Valley Health Systems culminated its National Health Center Week celebration by recognizing three providers as its Healthcare Heroes of the Year during a reception on Friday, Aug. 17.
Taking top honors as the people's choice for Valley Health 2018 Healthcare Hero of the Year was Dr. Amy Marsteller. Other Healthcare Heroes recognized were Dr. David Whitmore and Dr. Alvin Ginier.
The recognition was an outcome of an initiative hosted by Valley Health during National Health Center Week to highlight exceptional examples of patient care in the categories of quality, teamwork and advocacy. Valley Health employees, patients and community members were given the opportunity to vote throughout the week for their favorite story at www.valleyhealth.org. After nearly 3,000 votes were tallied, Marsteller was elected people's choice.
"The People's Choice contest was a fun way to give well-due recognition to the three physicians here today," said Valley Health Executive Director and CEO Steve Shattls. "In our eyes, all three of them are winners. In fact, when I look at the providers across our network, I see winners everywhere. This initiative identified three stories of exceptional patient care. There are countless others.
"One thing that people may not know about Valley Health is that we were recognized this past December by the Health Resources and Services Administration with a perfect score of 19 out of 19 on our operational site visit," Shattls said. "That score places Valley Health among the top 10 health center networks in the nation in terms of quality. That score is also a true testament to the many providers in our network, just like Dr. Marsteller, Dr. Whitmore and Dr. Ginier, who deliver quality care to our patients day in and day out."
Marsteller joined Valley Health as a family medicine physician in December 2009. She provides care to patients of all ages at Valley Health' East Huntington location. The story for which she was recognized involved the steps she took to help facilitate the speedy diagnosis and treatment of esophageal cancer in her patient, Matt Greene, who is today cancer free.
Marsteller even went so far as to rally Valley Health in East Huntington's employees to purchase and wear "Gang Greene" T-shirts during one of Greene's office visits as a sign of encouragement, support and solidarity in his fight against cancer.
Greene remembers that day.
"I was totally surprised. I walked in and saw one of the ladies at the front desk wearing a Gang Greene shirt. Then I saw a woman behind her with a Gang Greene shirt. When they called us back to the examining room, I walked through the door, and unbeknownst to me, the hallway was lined with every employee wearing a Gang Greene shirt," he said. "I told my wife that it was one of those things that cements that we'll never need to seek another primary care physician for our family, ever. When someone goes above and beyond to show you how much they care, that makes a huge impact."
Greene said he gives thanks for Marsteller and her dedication to her patients every day.
"What's been incredible is that in the five months from March 2018, when I was diagnosed, I've had surgery, been through treatment, and as it stands right now, I'm completely cancer free. I didn't know that my prognosis would be what it is today if it hadn't been for that first visit in March with Dr. Marsteller."
Valley Health Systems Inc. is a network of more than 30 non-profit health centers and public programs. Operating in southern West Virginia and southeastern Ohio since 1975, Valley Health provides primary healthcare services to approximately 70,000 patients each year.
For a complete list of Valley Health's services and locations, visit www.valleyhealth.org.