• November 21, 2019

ORMC nurses recognized for excellence - Odessa American: Local News

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ORMC nurses recognized for excellence

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  • Permian Basin Great 25 Nurses

    Director of Risk Management and Patient Experience Melonye Huber BSN/RN, stands in the third floor nurses desk at Odessa Regional Medical Center Tuesday. Huber is one of the 25 nurses recognized by the nonprofit organization Permian Basin Great 25, that recognizes nurses for all the great work they do.

Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2019 4:30 am

Although they have both risen into management, Melonye Huber and Edna Pelopero love nursing.

Huber is director of risk management and patient experience at Odessa Regional Medical Center and Pelopero is performance improvement coordinator, but they have spent decades in the nursing profession — whether in the ER or at the bedside.

The Permian Basin Great 25 Nurses, a local nonprofit created to recognize outstanding nurses in the Permian Basin, was mirrored after a program called the DFW Great 100. They recently held the first event to honor local nurses at Midland College.

Huber and Pelopero were two of them.

Nurses were recognized for their outstanding achievements and work within their communities. Brandi McDonald is the founder of Permian Basin Great 25 Nurses. Honorees included:

Along with Huber and Pelopero, other ORMC nurses recognized were Martin Arroyos and Latricia Mariscal. Nancy Stark was also recognized for her contributions to the nursing profession. Stark, a registered nurse, worked for Odessa Regional Medical Center for more than 30 years before retiring in 2017.

Also honored were Melinda Webb from Medical Center Hospital, Diana Ruiz from University of Texas Permian Basin, and Carol Boswell, Lea Keesee, Joyce Miller, and Kelly Moseley from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Huber, who is from Andrews, has been at ORMC for six years.

She worked at Medical Center Hospital previously, as well as for the Baptist Health System in San Antonio. Both the MCH and San Antonio positions were as emergency room director.

Huber decided to move back to West Texas to be closer to family. Her father and brother still live in Andrews.

In risk management, Huber reviews incidents and communicates with the corporate office. Patient experience is similar to customer service.

Every hospital has patient satisfaction surveys sent to the patients via a vendor and mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The patient experience director takes the results, identifies areas of opportunity reports this to administration, as well as the board of directors, Huber said in an email.

ORMC’s corporate office watches the scores, as well.

“The patient experience director also managing day-to-day customer service, i.e. patient satisfaction, or patient experience issues,” Huber said.

The more information they have, Huber said, the better they can make it for the next person. The surveys are anonymous and a lot of what the hospital does is based on the feedback they receive.

Huber earned an associate degree from New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M., and a bachelor of science degree in nursing (magna cum laude) from Texas Tech University. She is currently working on a master of science in nursing, also from Tech. Huber will graduate in August.

Huber has been a nurse for 25 years and was an EMT before that.

“The way I got into it was I was a PBX, or a switchboard operator, at Permian General in Andrews right out of high school,” she said. “The area that I was sitting at was where the ambulances came in. There was a little boy that was 2 years old and he got choked and he passed away.”

“As a switchboard operator, I called code blue overhead and I heard the nurses saying everyone should have CPR and obstructed airway and I didn’t know what that was until I went and found out. And that’s how I started. The local police department were instructors with the EMTs because they were EMTs as well and paramedics. So I took my EMT and then I took my paramedic in Seminole. I didn’t finish my paramedic. That’s when I went to nursing school,” Huber said.

She took one of the career tests that shows what you’re good at and her aptitude was in math and science. Huber said she didn’t know nursing was a science until she asked what it took to become a nurse.

“It has proven very interesting over the years; very rewarding,” Huber said.

She has spent most of my career in the emergency room and she has missed it since she moved into management. Huber said she still keeps her certifications up.

Huber said she was honored and humbled by winning the award.

“… I think that would be the word, just humbled that I was even nominated and taken aback. There are so many amazing nurses in the Permian Basin …,” Huber said.

She added that it makes her want to work harder.

“It changes the way that I view the next 20 years of my career,” Huber said.

She has been on two honor flights to Washington, D.C., with veterans, which she said was a career highlight and something she is very proud of.

Huber said she enjoys that at the end of the day when she goes home that she helped someone.

She added that she knows she picked the right career “in her soul.”

The mother of a 13-year-old son, Huber got married July 4.

Pelopero is the performance improvement coordinator at ORMC. She has worked for decades with ORMC and Medical Center racking up 41 years total as a nurse.

After her retirement from MCH, she was offered her job at Odessa Regional.

What got her into nursing was the chance for a better life.

“To be honest with you, I was born and raised in the Philippines and the only way to improve your living in the Philippines is to become a nurse and go to the United States …,” Pelopero said.

She is from Iloilo City and comes from a large family. Pelopero goes back yearly to visit.

“It’s very progressive where I came from. Every year there’s change. There are new buildings and the culture has really changed. …” she said.

Like Huber, Pelopero said she feels humbled and honored by the award.

“And proud of myself because I feel like this award is with integrity because the person that nominated me (Chief Nursing Officer Carol Cates) is a person that I trust. … I’ve known her since she was a brand-new nurse and I was already a house supervisor. I’ve seen her grow and now she is my CNO,” Pelopero said.

In her job as performance improvement coordinator, she reviews closed charts for compliance.

“I’m very compassionate of what I do. I do it with care and coming from the heart. I’m very dedicated and I think Carol had seen that,” she added.

What she enjoys is helping people.

“When I was a bedside nurse and now in leadership, mentoring my coworkers, mentoring new staff. I was also a preceptor one time. I love to teach people to become very good nurses, how to deliver good care, and at the same time what’s … best for the patient and what’s best for the organization,” Pelopero said.

“I’m a people person. That’s why I love the medical field. That’s the reason why I don’t want to retire yet because I miss the people. … It’s being with friends. They’re my second family,” she added.

Pelopero said she went to the first nursing college and the first accredited school in the Philippines.

“… I’m proud to say that. I love nursing period. I love my profession. That’s the reason why it’s hard to let go right now,” she added.

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