Two nurses and a physical therapist from Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa., were honored at the 2015 Healthcare Heroes luncheon hosted May 7 by Main Line Today magazine. Mary Kieh, RN, Suzanne Hipple, RN and Kathy Coultes, PT, are three of 10 local healthcare professionals recognized for devoting their time, resources and expertise to improve the lives and well-being of others, according to a news release. “We applaud Mary and Suzanne’s tireless efforts to create access to quality healthcare in impoverished communities abroad, as well as Kathy’s dedication to ensuring local children have a safe environment to play and be active,” Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital Executive Director Susan Cusack said in the release. “These women truly deserve to be called Healthcare Heroes.”
Kieh, a nurse from Liberia, has worked at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital for 12 years. Having experience in both the Liberian and U.S. healthcare systems, she saw the great disparity Liberian patients face due to limited healthcare resources. She found many people from her native country are needlessly dying from the Ebola virus and other diseases that would otherwise be treated effectively in the Western world. She made it her goal to build the Robert Moore Memorial Healthcare Center in Liberia, in memory of her brother, as a way to provide access to health services for 20,000 residents in the surrounding communities. Kieh and her husband have financed the project on their own, acquiring the land and building the center, which is now nearing completion, according to the release.
Hipple is a nurse in the ED at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. As part of their church, Hipple and her children have embarked on yearly mission trips to help those in need. In February 2014, she and her children traveled to a severely impoverished village in the Dominican Republic. They helped set up an eye clinic and assisted with conducting more than 300 visual acuity exams in the village and neighboring towns. Her twin sons helped build a playground for the children of the village, and her youngest daughter instructed children and adults, helping to teach them English, according to the release.
Coultes is a physical therapist and a clinical specialist in pediatrics who has been treating patients at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital for nearly 20 years. She provides care for children on an outpatient basis, treating them at their homes and even assessing their homes to ensure safety and accessibility. She recently volunteered to help the William Penn School District build playgrounds for three elementary schools, using her expertise to ensure students would be able to safely utilize and enjoy the new playgrounds, according to the release.
This is the second year in a row Main Line Today magazine has recognized employees of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital as Healthcare Heroes. In 2014, Patient Access Representative Sarajane Johnsen; Sister Anna Marino, a nurse and midwife who teaches childbirth and parenting classes; and Chief Paramedic and Director of Pre-Hospital Services Larry Smythe were honored for their work in the community.
The 2015 Healthcare Heroes are featured in the May issue of Main Line Today. To learn more about the Healthcare Heroes, visit www.mainlinetoday.com.