For the media

40 years at Sharp — with more to come

By The Health News Team | May 8, 2024
Judy Willon, registered nurse at Sharp Memorial Hospital

Judy Willon has been working for Sharp Memorial Hospital for nearly four decades.

Judy Willon’s love for Sharp HealthCare and her patients is evident through the sheer number of years she’s worked at Sharp Memorial Hospital. In 1985, she joined an intensive care unit orientation program. Since then, Willon, a registered nurse, has progressed in her career to become a clinical nurse, lead and manager.

“The opportunity to care for critically ill patients and learn about various health conditions with fantastic team members is my favorite part about working for Sharp,” Willon says.

Today, Willon enjoys working with a skilled team as a bedside clinical nurse in the recovery room at James S. Brown Pavilion. In her role, she helps patients recover from surgery and prepares them for discharge.

“I appreciate working for Sharp because patients here are receiving the best quality of care, and we use the highest level of technology,” says Willon. “You don’t have to send a patient to a different hospital for, say, a heart transplant, because we can provide that here.”

Willon also appreciates The Sharp Experience. The Sharp care philosophy, she says, helps patients and colleagues feel welcomed and valued.

“Team members here don’t just treat the patient’s condition — we truly care about them,” Willon says. “All the while, we try to provide great customer service. The Sharp Experience is real and palpable.”

Fulfillment at work — and home

Willon credits her coworkers' support for helping her progress through her career and raise three sons with her husband. She adds that receiving the Spirit of Caring Award during the pandemic was a highlight in her career. The recognition is one of Sharp's most prestigious awards and is presented annually to caregivers who exemplify exceptional care.

“That award felt like an honor, not only for myself but also for the incredible multidisciplinary team I worked with during a difficult time,” Willon says. “They were heroic and awe-inspiring, and I will forever carry the memory of working with them.”

Willon remains devoted to her work — always curious and eager to learn more about the medical world. When she reflects on her career, she says she feels fortunate to have returned to what she loves most: interacting with patients at the bedside.

“I had less time to work directly with patients when I was a manager,” Willon says. “But in my current role, I get to learn a little more about my patients.”

Along with continuing to enjoy working for Sharp, Willon is excited to spend time with her grandsons, she says. She also plans to travel more.

To anyone considering joining Sharp as a nurse, Willon wants them to know there are many opportunities for career growth, involvement and continued learning. “You’re also cared for as a team member, which I really appreciate,” she says.

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