Haywood Regional Medical Center Names 2017 Mercy Award Winner

May 30, 2017

Haywood Regional Medical Center, which is part of LifePoint Health, recently announced that Valerie Newkirk has been recognized as the hospital’s 2017 Mercy Award winner. Newkirk is one of roughly 70 other individuals across LifePoint Health, a leading healthcare company that employs more than 46,000 individuals, to receive this award. Newkirk works in the women’s imaging department.

The annual Mercy Award program was established in 2002 to honor the life of Scott Mercy, LifePoint’s founding chairman and chief executive officer (CEO). It recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint’s 72 healthcare facilities, and the Health Support Center based in Brentwood, Tenn., who profoundly touches the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded. The Mercy Award is considered the highest honor a LifePoint employee can receive.

“At Haywood Regional Medical Center, we share LifePoint’s commitment to making communities healthier, and we realize that the hard work and dedication of our employees is critical to our success,” said Rod Harkleroad, Chief Executive Officer of Haywood Regional Medical Center. “Valerie approaches every aspect of her work in a caring, competent manner, displaying genuine interest in helping others and providing excellent patient care in a consistently positive and skillful manner. She truly connects with patients and staff at all levels of our organization. The team is motivated by her contagious enthusiasm and passion for breast health, both in the workplace and the community.”

Ann Ottum, Director of Imaging, who submitted the nomination ballot on behalf of Newkirk shares, “Her generosity is not only of her time, but also her love of making other people happy.  She always has a kind word, a smile, and a charisma that is infectious to anyone she comes in contact with.  Any staff member who knows her and heard she has won the Mercy Award says ‘there is no one more deserving’”.

Newkirk has worked at Haywood Regional Medical Center for 18 years as a radiologic technologist with mammography specific training. In addition to providing exemplary patient care, Newkirk extends her passion for health care in our community by volunteering for Power of Pink (fundraiser to mammography funds), Relay for Life (American Cancer Society), Special Olympics, and Ride for Pink. She shares her expertise in breast health by speaking to people she encounters in the community, at events, and communicates the importance of taking care of one’s health and scheduling mammograms.

Each LifePoint hospital winner, including Newkirk, will be considered for LifePoint’s 2017 company-wide Mercy Award. The company-wide winner will be announced this summer and honored during a special ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., in August, to which hospital winners are invited to attend.

Congratulations Valerie, from all of Haywood Regional Medical Center.


About Haywood Regional Medical Center

Haywood Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Hospital, is located in Haywood County and offers a comprehensive array of services, including orthopedics, spine services, cardiology, general surgery, women's care, emergency medicine, behavioral health, and includes 12 multi-specialty physician clinics. The campus, located in Clyde, is also home to the 54,000 square foot Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center, the 44,000 square foot Haywood Regional Outpatient Care Center (includes the outpatient surgery center, laboratory, imaging center including women's imaging and physician practices) and nearby, The Homestead, an inpatient hospice facility. Haywood Regional Medical Center also operates two urgent care centers in the county, in Waynesville and Canton.

Valerie and her husband, Donald Newkirk, who came to celebrate with her!
From left to right: Ann Ottum, Imaging Director, Rod Harkelroad, Chief Executive Officer, Valerie Newkirk, Women’s Imaging, and Mike Nordness, Assistant Administrator.