2019 Team Member of the Month. Lillie has served here as a peri-operative nurse for more than 28 years, with five of those years spent in ambulatory surgery at the Cancer Clinic. Lillie is the charge nurse for the O.R. as well as a lead scrub nurse and circulator in the operating room suite, though in the past she has scrubbed and circulated all surgical procedures. Throughout her tenure here, Lillie has transitioned from performing all surgical cases with open incisions, to performing primarily laparoscopic procedures, to even performing surgery with robotic assistance.

We are happy for Lillie but sad for us that she will be retiring this year, and her team members are incredibly sad that someone as dedicated, loyal, diligent, passionate, happy and kind as you will be leaving them.

MaryLois Calhoun, director of surgical services, said Lillie is a leader in their department. Physicians, nurses, managers and other team members seek her out when information is needed for a case. Lillie understands the “big picture” and ensures cases and procedures are ready at the scheduled start time … and that the patient has the very best surgical experience and outcome. Lillie is an expert in the theory of application of sterile and aseptic technique. She ensures the surgical suite is a safe environment, that equipment functions properly, and the operative procedure is conducted under conditions that maximize patient safety.

MaryLois says Lillie is an outstanding employee and exceeds in expectations of all her assigned duties. She actively participates in learning opportunities to maximize clinical competency and adheres to established WellStar West Georgia’s policies and procedures. Lillie is BLS-certified and ACLS-certified, and she maintains her national board certification as an operating room nurse (CNOR).

Lillie is a shining star for our younger nurses, a breath of fresh air to our leadership team, and the best patient advocate in the Surgical Services department. Surgeons know her; they know her expertise, her work ethic, and her loyalty.

Lillie began her nursing career as an LPN in 1975 in Carrollton and transferred to work with Dr. Jim Bruce in 1980 when he opened his orthopedic practice in LaGrange. She worked there for nine years and then returned to LaGrange College to become a Registered Nurse with the help of a Sims Scholarship.

Lillie and her husband have been married for 47 years, and they have two children and three grandchildren who are 9, 10 and 11. After retirement, she plans on spending time with her husband as they garden, travel and spend much more time with their grandchildren. Every summer she and her grandchildren enjoy “Mimi’s Camp” for two weeks, and this is the first year she’ll be home for the entire two weeks because she is retiring at the end of June. She also is excited that next fall she’ll finally be able to attend school activities during the work day.

We are thankful to Lillie for the indelible legacy she will be leaving when she retires.