First Transit Driver Receives Rare Healthcare Award

FOR RELEASE January 27, 2012
Contact: Timothy Stokes
513.362.4600

 First Transit Driver Receives Rare Healthcare Award

JoAnn Williams accepts healthcare award for act of kindness.
 
CINCINNATI —Late one night in October 2011, First Transit SafeRide operator JoAnn Williams was surprised when a woman wearing Emory hospital attire stopped her SafeRide van and inquired about taxi service. Ms. Williams directed her to the taxi pickup area and continued her route. Later that night, Ms. Williams saw the woman near the Winship Cancer Institute, and realized that the barefoot woman needed help. She contacted her supervisor, who alerted the Emory Police Department (EPD) to the situation. EPD responded and determined that the woman was, in fact, a patient who had left the hospital. She was returned to the care of Emory Healthcare, thanks to the alertness of Ms. Williams. For her awareness and concern, Ms. Williams received Emory Healthcare’s Patient Safety Lifesaver Award - the first non-healthcare employee to ever receive one.
 
“We are very proud of Ms. Williams and grateful to Emory Healthcare for recognizing her quick thinking and concern,” said Lisa Underwood, Associate Vice President of Emory Transportation and Parking Services.  “Ms. Williams’ actions underscore the value of such dedicated and committed shuttle operators.”
 
Emory University Hospital Associate Administrator David Pugh agreed.
“This is the first time that the award has been presented to anyone outside of Emory Healthcare,” Pugh said. “It’s very rewarding to us, as healthcare providers, to see that we’re supported this way by the rest of the Emory community. The patient that Ms. Williams is credited with saving was very lucky, indeed.”
 
Joann Williams has two sons ages 25 & 22, the eldest of whom is currently working on his Master’s degree. A native of Barbour County, Ala., Ms. Williams is one of nine children and, she enjoys fishing and baseball. Ms. Williams is employed by First Transit, the vendor that operates the shuttles under contract to Emory Transportation and Parking Services. She has been serving the Emory community as a shuttle operator since 2005, and began operating the Emory SafeRide route in May 2011. The SafeRide program offers demand/response point-to-point transportation on campus late at night after other shuttle routes have stopped service for the day.
 
According to the EUH website, “The Patient Safety Lifesaver Award acknowledges individuals who demonstrate particular courage in raising a patient safety concern. The purpose of the award is not so much to recognize the concern itself, but the act of courage on the part of the individual raising the concern. All staff, providers, visitors, patients and families are eligible to make nominations.”
 
About Emory University
Emory University (http://www.emory.edu) is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate experience, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. Emory encompasses nine academic divisions as well as the Carlos Museum, The Carter Center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory Healthcare, Georgia’s largest and most comprehensive health care system.
 
About First Transit
First Transit, Inc., part of FirstGroup America, is a leading provider of passenger transportation contract and management services in the United States. In 2008, FirstGroup America was awarded the National Safety Council’s highest award for safety. With more than 51 years of experience, First Transit provides operation, management and consulting for 235 locations in 41 states and Puerto Rico for transit authorities, state departments of transportation, federal agencies, municipal organizations and private companies. For more information, visit www.firsttransit.comor follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FirstGrpAmerica.