“Earth Angel” Hospice Nurse WMH Employee of Year 2020

(Honesdale, January 20, 2021)…Hospice nurse Charlene Whitmore, RN, was “honored” to be chosen Wayne Memorial Hospital’s Employee of the Year 2020—“especially when so many others deserved it, too,” she said humbly.  Whitmore’s colleagues call her an “earth angel,” and the longtime hospice nurse says in fact “God did choose me to do this work. I was called.”  The Beach Lake mother of four has been in hospice more than 15 years, the last ten with Wayne Memorial.

“When I was 12, my father had a heart attack,” recalls Whitmore, “and while I was in the waiting room at what was then Mercy Hospital in Scranton, a man near me started crying. He had just found out his wife had died. I went over to him and held his hand and rubbed his back. I knew then that that kind of work was my calling. I couldn’t refuse!”

Whitmore, who was the November Employee of the Month, was nominated by the entire Home Health team, including a fellow Employee of the Month, Melissa Stephens. Whitmore’s co-workers called her “charismatic, loving and passionate… someone who makes a patient’s last days as comfortable as possible.”

The year 2020 will be remembered for many things, but of course the pandemic stands out. Home Health & Hospice has had its share of COVID patients.

“Sometimes I think about quitting,” admits Whitmore, “it’s tough work. But then, a patient will remind me of why I do it. One patient turned over in his bed and said to me, ‘dying is hard, Charlene, but I wouldn’t want anyone else here right now but you.’”

Whitmore was elected by Employees of the Month of the year before. Her fellow contestants were Patty Carcione, RT/Imaging, Melissa Riggs/Business Office, Annette Ciarrocchi/Switchboard, Marjie Dolph/Environmental Services, Linda Hardman, CNA, Jamie Mills/Business Office, Joyce Malicky/Volunteer Services, Aubrie Bullmore, RN, Melissa Stephens/Home Health, Anne Marie Carachilo, NA and Sheila Fuller/Laboratory Services.

Wayne Memorial CEO David Hoff and Human Resources Director Bethany Fine both echoed Whitmore’s colleagues. “Well deserved,” said Hoff.  Fine added, “Charlene truly embodies the hospital’s core values—she definitely goes ‘above and beyond.’”

Photo: Charlene Whitmore, RN, Home Health/Hospice is WMH Employee of the Year for 2020