CCH Legend Award winner made CCH a safer, better place to work

Sep 16, 2015

Rose Rennell has no problem telling you that she loves her job at Campbell County Health, or that the healthcare system has amazing services to offer the citizens of Campbell County, Wyoming.

Rose has been with Campbell County Health for 35 years. She's seen a lot change in healthcare, in the organization, and even in Gillette. However, she's also been a large part of shaping employee health services in the organization, which have made CCH a safer and better place to work.

At the August 2015 Board of Trustees meeting, Chair Randy Hite announced that Rose was the second winner of CCH's new Legend Award. For those who don't know, CCH defined a Legend as, "those people who have left an indelible impression on our minds because of their deeds and actions. Ongoing demonstration of hard work, compassion, and a reputation for greatness make someone a legend."

Anyone who knows Rose knows that she has a passion for providing quality patient care to the CCH staff. As an Employee Health Nurse, Rose spends hours of her time making sure CCH staff, volunteers and providers are all immunized and healthy for their jobs and their lives outside of CCH. From non-slip shoes keeping staff safely on their feet on wet floors, to introducing and advancing a needless program so nurses don't expose themselves to potential diseases when caring for patients, initiated accident investigations and creating a Safe Handling program to help save fellow nurses backs from lifting patients or setting up a light duty program to help employees return to work safely after work-related or non-work related injuries, Rose has left her mark on CCH.

"I'm providing everything fellow colleagues need to do their job safely and be healthy for their family and lives. I want CCH's employees to enjoy their lives after they are done with work," says Rose. Something, she says, is important to her because when she needed help, her colleagues were there for her.

In 1989, Rose was a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at the maternal child department (labor and deliver and nursery) at Campbell County Health, and was working on obtaining her associates degree in nursing at Gillette College when she was in a car accident that left her paralyzed.

"CCH rallied and was very supportive of me. Employees held fundraisers to help me with the costs of my medical care," says Rose. "I like to think that what I'm doing as an employee health nurse is giving back to the organization and employees who took care of me in my time of need."

Rose's disability hasn't stopped her from rising within the organization, pursuing higher education, or raising a family. One could even say that it even introduced her to a different career path—going from a nurse in the nursery to an employee health nurse.

Shortly after her accident, Rose obtained her Associate's Degree in Nursing in 1990. "The head of nursing at the college didn't cut me any slack," she says. "But, they did help me meet everything I needed to graduate." Rose later went on to receive her Bachelor's Degree in Nursing in 1997, and later her Master's Degree in Nursing in 2002. She is also certified in Occupational Health Nursing.

"Rose believes and demonstrates daily her knowledge of safety in the workplace. She is involved with the safety coach program, the smoking cessation program, the respiratory protection program, and immunizations for all staff," says Veronica Taylor, CCH Director of Infection Prevention, Disaster Preparedness and Professional Development. "She spends hours of her time making sure that all CCH staff, volunteers and providers are immunized for the flu. She's a role model to all at CCH."

As you can tell, Rose is very active at CCH; however, she's also very committed to her community. Rose is a member and past president of the Wyoming Independent Living and Resources program since 1994, and was very involved with the Unable to Self-Evacuate (UTSE) disaster preparedness group for people with disabilities in Campbell County. The UTSE program was developed as part of a federal mandate after Hurricane Katrina brought to light how hard it is for people with disabilities to be able to self-evacuate during a disaster. The program educates persons with disabilities on disaster preparedness and equips those who are UTSE with a bag that helps them signal emergency responders that they may need help getting out of harm's way.

Rose is also a Lay Leaders for Gillette First United Methodist Church and Lay Leader for Wyoming District of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is the Chapter President of the Association of Occupational Health Nurses Rocky Mountain Conference, and has served on the National Conference Planning Committee from 2007-2014. Rose currently serves as the Wyoming Nurse Association District 10 treasurer and is the past treasurer of the Wyoming Nurses Association.

Rose has two grown children, Scott who lives in Gillette, and Lynn who lives in Los Angeles—both proudly served in the United States Navy. Scott and Rose both thoroughly enjoy watching NASCAR racing and travelled to Charlotte, N.C. last fall to watch the races. Lynn visits her mother two to three times a year and the duo enjoys going to wineries and traveling – they have been to North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and Milan, Italy. The family also spends time together boating and camping in the summer.

Between work, volunteering for her community and profession, and raising a family, Rose has found one activity that she enjoys on her own—gardening. Rose spends her spare time working a huge flower garden every summer. "I enjoy working with the soil, and watching the colors of nature rise up and blend together," she says.

Rose, you are a role model to all at CCH and an excellent example of what we consider a Legend at CCH. Thank you for your service and for your commitment to Excellence Every Day. You have left a permanent impression here.


Is there a CCH employee who went the extra mile or shows you extraordinary service? Give them a pat on the back by completing an Excellence Every Day card.