Johnston Health Honors Phlebotomist As Ambassador Of The Month

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SMITHFIELD – Susan Kennedy, the outpatient phlebotomist at Johnston Health Clayton, has been named Ambassador of the Month.

During a presentation, CEO Chuck Elliott said Mrs. Kennedy goes above and beyond to make patients feel informed and comfortable. “She’s made such an impression that several repeat customers come to Clayton just so she can take care of them,” he says.

Mrs. Kennedy started out working nights at the hospital in Smithfield, and then transferred to Clayton when the inpatient wing opened in January 2015. “I love watching our hospital grow,” she says.

She grew up in West Virginia, and learned phlebotomy from reading text books and getting practice at the then-new 25-bed hospital in her community. Back then, there were no phlebotomy schools.

At nearby Marshall University, she took, and passed, the certification exam — it was 700 questions long and took five hours. And in the 25 years since, she has worked at other hospitals, large and small, in West Virginia and Florida.

Crystal Felice, who is manager of the lab, says newer coworkers appreciate Mrs. Kennedy’s experience and ask for her assistance. She helps with phlebotomy students from local colleges, and assists with training emergency department techs on proper technique, she adds.

In addition to drawing blood, Mrs. Kennedy assists with the many processes of the lab. And because she sits at the lobby window, she often helps visitors and patients find their way.

Mrs. Kennedy says the Clayton lab is a convenience particularly for local patients who have undergone organ transplants at UNC Medical Center. They’re able to get their blood work done here, and the results sent to their physicians without having to drive to Chapel Hill.

At the hospital, Mrs. Kennedy serves on the lab council, and she volunteers at the SECU Hospice House in Smithfield. “She does whatever she can to assist others,” Ms. Felice says. “And if she can’t, she finds someone who can.”

Mrs. Kennedy is married to her high school sweetheart, Shawn, and, combined, they have three grown children, and four grandchildren. They live in the area surrounding the intersection of I-40/N.C. 42 known as the Cleveland community.

Through the ambassador program, Johnston Health recognizes employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. They deliver quality care, foster teamwork and offer excellent service.

In addition to a designated month-long parking space, Mrs. Kennedy will receive eight hours of paid time off.

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