Longtime McCullough-Hyde employee named tree program chair

Pam Collins is being recognized as the honorary chair for this year’s McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital/TriHealth Auxiliary Memorial and Honor Tree program. She retired earlier this year from the hospital, where she began working in 1978. CONTRIBUTED

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Pam Collins is being recognized as the honorary chair for this year’s McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital/TriHealth Auxiliary Memorial and Honor Tree program. She retired earlier this year from the hospital, where she began working in 1978. CONTRIBUTED

OXFORD — Holiday time always brings to mind those we have lost as well as those who hold a special place in our thoughts. The McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital/TriHealth Auxiliary each year offers the community a way to honor them with the Memorial and Honor Tree program.

The auxiliary has chosen Pamela Collins as its honorary chair for the 2021 Memory and Honor Tree program. She is being honored for more than 40 years of service to MHMH/TriHealth as well as her steadfast dedication to foster healthy changes and policies within the Oxford Community.

“Clearly Pam has been a tremendous influence, not only in the hospital, but in the community with the Coalition for a Healthy Community and other efforts,” said Sarah Speh, chair of the Memory and Honor Tree committee.

Community members were invited to have names included in the scrolls for the project and asked to donate $10 per name. Deadline for submission of names was Nov. 19 and as of two days prior they had more than 130 people respond to the project. The public is invited to the formal opening of the effort at a program next Sunday at 2 p.m. It will be held on the second floor of the Seminary Building of the Oxford Presbyterian Church, across North Poplar Street from the hospital.

Speh said the Memorial and Honor Tree program began in 2003 and was originally held in the lobby of the hospital, but as the facility grew and became more congested, it was decided to move the kickoff program to the Knolls of Oxford. It was done virtually last year due to the pandemic and moved to the Seminary Building this year because of ongoing concerns about COVID-19 at the Knolls.

Last year, First Responders were honored in the effort because of their efforts in the midst of the pandemic.

“It has been a program and become a tradition for the Oxford community not only honoring someone central to the hospital and community but also to honor people we admire and remember,” Speh said. “The scrolls are a list of names and will be displayed in the hospital throughout the holiday season. The money received all goes to nursing education scholarships.”

Pam Collins started at the hospital in 1978 and retired earlier this year. She was recognized with a city proclamation in her honor presented at a City Council meeting in June.

Born in Victoria, Texas, she attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving a B.S. in Nursing. She moved to Oxford in 1978 and was hired at MHMH where she worked in Pediatrics working with Dr. Ellen Buerk. After taking a break from the hospital in 1979, she pursued a Master’s in Student Personnel in 1981 from Miami University.

She returned to MHMH part-time while attending graduate school at the University of Cincinnati for her Masters of Science in Nursing and upon completion of her degree, she was hired as Director of Nursing at McCullough-Hyde in 1989. In July 2006, she was promoted to Vice President and Chief Patient Services Officer; after affiliating with TriHealth she continued as Chief Patient Services Officer until her retirement.

“The auxiliary is extremely proud to honor such a leader and visionary and we are indebted to her for the hours and steadfast commitment in being a catalyst for change within our hospital and community,” Speh said.

Following Sunday’s program, the tree with the scrolls will be put on display in the McCullough-Hyde lobby for everyone to have an opportunity to see the names.

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