Dedicated paramedic acts as a guardian for her community by providing emergency care
When Shannon Davidson finishes her grueling 12-hour shift as an emergency room paramedic at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center in Mobile, Ala., she leaves her paid job behind to provide front-line medical care for residents of her community as a volunteer with the McIntosh Rescue Squad and McIntosh Volunteer Fire Department. Despite working full time and caring for her family, Davidson is driven by the challenge to save lives and comfort people sometimes in their darkest hour as a first responder. For her extraordinary commitment to serve the needs of her community at great sacrifice to herself, Davidson is one of just seven healthcare professionals nationwide being honored with the 2011 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award.
“Shannon represents the very best of our nation’s front-line responders who give all they have to serve communities across America. As a paramedic in the field, she not only provides critical medical care but offers compassion and kindness to those who need it most,” explains Wendell Mobley, who directs Cherokee Uniforms’ charitable and scholarship programs. “To our judges, Shannon’s exceptional service and sacrifice to patients and her community distinguished her as a professional and humanitarian who deserves national recognition for going far above and beyond any expectations.”
“Being able to comfort someone in what is often times their darkest hour ia a blessing to me. The human factor is often overlooked in healthcare, but is one of the greatest tools that we have at our disposal.”
Davidson has volunteered her medical services to the rescue squad for 20 years and for 11 years to the fire department. In 2010 alone, she contributed more than 1900 hours to the two services.
The Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award is granted by Cherokee Uniforms as a way to nationally recognize the unique skills, characteristics and work of nurses and other non-physician healthcare professionals who provide exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation while positively impacting others’ lives. This is the ninth year the leading designer and manufacturer of healthcare apparel has honored inspirational caregivers. Recipients like Davidson have proven through the years that compassion and humility are strong throughout the healthcare field. Though she demonstrates full commitment to her field of work, it is providing her patients with happiness and security that provides Davidson with her true reward.
“I know that this sounds cliché, but knowing that I make a difference in the life of another truly makes me happy,” explains Davidson. “I love taking care of the critically ill, but I am just as happy to hold the hand of an elderly person that is lonely, or to make someone smile when you know that they are ill or injured. I love to interact with patients and their families, even in the moments that are challenging. The human factor is often overlooked in healthcare, but it is one of the greatest tools that we have at our disposal.”
As a Grand Prize Winner, Davidson will receive an all-expense-paid Caribbean cruise for two courtesy of Cherokee Uniforms; a wardrobe featuring the best of Cherokee Uniforms and Footwear worth more than $1,000; a Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award trophy; a 14K gold-plated commemorative pin; and a $500 donation in her name to the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation.
“Shannon’s story tells of a unique combination of a clinically strong caregiver who is a compassionate and comforting presence for patients whose lives are in her hands,” says Samantha Abate, an Inspired Comfort Award judge and a 2010 recipient of the award. “She does all of this in addition to her other responsibilities. She might really be Super Woman.”
Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, almost 9,900 healthcare professionals have been nominated across the various nursing and non-physician disciplines. A panel of Cherokee representatives and past Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award recipients evaluates nominations and grants the awards.