FAH Hospital Policy Blog

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

FAH Policy Blog Team

Working in Health Care, Serving their Community

From helping in the halls of the hospital to making contributions in their community, rural areas depend on hospital heroes every day.

These folks are nurses, techs and CEOs, but they are also volunteers, coaches and even quilters. They don’t ask for attention, but we think they deserve our gratitude.

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

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

David Asherbraner – Hickory, North Carolina

David works at Frye Regional Medical Center as a Manager, Assent Management/Transport. He is great at his job, but his co-workers say it is what he does outside the hospital that makes him even more special.

Hospital COO Chris Fensterle says that, for David, “The world is not about him. It is about what he can do to serve others for a greater good.”

For nearly 20 years, David has volunteered at the Hickory Soup Kitchen, serving lunch to the less fortunate. But he doesn’t stop there. He also coordinates a monthly Frye Volunteer Day, inviting hospital employees to sign up to work at the soup kitchen. He even delivers food to the homeless on the weekend when the kitchen is closed.

Shaina Musselman – Roaring Springs, Pennsylvania

Shaina works at Conemaugh Nason Medical Center as a CT Technologist in the Radiology Department, but her lifesaving work doesn’t end when she leaves the hospital. In 2015, Shaina became a volunteer firefighter and she is really good at it. She was recently named the department’s member of the year, while her husband received the firefighter of the year award.

Shaina is also a mentor at the local YMCA and collects Easter baskets and gift cards for hospitalized children in the area.

Jan Bryan – Fort Morgan, Colorado

Jan is a Registered Nurse who work in Surgical Services. In her more than 31 years as a nurse, Jan has built a reputation for delivering compassionate care and enriching the lives of her patients and their families.

Fort Morgan’s city manager notes that Jan refers to her patients as “my people,” and treats them as if they are her own family. Her superior skills are also known outside the community; she received the prestigious Nightingale Luminary award for clinical leadership and nursing excellence.

A gifted seamstress, Jan sews colorful quilts and gives them to patients and co-workers, and donates them to support charitable causes.

“Her quilts are symbols of comfort,” says hospital CEO Gene O’Hara. “They have benefitted non-profit organizations like Relay for Life, the Wounded Veteran’s Foundation and more.”

Robb Williams – Princeton, West Virginia

Robb Williams is the CEO at HealthSouth Southern Hills Rehabilitation Hospital. However, when he leaves the hospital his focus turns to the hardwood and city hall. Robb has coached at the largest high school in his county for several years and also serves on the Board of Directors for Bluefield, West Virginia.

Robb has long been active in the community. He coached seven seasons of Bluefield Boys Soccer, and led them to the state semi-finals in 2015. He currently serves as the assistant coach for the Princeton High School Boys Basketball team.

Robb was also elected to the Bluefield, WV Board of Directors in 2017. He currently represents District III and is focused on making the community a place where families will put down roots, telling the local paper, “As I get older, and my kids get older and grandchildren are born, I want them to stay in Bluefield.”

Please help us say thank you by sharing their stories using #StandUp4RuralHospitals and if you have a hospital hero in your area – share their story with us!