June 25, 2024

Connie Orr honored as a Care Partner of the Year 

Orr is one of five care partners from across Vanderbilt Health recognized for their exceptional interaction, dedication and positive impact with patients, families and staff.

PACU team members surprise Connie Orr, left, at a celebration of her Care Partner of the Year Award. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Connie Orr, a care partner in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, is known for always being at the ready. 

Within minutes of returning to the PACU after completing a patient transport assignment, she was asked to assist her colleagues in the conference room. 

Connie Orr (photo by Susan Urmy)

When she opened the conference room door, the look of astonishment on her face was just the response the crowded room expected. They greeted her with a loud chorus of surprise and accolades. 

It was enough to prompt the overwhelmed Orr, who was honored as the Care Partner of the Year at Monroe Carell as part of Care Partner Week, to back out of the room. 

Orr is one of five care partners from across Vanderbilt Health recognized for their exceptional interaction, dedication and positive impact with patients, families and staff. 

It is the second year that care partners have been recognized. In 2023, Cordesha Hamlet at Vanderbilt University Hospital and Erika Scantling at Monroe Carell were named the first recipients of the award. 

This year additional Vanderbilt Health hospitals bestowed awards to deserving care partners including Brandy McPeak at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, Brandon Kenderdine at Vanderbilt Bedford County, Aiden Stowe at Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital and Daniel Hines at Vanderbilt University Hospital. 

“Care partners across the organization are valuable to the care of the patients and the team,” said Christina Mathis, manager of patient care services at Vanderbilt Health and a member of the Care Partner Council. “They partner with the nurse to provide excellent, quality patient care. Sometimes care partners are with patients in their most sensitive moments. 

“This award gives an opportunity to recognize those who go above and beyond in promoting patient and staff safety, coach and collaboration with the team, provide quality care and demonstrate Credo behaviors.” 

Orr has worked at Vanderbilt for 46 years, serving at the University, followed by nutrition services and for the last 37 years in the PACU. 

“This means a lot that people think this way about me,” said an elated Orr. “I’m here to be a servant and make people feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations. I am just so surprised and honored. I had no clue.” 

A portion of the nomination letter submitted for Orr reads: 

“Connie is our go-to preceptor for new hires. She consistently shares her experience and wisdom with them, ensuring they are successful after orientation. Connie does a fantastic job of elevating patient care issues and concerns to appropriate members of the health care team. Connie is dependable and reliable when it comes to safe, well-rounded patient care. Connie is an excellent example of someone who puts patient safety at the top of her priorities. She goes above and beyond when welcoming patients to the pre-op space through her thorough conversations about what to expect on their day of surgery. She interacts and elevates concerns and wins in our care partner meetings. She comes to the meeting prepared with new ideas and insights! She has a servant heart, and it is obvious in everything she does.” 

The Care Partner of the Year announcement was part of a weeklong celebration to elevate this group of employees at all Vanderbilt Health hospitals.