October 15th, 2007

A certified nursing assistant at Great River Home Health Care and Hospice was among 12 people honored as the Iowa Hospital Association’s first “Iowa Hospital Heroes.” Janice Sharar, of Oakville, Iowa, received the award Thursday, Oct. 4, at the association’s annual meeting in Des Moines.

The Iowa Hospital Heroes Awards program was created this year to recognize hospital employees who have performed a heroic act or tirelessly given their time, talent or expertise to better their hospital, patients or community, with measurable results. These everyday heroes are the role models for Iowa’s 70,000 hospital employees and the communities they serve.

“Janice is truly one of those employees that I wish I could clone,” said her supervisor, Tammy Shipman. “In 2004, she was named Employee of the Month, an honor that could have come much sooner. She gives her very best day in and day out.”

Sharar, who has worked at Great River Medical Center since 1986, always looks out for her patients’ best interests – no matter what it takes to succeed. For example, she and her husband build and donate steps to help patients get into their bathtubs safely and more easily.

Last winter, Sharar was caring for a person whose family had no heat due to a broken furnace. They were heating their trailer with the oven and a fan because they couldn’t afford to fix the furnace. Janice and her husband tried to fix the furnace themselves. When they couldn’t, they hired a repairman and paid the bill so the family would have a safe and consistent heat source.

For all of her patients’ birthdays, Sharar treats them to their favorite cake. And there are offerings of cookies, candies and home-grown vegetables throughout the year.

“I’m extremely proud to have one of the first 12 IHA Hospital Heroes working at Great River Medical Center,” said medical center President Mark Richardson. “Hospital employees demonstrate great compassion for their jobs. It’s a great honor for Janice Sharar to be recognized.”

To find out more about this year’s recipients of the Iowa Hospital Heroes Award, visit the IHA Web site at www.ihaonline.org.

The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences. All of Iowa’s 117 community hospitals are IHA members.