Kelly December named UPHS – Marquette 2020 Mercy Award Winner

UP Health System – Marquette recently announced Kelly December, Hospital Supervisor, has been recognized as the hospital’s 2020 Mercy Award Winner. The Mercy Award recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint Health’s hospitals who profoundly touch the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded.

The Mercy Award is an annual recognition program established in 2002 to honor the life and contributions of Scott Mercy, LifePoint’s founding chairman and chief executive officer. The award is considered the highest honor a LifePoint employee can receive.

“At UPHS – Marquette, we share LifePoint’s commitment to making communities healthier, and we recognize this is supported by the good work and service of our employees both on and off the job,” said Gar Atchison, CEO of UPHS – Marquette. “We work alongside extraordinary people every day, and we are extremely proud to recognize Kelly December 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 receives the highest level of care and compassion.”

Kelly pursued her career as a Registered Nurse and has worked at UP Health System – Marquette in many roles including an aide in the staffing pool; an RN in the ICU, cardiac, and emergency department; performing stress tests, conducting cardiac lipid counseling; and as Hospital Supervisor. Kelly has a Masters in Exercise Physiology and holds multiple specialty certifications in the areas of ACLS, Critical Incident Stress Management and Nurse Executive. She currently teaches Strictly Rhythms and Handle With Care de-escalation techniques, and has taught Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) classes in the past.

Kelly volunteers to do critical incident stress debriefing so that our healthcare heroes in Upper Michigan can recover from traumatic events. She has conducted critical incident stress debriefing with school districts in the Upper Peninsula utilizing her dogs. Kelly and her dogs have also served our community in the Library Dogs Program that helps children learn to read and as Pet Partners by visiting patients in the hospital. Her dog certifications are handler with Superiorlan Pet Partners and HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response team. With Pet Partners, she reads with children, de-stress at NMU and Bay de Noc during exam week and visits patients and staff at the Hospital. With HOPE AACR she helps provide comfort and support to those in crisis. She’s gone to support students and staff throughout the Upper Peninsula experiencing the sudden death of students or staff. 

Each hospital winner, including Kelly, will be considered for LifePoint’s 2020 company-wide Mercy Award. The company-wide winner will be announced later this year and honored during a ceremony in Nashville, Tennesee, in October, to which Kelly and all hospital winners are invited to attend.

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