SIDNEY — Annette Meyer, of Minster, a registered nurse with Wilson Health Hospice and Home Care, is the 2018 Wilson Health nominee for the Ohio Hospital Association’s (OHA) Albert E. Dykes Healthcare Worker of the Year Award.
The Albert E. Dyckes Healthcare Worker of the Year Award is given each year to one Ohio caregiver who personifies a leader who gives back to the community and routinely goes beyond the call of duty. All nominees will be honored at the June OHA Recognition Banquet in Columbus.
Meyer started her health care career in 1979 as a state tested nursing assistant at a nursing home and later became one of the first aides hired for Wilson Health’s hospice program.
As a nurse, Meyer is cross-trained in both home care and hospice caregiving. It is not uncommon for patients and families to request her for their care. Growing up in Minster, she worked at her family’s funeral home, answering the phones.
“I learned at a very young age that death was part of life,” said Meyer. “I attribute my career path to my upbringing. Family means everything to me. When I’m caring for patients, they become part of my family. It’s just my natural instinct.”
Not only will Meyer go above and beyond for her patients, she will do the same for her co-workers’ patients. When she heard about a Wilson Health hospice patient, a veteran, who refused to go to the VA hospital because he could not leave his dog, Rusty, Meyer said she would take Rusty into her own home. She knew she could take good care of the dog until his owner returned home. Unfortunately, the hospice patient passed away, and Rusty became a permanent family member and still today has a great home with Meyer. It is not uncommon to find her spending her days off at home, making special soup for patients who are losing their appetites. She cared for a young hospice patient who was concerned that she might not make it to her next birthday. Meyer organized a special Fairy Princess Day for her young patient. She sent the patient flowers, gifts, cupcakes, a magic wand and flowers for her hair.
Throughout Meyer’s 26-year tenure at Wilson Health, her focus has never changed.
“My patients’ stories don’t always have the happiest of endings, but I can say no matter the circumstances, they will be cared for to the very best of my ability and know that they are loved,” she said.
Meyer, a mother to four children, served as both a Brownie and Cub Scout leader when her children were younger. She also served as an EMT with the Minster Area Life Squad. Over the years, she has been actively involved in her church in teaching religion classes and serving as a lector. Meyer is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.