Sylva, NC (July 25, 2015) – Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital recently announced that Melanie Batchelor , MHS, RD, LDN, CDE, Wellness Coordinator & Diabetes Educator has been recognized as the hospital’s 2015 Mercy Award winner. The Mercy Award recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint Health’s more than 60 hospitals, including Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital, who profoundly touches the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded.
The Mercy Award program is an annual recognition that was established in 2002 to honor the life of Scott Mercy, LifePoint’s founding chairman and chief executive officer (CEO). The Mercy Award is considered the highest honor a LifePoint employee can receive.
“At Harris and Swain, we share LifePoint’s commitment to making communities healthier, and we recognize that this is supported by the good work and service of our employees on and off the job,” said Steve Heatherly, CEO of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital. “We are extremely proud to recognize Melanie for her efforts on behalf of our patients and our community. She goes above and beyond each and every day to ensure that every person she encounters is treated with the highest level of care and compassion.”
Batchelor is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and true wellness advocate, playing a significant role in teaching community members how to manage diabetes and live a healthier lifestyle. Her community endeavors include implementing the Blast Off! program that targets childhood obesity. It works to change how families approach fitness and nutrition by making healthier food and exercise choices. Younger participants enjoy fun activities such as yoga, Zumba and CrossFit. The program for teens is designed to teach them how to be health advocates through education and team building. She also encourages hospital staff to take part in events such as wellness screenings and 5k runs. She hosts learning sessions that include free lunch to encourage participation. Working within the framework of the Humana Vitality wellness program, she uses a variety of tools and incentives to keep employee interest high; for example, she puts on events like the Wellness Cooking Contest, held during National Nutrition Month.
Each hospital winner, including Batchelor, will be considered for LifePoint’s 2015 company-wide Mercy Award. The company-wide winner will be announced this summer and honored during a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., in August, to which Batchelor and all hospital winners are invited to attend.