FAH Hospital Policy Blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America's hospitals and the patients we serve.

FAH Policy Blog Team

Honoring Hospital Heroes: Working in Health Care, Serving their Community

From the halls of the hospital to the heart walk, the folks we are honoring this week are dedicated every day to saving and improving lives in big cities and small towns.

A hospital hero is someone who serves their community while working and on their free time. They are nurses, ER managers and CEOs, but they also operate non-profits and donate countless hours to charities.

This Hospital Week the FAH is shining a light on people who work in health care and continue to give back to their community once they leave the hospital.

There are thousands upon thousands of stories from coast to coast – we want to share these five with you:


Lynett Anderson – Athens, TX

Lynett is the Emergency Department Director at UT Health Athens where she established a program that helps victims of sexual abuse.

Lynett started the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program back in 2011. The goal is to train nurses on the front lines how to not only medically treat survivors, but to also give them the emotional support they need so they can begin the path to healing.

The SANE Program has served more than 220 patients in Henderson County since its inception.


Maria Elena Atencio – Albuquerque, NM

Maria is a Manager CP/STEMI at Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center, but her love of heart health extends beyond her occupation.

Maria co-founded the Resuscitation Rangers – a hands-free CPR training program that has trained more than 14,430 people since 2016.

Treatment for cardiac arrest is a race against the clock. Rangers in the Albuquerque community are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms then implement CPR and use an AED – more than doubling a victim’s chance of survival.


Mat Gooch -Middletown, DE

Mat is the CEO of Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Middletown, but it is what he is doing in his community that earned him the title of Hospital Hero.

Last year, Mat organized a golf tournament to raise money to benefit the 2018 American Heart Association Heart Walk. That money went right back into efforts in Middletown to help folks dealing with cardiac issues and educate them about hearth health. 


Keith McClure – Memphis, TN

When Keith isn’t working as an RN and Assistant Nursing Manager at Saint Francis Hospital – Memphis, he’s helping the comfort the homeless in his community.

Keith operates Memphis’ only non-profit food truck, which provides food and clothing to those in need. He has also organized an army of volunteers to stock and manage 10 freestanding small food pantries.


Barbara Stanfield – Danville, VA

Barbara has worked at Sovah Health – Danville for more than 40 years. Her official title is Coordinator, House Supervisors, but she is more known for what she does outside the hospital.

Her small acts of kindness have a big impact on thousands of people in the community. Barbara is involved with several charitable organizations, including Relay for Life, United Way, and the Boys & Girls Club.


Please help us say thank you by sharing their stories using #HospitalWeekHero and if you have a hospital hero in your area – share their story with us!