Vern Moss, who served 33 years with the Air National Guard, including two in Korea, knows a thing or two about teamwork, dedication and service.
Vern, who delivered mail for 50 years in southeast Wichita before his retirement in 2007, also is a man who enjoys people and being around others who feel the same way.
"Life is too short not to have fun," he told Shaunda Rakestraw, RN, as she was rounding on patients at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis.
Rakestraw, seeing that Vern had a tube down his nose and a basin next to him when she dropped by, offered to come back later. But Vern insisted that she stay, as he wanted to share about all the great interactions he'd been having with staff, ranging from patient transporters and dietary staff to physicians and nurses.
"The care has been over the top," Vern told Rakestraw when she stopped in to check on him again a few days after his foot surgery and subsequent reaction to anesthesia. "Not a bad doctor, not a bad nurse in the bunch. All very personable, conversational."
While all of the staff have been kind to each other as well as to him, Vern says one in particular stood out: Kelesy White, a first-shift patient care tech on 6SE.
"When you're laying here and she pops her head in, you can't help but smile," says Vern, noting that it's the cheery manner that she goes about her tasks that makes the difference. Like the morning she came in and wrote, 'Happy Tuesday, Vern' on the board and decorated the edges with clouds and hearts.
Knowing that she's hoping to go back to school to become a nurse, Vern told Rakestraw that he wished he had to means to pay her tuition himself. Not to worry, Rakestraw assured him.
"As a nursing career coach, my role is to help ensure that associates know about all the education and career-advancing opportunities available to them at Ascension. I'll make sure to reach out to her on your behalf."