Central Carolina Hospital Names 2017 Mercy Award Winner

May 31, 2017

Central Carolina Hospital recently announced that Emma McLean Gilmore has been recognized as the hospital's 2017 Mercy Award winner. The Mercy Award recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint Health's hospitals who profoundly touches the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded. 

The Mercy Award is an annual recognition program established in 2002 to honor the life of Scott Mercy, LifePoint's founding chairman and chief executive officer. The award is considered the highest honor a LifePoint employee can receive. 

"At Central Carolina Hospital, we share LifePoint's commitment to Making Communities Healthier, and we recognize this is supported by the good work and service of our employees on and off the job," said John Maxwell, CEO of Central Carolina Hospital. "We are extremely proud to recognize Emma McLean Gilmore for her efforts on behalf of our patients and our community. She goes above and beyond each and every day to ensure that every person she encounters receives the highest level of care and compassion."

A social worker who has been with CCH for 20 years, Gilmore's peers and colleagues said her habit of going above and beyond in her efforts to help others -- both at the hospital and in the community at large -- make her more than worthy of the award.

"There was a patient Emma was discharging who had end-stage congestive heart failure," said Julia Gumpert, a physician assistant at the hospital. "Hospice had come in, and this man was very scared about going home. These meetings rarely last more than 30 minutes. She spent two hours with him, making sure he knew all about the resources he had, so that he could pass with dignity. She really is a special person."

Betsy Jungkind, Gilmore's supervisor, told a story about a time when a family in her unit had just been through the death of a loved one.

"Emma didn't know these people at all, but she was right there in the middle of them, holding them and letting them cry on her," Jungkind said. "That's just how she is."

Outside of the hospital, Gilmore's community involvement is prolific -- she's deeply active with St. Mark's United Church of God, where she is vice president of the Missionary Department and assistant secretary of the Sunday School Department. She's been a foster parent to children with behavioral and emotional challenges, and has worked a number of other jobs at which her demeanor fit well. Those include working in group homes, nursing homes, psychiatric units, and even teaching for a year at Lee County High School. She's also been involved in addressing community issues like homelessness and providing indigent medical care.

As a social worker, Gilmore is often responsible for helping place discharged patients in the facility most appropriate for their care. CCH's Dr. Chris Wood said those deep connections in the larger community, combined with her years of experience, make her especially effective at her job.

"She knows most of the community, either personally, or through her church, or through her extended family," Wood said. "So when she's trying to place a patient in a facility, the people there trust her judgment and the information she's giving. 

Gilmore doesn't seek the spotlight, insisting that her drive to help - "I just try to treat people the way I would like to be treated," she said -- was instilled in her years ago as a child of a single parent family. 

Each hospital winner, including Gilmore, will be considered for LifePoint's 2017 company-wide Mercy Award. The company-wide winner will be announced this summer and honored during a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., in August, to which Gilmore and all hospital winners are invited to. 


Central Carolina Hospital, a DukeLifepoint Hospital, is a 137-bed acute care hospital that serves the health care needs of Lee County and surrounding communities.  With over 120 physicians, the hospital offers a wide range of specialties including cardiology, orthopedics, general surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, otolaryngology, emergency medicine, emergency medical services, gastroenterology, pediatrics, hospitalist services, internal medicine, nephrology, neurology, hematology, urology, podiatry, dentistry, pulmonary medicine, and wound care and hyperbaric medicine. Hospital services include emergency room, physical and occupational therapy, ophthalmology, cardiac rehabilitation, diagnostic imaging and radiology, inpatient and outpatient surgery, dialysis, maternity services, nutritional counseling by clinical dietitians, and diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Central Carolina Hospital was reaccredited by the Joint Commission for a 3-year period in May 2015.

Committed to providing quality care to the community, the hospital has earned numerous disease-specific quality designations:

  • American Heart Association Get with the GuidelinesSM Gold Plus Performance AchieveĀ¬ment Award for Heart Failure, January 2016
  • American Heart Association Get with the GuidelinesSM Gold Plus Performance AchieveĀ¬ment Award for Stroke, January 2016
  • American College of Radiology Gold Seal Accredited for Mammography June 2016
  • Healogics Center of Distinction for Wound Care, February2016
  • Joint Commission Advanced Certification for Heart Failure, June 2015 
  • Joint Commission Advanced Primary Stroke Certification, January 2017 
  • Joint Commission Certification for Chest Pain, December 2015
  • Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care, January 2016
  • Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade "A", April 2017


Crystal Hickman, Director of Public Relations