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2019 Servant’s Heart Award Winner
Called to serve, with a can-do attitude
Terry Higginbotham is one of the many generous volunteers who serve at Franklin Woods Community Hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee. He volunteers there in numerous ways, performing a variety of vital tasks, and whenever there’s a problem that needs fixing or a job that needs doing, Terry finds a way to do it.
Terry has become not just a jack-of-all-trades at Franklin Woods, but more like a master-of-all-trades. He and his wife, Susan, began volunteering at the hospital in 2010, shortly after the facility opened. They are both outstanding volunteers.
Terry’s can-do attitude probably comes from his military background. He served in the United States Army as a medic and field artillery officer, was a pilot, reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and received a Purple Heart.
Like most military veterans, he prefers not to draw attention to his service, and he doesn’t talk about that part of his life much.
But Terry applies the same dedication and drive to volunteering that he did the military. Terry drives the courtesy cart, serves as a navigator, assists in the gift shop and bakes and serves cookies to visitors. He also gladly fills in for other volunteers whenever they can’t make it to the hospital.
Here are a few examples of how Terry goes the extra mile:
- When the volunteer director at Franklin Woods was on medical leave, Terry willingly took charge to make sure cookies were provided to families of patients. That might seem like a little thing, but if you’ve ever sat with a family member in the hospital, you know what a difference it can make to have a quick bite to eat.
- When the courtesy cart needed repairs, he stepped up and helped facilitate them.
- In the gift shop, when Terry noticed patients were having difficulty with a display rack, resulting in a potential safety issue, he quietly took the rack home, remade it so it worked safely and smoothly, and brought it back into the gift shop and set it up again.
- Terry is a Master Gardener, and this program helps keep the gardens for Johnson City Medical Center and other community organizations.
- He created a storyboard and presentation to be used for a Ballad Health quality improvement project for the volunteer department and the gift shop.
Volunteers serve at hospitals not because they want recognition or pay, but because they want to serve others. They choose to shun the limelight, but Terry is a shining star among the volunteers at Franklin Woods Community Hospital.
Return to the Scott and Nikki Niswonger Servant’s Heart Award page