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Celebrating Over 20 Years of Service and Support: Camilla Bracewell’s Story

It’s important for employees to be proud of where they work. Having pride for your organization, its employees and the work that is being done within the community is key to longevity and success. No one understands this concept better than Camilla Bracewell, a longtime Piedmont Athens Regional employee, patient, volunteer and supporter for over 20 years.

“I was an employee of Piedmont Athens Regional from 1985 to 2009,” said Bracewell. “As employees we were really proud of the hospital and all of the work that was being done. Mr. Jack Drew and Mr. Larry Webb grew this organization from a small Athens hospital to a regional health provider.”

Bracewell started her career at Piedmont Athens Regional as a Junior League member, volunteering in the Koffee Klinic (known as the Dogwood Deli today). Over the next three years, Bracewell began to notice some ways that she could make a more permanent difference in the organization.

“We had a lot of volunteers willing to share their time, but no one from the organization to help manage us,” said Bracewell. “I reached out to John Knowlton to see if there was an opportunity for me to oversee volunteers, and it just so happens that he had already been discussing the need for that position as well.”

Bracewell began managing and growing the volunteer program and was asked to become a full-time Piedmont Athens Regional employee.

“I started working for Piedmont Athens Regional as the director of volunteer services,” said Bracewell. “It started out as a part-time position, but the program grew so quickly, that I was brought on full time.”

A few years later, Bracewell started to oversee other departments within the organization and became the director of guest services. In her new role, Bracewell’s focus was on patient experience and oversaw patient representatives, chaplains, translators, telecommunications, front desk employees and guest services.

She also managed the Piedmont Athens Regional Guest Houses and saw firsthand how supporters of the organization could make a difference in the community.

“As director of guest services, I had responsibility for the Guest Houses which were built by funds raised through the foundation,” said Bracewell. “Many families stayed here while looking after their loved ones who were hospitalized. They were from out of town and needed a reasonably priced place to stay, and the hospital was able to provide them with that option. The individuals who made donations to build these houses have helped provide a significant service to so many individuals and families.”

As Bracewell continued to focus on ways to improve the overall experience for patients and their families, she understood how employee satisfaction directly impacted patient satisfaction. In her new role as director of special projects, she focused on employee recognition and employee education.

“It was really important that our employees felt valued and appreciated,” said Bracewell. “If our employees are happy and enjoy the work they are doing, that directly translates into patient satisfaction and high-quality healthcare. We were a family and I always want to provide support for my family.”

As an employee for over 20 years, Bracewell saw the impact that her Piedmont Athens Regional family was making on the community. What was once a place for the community to seek care, transitioned into a place that was bringing care to the community.

“We tried to bring wellness out into the community,” said Bracewell. “We wanted everyone to have access to our services. We partnered with various other organizations for health fairs and even provided mammograms. I believe that the community outreach work that was done made a direct impact and even saved some lives.”

Bracewell retired in 2009, after 23 years of service. As an employee, breast cancer survivor and supporter, she still understands how important it is to have access to local healthcare and other resources, like the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support, available to everyone in the community.

“I will always support this organization, either through financial gifts or my time,” said Bracewell. “It’s important to have strong community hospitals that can serve our citizens locally, and it’s amazing that we have access to local resources like the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support.”

100 Years of Making a Positive Difference

This year Piedmont Athens Regional is celebrating 100 years of making a difference in every life we touch. This would not be possible without our dedicated employees and supporters like Camilla Bracewell. As we reflect on the powerful impacts we have made in the past, we are also looking forward to continuing our mission within the community in the future. We asked Camilla what her hopes are for the future of her organization.

What are your hopes for Piedmont Athens Regional and its community for the next 100 years?

“Piedmont Athens Regional has been a leader in providing high-quality care and patient satisfaction in a caring, compassionate manner for the past 100 years. My hope is that the organization will continue to be a leader in care and service delivery in our community and in our region for the next 100 years."

"I also hope that the organization will continue to recruit and retain exeptional employees and care deliverers and to provide a positive work environment where they can excel and be recognized for the quality work that they do. I want employees to have a sense of pride in where they work. I also want any patient or family member who takes advantage of the services that Piedmont Athens Regional provides to feel confident that they are receiving the best possible care possible and that they will leave committed to recommend Piedmont Athens Regional to their family and friends,” said Camilla Bracewell.

Help us continue making a positive difference for the next 100 years.

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