Morris Hospital names Danielle Skelton its February Fire Starter of the Month

Verona resident honored

February 2024 Fire Starter of the Month Danielle Skelton.

Verona resident Danielle Skelton knew from an early age that she wanted a career in which she could help people.

After witnessing her mother care for her ailing grandparents as a young girl, Skelton said, she saw firsthand the hard work, sacrifice, love, dedication and compassion it takes to care for people, according to a news release from the Morris Hospital.

Over the past 25 years, Skelton has continued to care for everyone she meets through various roles that she has served at Morris Hospital, first as a certified nursing assistant and later as a registered nurse.

Skelton is being honored as the Morris Hospital February Fire Starter of the Month for all she does to exemplify what it means to be an exceptional co-worker and leader.

“Danielle is a fantastic employee who consistently gets excellent evaluations from the classes she leads,” Morris Hospital Manager of Education Services Jen Cox said. “She is someone everyone in the department knows they can depend on and go to for help. Danielle is always willing to lend a helping hand where she can.”

Before Skelton began her career at Morris Hospital more than 25 years ago, she worked as a CNA at a Grundy County nursing home. She officially joined Morris Hospital in 1998 as a CNA and has continued to grow her knowledge, which includes obtaining her nursing degree and a master’s degree in nursing education.

Before she became a general educator in Morris Hospital’s education department in 2022, Skelton was using her talent for connecting with others as a preceptor for nursing students and paramedics.

“When I was a preceptor, I enjoyed being the point person that helped the students increase their knowledge,” Skelton said. “Being a general educator has given me the opportunity to help others in a different way behind the scenes, which is something I love about my job.”

In nominating Skelton, Morris Hospital wellness manager Becca McKee said that having someone like Skelton in the organization makes every day better.

“Danielle is so dedicated to our employees through her role in handling competency days and other educational needs,” McKee said. “She works incredibly hard behind the scenes to make sure things are running smoothly.”

Skelton said the best part of her job is knowing she serves a purpose.

“Morris Hospital has always felt like home to me. I truly care about the patients we care for and the staff I work alongside,” Skelton said. “The care that I show and give is not in vain. I genuinely want to make a difference in someone’s day, whether it be at the bedside of a patient or working along some of the best on the front lines. I truly feel blessed and honored to serve this community.”

In early civilizations, fire starters were individuals who had the important job of keeping the flame alive. With more than 1,400 employees, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers is the largest employer in Grundy County.

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