Three Special Honors for Service to Others

This month has provided us with a chance to honor our McLeod Health professionals who have been recognized for their exceptional professional service and skills. I had the chance to see Dr. Ed Behling receive the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Physician of the Year Award at the McLeod Regional Medical Center Medical Staff March meeting.

Edward Behling, M.D., of Medical Plaza Family Medicine has been awarded the annual South Carolina Physician Award for Outstanding Service by the state DHEC.

“Dr. Behling has partnered with DHEC since early in his medical career when he began seeing patients referred to him by the health department,” said DHEC Commissioner Earl Hunter. “More recently, his practice was the first in the area to work with us to increase the region’s level of pandemic flu preparedness.

According to Hunter, Medical Plaza Family Medicine was an early provider of the H1N1 vaccine and treated many patients during the response.

“Dr. Behling’s interest in public health and his influence on his staff and colleagues regarding its importance is evident in how quickly his practice responds to public health issues like disease outbreaks,” Hunter said. “During a recent outbreak of whooping cough that involved several Florence schools, he handled a large number of the cases. And throughout that response, his ongoing communication with DHEC and the community helped to lessen the impact and spread of this disease.”

Hunter said the criteria for the award include length of service, personal qualities, and accomplishments or activities that are consistent with outstanding service by a physician.

Dr. Behling is a board certified family medicine physician, and cares for patients at Medical Plaza Family Medicine, a McLeod Physician Associates practice. He received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed a family medicine residency at McLeod Regional Medical Center.

I would also like to note that Anita Logan of the McLeod Diabetes Center was recognized as the Certified Diabetes Educator of the Year by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Anita was presented with the DHEC Award on Saturday, March 12 at the 9th Annual Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke Winter Symposium in Myrtle Beach.

The award recognizes a certified diabetes educator who has made a special contribution to diabetes education through dedication and innovation in the daily practice of patient care. Anita is a registered dietician and CDE at McLeod Diabetes center where she has worked since its opening in 1999.

“Anita is a valued employee and truly deserves recognition for her dedication and commitment to improving the health of the diabetes population in the Pee Dee Region of our State,” says Marilyn Henderson, Coordinator of the McLeod Diabetes Center. “She is a true diabetes champion and her clients often tell us how much they enjoy their visits with her.” 

The McLeod Diabetes Center has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association and the Diabetes Initiative of South Carolina for meeting national and state standards of diabetes education. It is also the only accredited center in the Pee Dee Region recognized by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The Diabetes Center offers an extensive range of patient services including outpatient diabetes self-management education, individual and group education classes, free support groups, and coordination with Women’s Health Services. The staff includes three Certified Diabetes Educators and one who is Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management.

Another tribute to excellence in the health care profession was extended to Chireen Hyler, a McLeod nurse and educator.

Chireen was recently awarded the Outstanding Educator of the Year honor by the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC), during the SC AHEC Annual Meeting.

“It is with great pride and gratitude that Chireen Hyler is awarded this honor to recognize her efforts in providing quality education to our state,” said Dr. David R. Garr, Executive Director of SC AHEC.

Chireen serves as a crew chief for the McLeod HeartReach Critical Care Transport Team. She concurrently serves as a faculty member for the Nursing Program at Francis Marion University and as a Continuing Education Instructor for Pee Dee AHEC and the three other regional AHEC Centers throughout the state. Chireen has educated thousands of students in some manner during her 25-year nursing career.

She was nominated by the Pee Dee AHEC staff who received several letters of support from throughout the Pee Dee Region. These letters stemmed from a myriad of healthcare professionals who have been impacted by Hyler’s educational endeavors.

Chris Davis,  Emergency Services Nurse Manager with Williamsburg Regional Hospital, stated in his letter, “Chireen is one of the best nurses, educators, and role models available. She has become my friend, my confidant, my ‘go-to’ person and my mentor.”

Ann Flynn, a registered nurse with Conway Hospital, added, “Chireen is very knowledgeable and can always share with her audience real situations that they can apply in their everyday practice. She uses creative ways to help her students remember the order of assessments, medications, etc. This is demonstrated by the competency achieved by students following her classes not just in results of a post-test, but in their daily practices.”

We want to thank these three medical professional for the daily work they do on behalf of patients, families and staff. It is an honor for them to be recognized by these organizations for their outstanding service to others. They are models of professional excellence


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