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National Nurses Week: Marshall Honors Its Service-Minded Caregivers

May 9, 2017 — Some people spend years searching for a meaningful professional career. Kathy Krejci, RN, knew her calling early on.

In junior high school, Marshall's Chief Nursing Officer knew she wanted to be a nurse. Krejci took a medical occupations class her sophomore year of high school. She graduated high school in three years then worked as a nurse's aid at St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton. Four years later (1983), she became a full-time registered nurse at Marshall Hospital.

"In all my years of nursing, I've learned the most important aspect of the job is that ability to care," she said. "It takes a lot of critical thinking, an ability to build on experience and apply those learned experiences."

Marshall joins healthcare providers nationwide in celebrating National Nurses Week (May 7-13). In addition to the care they provide, their collection of skills – dedication, compassion, tireless efforts, advocacy, leadership – is key to the health of our community and success of our organization.

Many longstanding Marshall employees have compelling nursing backgrounds. Penny Lehrman, RN, BSN, serves as the Director of Marshall's Community Care Network. When she moved with her husband (retired physician Jonathan Lehrman, MD) from Massachusetts to California in 1977, she worked as an RN in Marshall's medical/surgical and OB areas.

"I would help my husband deliver babies," she remembered. "I was there in his office when he would call all the new moms under his care. This was back when there were just a couple OBGYNs in all of Placerville."

Marshall's Chief Operating Officer, Shannon Truesdell, RN, is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Association of California Nurse Leaders. Director of North 1 and 2, Jim Waddington, RN, once had a high-paying executive job at Target. But soon, he discovered a void in his life.

"While the money was there, I didn't feel like I was contributing to society," he said. "Here, I know I'm contributing to our community and the bigger picture."

Assistant Director of North 1, Janelle Montgomery, RN, earned her nursing license in 2006 ("no way does it seem that long ago," she said). The former Marshall Junior Volunteer said compassion motivates her each day on the job.

"It's a satisfying career when you see positive, quality results," she said. "We get the privilege to be there during a patient's time of great need, but it takes a special breed of person. There are lots of challenges. The level of compassion has to be so strong, you have to look past those challenges."

Marshall is an independent, nonprofit community healthcare provider located in the heart of the Sierra Foothills. Marshall includes Marshall Hospital, a fully accredited acute care facility with 125 beds in Placerville; several outpatient facilities in Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills and Georgetown; and many community health and education programs. Marshall has more than 200 physicians and 1,500 employees providing quality healthcare services to more than 180,000 residents of El Dorado County.