Public Health Nurse Lynn Little wrote the following to the Summit County Board of Health. Lynn was recognized by the board at the March 2019 meeting for her 18 years of service at the Summit County Health Department. We wish her well in retirement!

First, this a great place to work.  And I want you all to know that since Rich has come on board as our Health Officer, it’s become even better.  We have a terrific staff, which he constantly supports, who, to a person, is not only professional and respectful to every single client who comes in or calls and goes the extra mile to help that client but does the same for his or her fellow employees when the need arises, too!

I am in awe of the amazing amount of services we offer and all the expertise required to do them.  In fact, all you have to do is look at this Summit County Health Department 2018 Annual report that our most excellent PIO, Derek Siddoway, put together.  It was a spectacular job, in both form and content!

But I still want to talk about the people I’ve had the privilege to work with and have gotten to know who are responsible for all those accomplishments and more. From our amazing clinical assistants — Jean Wilson in Coalville, Bonie Mitchell in Kamas and Penci Carreno here in Park City, who have to know and do a million things at the same time, be nice to everyone who comes in, no matter how different their requests and/or moods!—to the members in every other department:  Early Intervention, WIC, Environmental Health, Health Promotion, the numerous programs related to the Connect program, Emergency Preparedness, Sustainability, not to mention our excellent people who handle all things financial, insurance, billing, paychecks and so much more—Cindy and Jenn!

In addition, we have a great HR staff, IT staff, and facilities and maintenance and housekeeping staff, all of whom I’ve had the chance to interact with and appreciate for all they do to keep the health department running smoothly.

I especially want to give a shout out to my friends in WIC since I started there before coming upstairs.  Jenn is the fabulous director and wears many hats, as I just mentioned, and—just throwing it out there—one day I know she would make a terrific health officer—just sayin’. And thanks to Colleen, the Registered Dietician for WIC, I’ve learned an amazing amount of valuable nutritional information.  She not only has to prepare a yearly education plan for State WIC and perform a ton of other teaching and record keeping duties, such as creating and giving classes for and to our clients, but she’s also required to create and give monthly in-services to the WIC staff.   Jenn and Colleen, and Holly, who is the WIC interpreter among her many other jobs, perform a great service to our clients and this community, and they do it well.

I have 3 very short, recent stories I want to tell you that illustrate how unique this health department is.  Of course, I could tell a lot more, but I’ll stick with just these three.

Back in September Brent was scheduled to receive a well-deserved, prestigious environmental health award in Provo, the Pickett Memorial Award.  Thanks to Rich’s agreeing to it and Phil and Carolyn coordinating everything, nearly all of the health department were able to come to the ceremony and surprise Brent and celebrate his receiving it along with his family.   It was really special we could do that.  Because that’s what we do, we appreciate and support each other.  And congratulations to Brent again on receiving that!

The second story involves how Carolyn solved our nurse practitioner (NP) problem in the most creative way ever.  When we couldn’t find a new nurse practitioner, she went to the University of Utah and worked out a plan to have 3 of their NP instructors rotate through our clinics so we could start helping our patients again (and People’s Health Clinic patients too).  Not only did we get three wonderful NPs to work for us, but I am in total awe how Carolyn not only came up with this extremely creative program but implemented it so quickly and so smoothly, it’s as if we’d had it for years. Genius!

While I’ve witnessed examples too numerous to count how everyone in every department supports each other, I would now like to specifically thank the nurses, Carolyn Rose, Jean Paskett, Stephanie Hurt, and Sylvia White for all the support and help they have given me over the years.  I could not have done my job without them.

Now, about the story.  I am unabashedly stealing it from Sylvia.  Sylvia also wears many hats here.  She does immunizations, covers for women’s health clinics, but primarily works as the nurse for Early Intervention.  Along with Jackie, the E.I. Director, Karen, and Holly, E.I. helps our most vulnerable clients, babies, and children who were born with any number of physical and mental problems, sometimes extremely severe and heartbreaking. They do home visits, provide physical therapy, occupational therapy, various testing, coordinate care with their physicians, help with referrals, just to name a few of the many things they do.

One day Sylvia went into one of her family’s homes, and on a wall saw a plaque, a homemade wood burn plaque with the largest word, “Nurse,” carved in the center.  And it was surrounded by seven, scattered, small, violet hearts, 2 cute EKG lines, and several smaller words carved into the wood.  And those were:  “Independent,” “Reliable,” “Compassionate,” “Determined,” “Loving,” “Selfless,” “Strong,” “Dedicated,” and “Hardworking.”

Sylvia asked, “Who’s the nurse in the family?”  And the mom took the plaque off the wall and said, “You are.”  And she handed Sylvia the plaque.

(And if you want to see it, it’s in our nurses’ office over Sylvia’s desk.)

All those words on that plaque—they describe the qualities of the nurses I’ve had the pleasure of working with here at the Health Department. And in addition to the excellent staff, we now have I want to add one person’s name.  I would be remiss if I did not mention the nurse I was hired to replace, but no one could ever replace her, and that is Jane Kimball, who I’ve always called the best nurse on the planet.  She retired 18 years ago when I came on board, but long before that brought both the WIC program and E.I. into the health department along with her infinite kindness and excellent nursing skills. And though I still say she’s the best nurse on the planet, after working with all the nurses currently on staff including our newest NPs, I have to say that all of them are now giving Jane a run for her money!  Which I know she’d be happy about!

And last, but not least, thank you, members, of the Board of Health, who are giving your time and expertise to help your community by serving on this Board.  We — and I’m sure the community — really appreciate your support.