On December 6, 43 hospital team members from across the state received the Spirit of Passion and Dedication Award at the 2018 Oklahoma Hospital Association Annual Convention. Award recipients were selected by their hospitals because of their passion for helping others, going the extra mile to provide patient care, and exhibiting consistent dedication to the mission of the organization.

Heather Chatham, director of imaging services for Mercy Hospital Ardmore, was among those honored with the award. Her duties include planning, organizing and directing the imaging department. Imaging is a broad term that includes everything from mammograms to ultrasounds to X-rays to MRI’s. As such, her work often requires coordinating with many departments.

“They all come up,” Chatham said. “We build the team and do our best to take care of the patients, the doctors, the hospital and the community. You might have a patient who has two or three exams, so I do whatever I can to help them.”

Recently, she said her biggest challenge has been dealing with all of the new imaging equipment the hospital has installed.

“We’re just trying to make sure nothing is forgotten,” Chatham said. “We’ve traveled to several different states to make sure that we have the best equipment out there. For instance, we went to Colorado to see our X-ray and CT machine. We went to Florida for our new mammogram machine, and we went to Michigan to see the MRI machine that we are getting ready to purchase.”

When she goes on trips to scout new equipment, it is not only her and hospital officials, she also ensures the department managers that will be working directly with the machines also come along.

“It’s not just me picking out the equipment, it’s the team,” Chatham said. “We all have a different perspective, and we’re all working together for the hospital and the community.”

President of Mercy Hospital Ardmore, Daryl Voss said that Chatham exemplifies everything he looks for when he thinks about a great leader and coworker.

“She’s a great leader,” Voss said. “She’s goal oriented and problem-solving oriented. She also always has her patients and her coworkers first in her mind.”

And, Voss had one final thought to add.

“She is the most genuine, kind person you’ll ever meet,” Voss said.

Chatham said it was an honor to be recognized for the award, but that she could not have achieved it without her coworkers. 

“It really is about the team,” Chatham said. “I couldn’t do anything without them. We’re a family here. It’s a great place to work.”