MORRIS – For 38 years, Sydney Ferris of Ottawa has been making a difference in the lives of countless individuals in the community, first as a bedside nurse, then as a case manager, and today as a quality management specialist registered nurse at Morris Hospital.
For all that she has given to her patients, co-workers and physicians, Ferris was honored as June Fire Starter of the Month at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, according to a news release.
“Syd is such a dedicated person,” Liz Walliser, quality manager at Morris Hospital, said in the release. “I love her loyalty and dedication to the organization. Her quality of work is just outstanding. She is brilliant at figuring out how to get the job done – she just takes the ball and runs with it.
“Plus, Syd is so much fun to work with. She is such a positive, upbeat, cheerful person who is always smiling.”
Born in Pekin, Illinois, Ferris spent most of her childhood living in Morris. She was always interested in nursing and started working at Morris Hospital in 1976 after graduating from Joliet Junior College. Later, she completed her bachelor’s degree at Olivet Nazarene.
“I think people start out in nursing because they want to help people, without really realizing the whole scope that encompasses nursing,” Ferris said in the release. “Even working in Quality, I have found great satisfaction in being able to identify a problem and create a solution for better patient outcomes, better care and better patient satisfaction. That is very gratifying.”
Ferris’s honor came at a fitting time. In August, she will retire and leave behind a legacy, as evident by the comments written by co-worker Erin Kotowski, who nominated Ferris for the recognition.
“Syd is a highly motivated, hard worker,” Kotowski wrote in her nomination. “She has always been so friendly and willing to share and makes our department a wonderful place to work. She is able to inspire others just by being herself. She truly inspires me to be excellent in anything I do, whether it be at work, or as a mother, wife or friend. She inspires me every day. Every day at work is good when you know Syd will be there.”
When Ferris looks back on her long and successful career with Morris Hospital, she feels that she is the one who has been blessed.
“In every department that I’ve worked in, I’ve encountered great people who are co-workers and friends,” Ferris said in the release. “As individuals, we can never take credit for everything ourselves. It’s always about the people around you. It’s about us. Always, always, always, the staff is the heart of Morris Hospital.”
In early civilizations, fire starters were the individuals who had the important job of keeping the flame alive. As Fire Starter of the Month, Ferris received a Grundy County Chamber of Commerce gift certificate, a special “Fire Starter” lapel pin, and a designated parking spot for the month.