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Ann Malanoski: Community Impact, in Lieu of Flowers

Expressing your condolences for individuals who have passed by sending gifts to their family and friends is a wonderful way of paying tribute to their memory. In most cases, sympathy letters or cards are often accompanied by a bouquet of flowers or a home cooked meal. Recent retiree and longtime Piedmont Athens Regional employee, Ann Malanoski prefers to celebrate or remember individuals in a way that touches not only their family and friends, but also their community.

Malanoski, and her late husband Chet, have been supporting Piedmont Athens Regional through gifts of tribute for more than 20 years. These gifts of tribute range from memorial gifts for those who have passed away, to honorary retirement gifts, celebrating another milestone. Each gift is Malansoki’s special way of sharing sympathies or revelries for loved ones, but also expressing her love for her organization and community.

“Over the years there have been so many people that I wanted to recognize or remember for the things that they’ve done,” said Malanoski. “It’s fun to get thank you notes back from people who appreciate the unique way I chose to honor them.”

Malanoski’s gifts are not solely acts of kindness for her community hospital, these gifts stem from a 36-year employment history at Piedmont Athens Regional. Originally hired in 1982 by Shelby Lacy, RN, MSN, Malanoski interviewed for a role as an infection prevention nurse and later moved into an education role in clinical staff development.

“I worked in the clinical staff development department, teaching our nurses various clinical computer system classes,” said Malanoski. “I also kept the Nursing Procedure Committee going, which taught nurses how to use new equipment in the hospital. It’s funny, when I first started I could only use a typewriter and couldn’t even turn on a computer. By the time I left, I was teaching computer classes.”

As an employee, Malanoski saw the impact that philanthropy had on her organization. As one of the first donors to Piedmont Athens Regional’s employee giving program, GIFT, she helped provide necessary enhancements and upgrades that helped improve both patient and staff experience while in the hospital.

“We saw employees supporting one another and the hospital,” said Malanoski. “When we presented the GIFT Program at New Employee Orientation, the majority of our new employees would join. Sometimes it was those individuals who made the least, who gave the most.”

Malanoski’s philanthropic nature was apparent in her personal and professional life. During her time at Piedmont Athens Regional, she donated a picnic table in honor of her husband Chet winning the J.W. Fanning Humanitarian of the Year award, and his first wife Rose, who had passed.

Her generous spirit also spread to others in the hospital, and when one of her grandchildren passed away, the pediatric rehabilitation team wanted to do something that they knew she would appreciate.

“Chet was a volunteer in pediatric rehabilitation and my grandson’s mother was in bed control and those departments wanted to do something to honor our family,” said Malanoski. “They purchased a bird feeder for the garden in honor of him, and Chet would fill it every day. With the bird feeder and picnic table, there’s a little Malanoski footprint here.”

 

Malanoski shared countless memories with her coworkers over her 36-year history at Piedmont Athens Regional.  They became her support system through blessings and adversity.

“It was my professional home, but it was also my personal home for 36 years,” said Malanoski. “It's like a family. We’ve been through everything together – weddings, divorces, surgeries and losses. I had friends here who helped me through it all.”

Malanoski found a home here at Piedmont Athens Regional and through gifts of tribute and donations, she hopes to continue growing this organization so that it will serve our community and become a home to others.

“Philanthropy not only connects the past by honoring an organization that you love, but it ensures the future of that organization serving your community,” said Malanoski. “We’re such a big, diverse world. I think people are looking for a place to call home, and for me, this was home and it still is.”

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