MORRIS – Toni Correa of Joliet is a highly valued member of the Family Birthing Suites’ night shift team at Morris Hospital.
In addition to being a hard worker who helps out however she can, those who work most closely with Correa say that her presence alone as a unit secretary is a blessing. In recognition of the difference she makes for patients and staff, Correa was selected as Morris Hospital’s Fire Starter of the Month for November.
“Toni’s presence in our department is always positive,” said Kortni Emerson, charge nurse in the Family Birthing Suites at Morris Hospital. “She not only steps up to help often, she does it with a smile and enthusiasm, always making her a joy to be around. She continuously goes above and beyond and inspires us all to do our part so that the department runs smoothly and effectively. We know we can count on her when we need her most.”
A self-described “workaholic” who started babysitting at age 12 and got her worker’s permit at age 14, Correa joined Morris Hospital as a night shift unit secretary in the Family Birthing Suites in February 2017. As someone who thrives on helping others, it didn’t take long for her to develop a reputation as being an integral part of the Family Birthing Suites team.
“Toni is such a lovely lady,” said Theresa Reece-Moss, Manager of the Family Birthing Suites at Morris Hospital. “When we’re in need of additional help, all we have to do is call and Toni will drop everything and come in. She’s just very good at her job, and she cares about people. And she wants to do things right. She loves her team and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them.”
For Correa, doing whatever it takes means coming in and working extra hours when needed. It means momentarily stepping away from the desk where she is stationed to take a blanket or ice water to a patient when the rest of the staff is busy helping other patients.
“I’m going to help wherever I’m needed within the scope of what I’m permitted to do,” said Correa. “I do what I do because of the patients. The really small things mean a lot to them.”
It’s not only the patients who inspire Correa to give her all. She is clearly committed to her teammates in the Family Birthing Suites.
“The people I work with are amazing,” said Correa. “Everybody treats each other with respect, helps each other, and puts in 100%. I love them. That’s why I come in when we need extra help. We’re family.”
When asked why she continues to make the drive to Morris Hospital after nearly six years, Correa said, “The employees I have come across from other departments are great. They show compassion to the patients. I would want to receive that same compassion if I were a patient. I also like that we have employees who have been here for such a long time. That’s what makes Morris Hospital a second home.”