For the media

40 years at Sharp — with more to come

By The Health News Team | May 11, 2023
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 shows through all the years she’s worked at Sharp Memorial Hospital. In 1985, she joined an orientation program for the intensive care unit. Since then, Willon, a registered nurse, progressed in her career to become a clinical nurse, a lead and then a 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 as a bedside clinical nurse in the recovery room at Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion with a skilled team. 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 not only patients but also colleagues feel welcome 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 the support of her coworkers 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 Spirit of Caring Award is one of Sharp's most prestigious awards and is presented annually to caregivers throughout Sharp who exemplify exceptional care.

“That award felt like an honor for not only myself but also 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.”

Using her curiosity and eagerness to constantly learn more about the medical world, Willon remains devoted to her work. When she reflects on her career, she feels touched 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 her joy working for Sharp, Willon is excited to welcome her second grandson. She also plans to travel more.

She adds that if anyone is interested in joining Sharp as a nurse, there are lots of opportunities for career growth, involvement and continued learning. “You’re also cared for as a team member, which I really appreciate,” Willon says.

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