Nancy Randall

2023 Servant's Heart Award Winner

Nancy Randall Servants Heart headshot Nancy Randall, a volunteer in Ballad Health’s Northern Region, has been defined by years of love and dedication to others. She has been an active member of Ballad Health’s pet therapy founding committee, and she has spent the last 10 years serving as a hospital volunteer with her registered and certified therapy dogs.

Nancy taught at Fairmont Elementary School for more than 20 years before taking early retirement to care for her critically ill husband. After he passed away, she began assisting with a school food program and then turned her attention turned to the one-of-a-kind pet therapy program at Holston Valley Medical Center.

Through the program, Nancy provides services to hospital patients, team members and visitors, as well as local college and universities students who need to de-stress during exams or times of crisis. In addition, she and her therapy dogs visit nursing homes and assisted living centers and countless community events, such as Ballad Health’s Camp Firefly for grieving children.

"Her service shines through in many ways."

In addition, Nancy hand-made approximately 200 (pet-therapy related) seasonal pins for team members and some patients at Holston Valley Medical Center, requiring many hours of her time, and created candy baskets for each nurse’s station.

To standardize the pet therapy policies and procedures throughout Ballad Health, Nancy developed an orientation manual. She then passed the certification test to become a tester/observer for the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, as all dogs must be approved by a national pet therapy organization. Notably, when a Ballad Health CEO in Wise County, Virginia, inquired about becoming a pet therapist, Nancy traveled to Norton to certify his dog.

Separately from the pet therapy program, Nancy initiated and led a program at her local church. After her committee there surveyed community needs, they took Pal’s Serve Safe class, renovated the church kitchen and taught all church cooks about safe food-handling procedures. Using team concepts taught to them by Pal’s, they developed cooking teams, cleanup crews and children’s teams to set up tables while learning correct etiquette and creativity. This increased church meal attendance every week and brought members of the congregation closer together with the shared projects in which they were participating.

In another example of her service to others, Nancy literally went the extra mile(s) when she learned that Ballad Health’s Kingsport volunteer manager was in a serious automobile accident in Connecticut. Nancy volunteered to drive to Connecticut to bring him home, as special equipment was needed as well as specific accommodations. Her service shines through in many ways.