TERRE HAUTE —
A long-time employee at Terre Haute Regional Hospital has been recognized with the first Soaring Miles Above Award, named in honor of the late hospital marketing director Chuck Miles.
Mary Easter showed her surprise in the hospital lobby on Tuesday when her name was announced as the award recipient. She was standing among other staff members from the nutritional services department, and though the name of the award recipient had been kept under wraps until the announcement was made, Easter’s co-workers seemed to know her name would be announced as the nomination letter for the award was read.
“She’s very positive, very upbeat, and really lifts everybody up around her,” said Rob Miller, director of nutritional services. “She’s well-known, well-liked and well-respected by everyone in the facility.”
Miller nominated Easter for the award, which was presented by Mary Ann Conroy and Dale Alward, while the family of the late Chuck Miles looked on.
“She genuinely cares about the service she provides,” said Alward, chief operating officer. “She does everything with a smile.”
Conroy, Regional’s chief executive officer, said Easter exemplifies the characteristics of an outstanding role model.
In nominating Easter, Miller wrote that he based his nomination “not on one singular outstanding or magnificent act, but on the years of positive energy and compassion that Mary exudes to patients, visitors and THRH staff members. I have never seen her without a smile despite the challenges – whether it is a last-minute catering, a special request from the physician’s lounge or a kind word for a patient or their families.”
Miller continued that “contagious” is not usually a good word in a hospital, but Easter’s kindness is infectious and spreads like wildfire.
Easter said she started her work career as a nurse’s aide at the former St. Anthony Hospital and transitioned into nutrition services after Regional Hospital replaced St. Anthony’s.
“It’s a great bunch of people to work with,” Easter said of her 37-year career.
She also knew and admired the award’s namesake, Chuck Miles.
“He loved popcorn,” she said laughing. “He couldn’t wait until we got the popcorn out.”
And he also was available to talk to anyone at the hospital.
“He always had his door open,” she said.
The Miles family was represented at the presentation by Sharon Miles, widow of Chuck, as well as his children, Trent and Teresa, and their children and families.
“It’s a great honor for my dad, and mother and the rest of the family,” said Trent Miles, football coach at Indiana State University. “We’re just very proud to be associated with this award and for what it stands for.”
Chuck Miles was marketing director at Regional Hospital for 13 years, a career he took on after retiring from CBS in Terre Haute. He also served as a city councilman for 12 years and served on the Vigo County School Board. Miles died in April 2007 at age 74.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.