Two from Vicksburg among state health-care honorees

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 28, 2008

Two employees at Shady Lawn Nursing Home in Vicksburg are among 18 honored by the Mississippi Health Care Association.

Dessie Moffett and Vicki Shorter were named first- and second-place winners, respectively, of the Caregiver of the Year Award for Area 5, which comprises long-term care facilities in 12 southwest Mississippi counties.

Moffett has been a Certified Nursing Assistant since 2003 and a Shady Lawn employee for nearly two years. She also works part time at Trace Haven Nursing Home in Vicksburg. Shorter is a licensed practical nurse, and has been with Shady Lawn since March 2005. She previously worked at River Region Medical Center for 12 years.

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“I was just really humbled with the award,” said Shorter, a Montana native and former Navy jet-engine mechanic. “I just really enjoy helping people. The residents here are very loving. Hopefully, we bring some joy to their lives. They certainly bring joy to our lives.”

Shady Lawn residents and their family members nominated the MHCA winners and were asked to select long-term caregivers who put in extra time and provide extra attention to residents and their families. Moffett and Shorter were honored and presented trophies at a Sept. 4 luncheon, held at MHCA headquarters in Ridgeland. Author and TV personality Walt Grayson delivered the keynote address.

“The caregiver winners do their jobs — and more,” said MHCA Executive Director Vanessa Henderson. “They shower extra time and attention on residents and families and extend the healing touch in quality care.”

Moffett said she is dedicated to Shady Lawn because of the extra effort its employees exude every day to make its roughly 80 live-in residents comfortable and happy. She is involved with planning activities for the residents, such as monthly birthday parties, fishing trips and outings around Vicksburg and elsewhere. 

“I really enjoy my job. They’re all my babies, and I love them all,” said Moffett of the Shady Lawn residents. “The people here are just like our own mothers, fathers and loved ones, and we try to treat them all just as we would our own loved ones.”