Mary Liggins brightens everyone’s day at Doctors Hospital of Manteca.
Patients and staff alike now and for the past 13 years that she has served as a Certified Nursing Assistant say shes constantly radiating a passion
“I could not be more thrilled to announce that Mary Liggins is the employee of the month,” said Doctors’ CEO Nico Tejeda. “I think every one of us could share a story about Mary and the positive impact she has had on us and our patients.”
Tejeda added that a member of the Del Webb community had pulled his chief nursing officer aside recently, telling her of “a wonderful staff member” working at the hospital and saying “boy, oh boy, she is something else.”
He said Mary had taken care of him and later his wife when they were hospitalized.
“When my wife became a patient, and we returned to Doctors, she remembered both of us. She hugged us and made us feel so special. She makes a difference. If everyone could have a touch of her spirit, the world would be a better place. All of us at Del Webb love her and we talk about her,” he was quoted as saying.
A native of Mississippi, Mary and her husband Kelvin moved to Manteca from a Bay Area community in October 2001 when she went to work at Doctors. Now, 22, her daughter Faith is finishing up her training at Holy Name University about to become a registered nurse with an internship at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. Like her mother she loves seniors, but she also likes children, especially those with autism. Son Christopher, 33, is employed by a drilling company in Sacramento.
While being interviewed on her day off in the hospital lobby every staff member who walk by made a special effort to give her a wave, a positive comment or a hug.
“She’s the light of the hospital,” one chimed as another added, “We appreciate Mary a lot.”
And yet another referred to her as “Mrs. Happiness. When she comes in the morning you can hear her laugh down the hall – you know she’s here.”
Mary’s focus is treating her patients well, giving them the best transition possible into the hospital environment – “a lot of tender, loving care.” She continues to work 12 hour days on a per diem basis, liking the flexibility to do other things that are important to her. Teasing her peers is another daily habit.
She follows up with her patients who are sent to nursing homes, spending a lot of time at Bethany Home in Ripon and Manteca Care and Rehab on Eastwood Avenue in Manteca. There is one special patient at Bethany that she goes out of her way to feed during the lunch hour. She was the fourth out of eight children in her family – five girls and three boys.
“I love to cook,” she quipped. “Southern comfort with a focus on fried chicken, ham hocks and corn bread” are regulars for her family. “I love to cook for my husband,” she said.
“I love people, I just love taking care of people, making them laugh,” she added. “They think it’s all for them but it helps me feel better.”
She noted that many of her patients come back just to say hello – stopping at the front counter and asking if she is on duty.
“I’m a giver,” she admitted. “I just like to make people happy.”