Westerly Hospital’s Shelby Buck, inpatient physical therapist, honored as “Hospital Hero”

Monday, May 7, 2018
WESTERLY, RHODE ISLAND, May 7, 2018 – Shelby Buck, inpatient physical therapist at Westerly Hospital, was honored as a “2018 Hospital Hero” at the Rhode Island State House for the Hospital Association of Rhode Island’s “Hospital Hero: Award for Excellence in Hospital Care” event held on May 1.

Buck was presented with her award by Patrick Green, president and CEO of L+M Healthcare and was among employees from other HARI member hospitals throughout the state recognized for their exemplary performance and dedication to healthcare.

After examining a patient for inner ear vertigo not long ago, the usual tests proved negative. She could have let it go at that, but, with 12 years of experience, Buck knew something was causing the patient’s dizziness. “We’re taught to look for cardiac causes, and brain causes,” Buck explained. “So, since he was negative for typical vertigo, I noted that something else must be going on. Maybe he wasn’t getting the blood supply he needed to his brain, and maybe that was causing his dizziness.”

Tests ordered by a doctor after Buck’s hypothesis proved her right. Both of the patient’s carotid arteries were more than 90 percent occluded or blocked. Emergency carotid surgery followed, possibly saving the man from a life-threatening stroke. Buck quite possibly saved a patient’s life with her on-the-job diligence.

Kerin DaCruz, vice president of operations at Westerly Hospital, praised Buck as an example of what it means to achieve excellence.

“As caregivers,” DaCruz said, “we are faced daily with complex medical puzzles, and patients expect that our training and expertise will enable us to fit the pieces together. It doesn’t always happen, but more often than not, if we bring our skills to bear, if we combine them with true compassion and a questioning attitude, we can help our patients. We can solve the puzzles. Shelby Buck’s work, helping identify a condition that saved a patient from a potentially life-threatening stroke, exemplifies what it means to be committed, to be engaged, and she is a most worthy Hospital Hero.”

Buck was also recently honored with a patient experience award from Westerly Hospital.

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