Memorial Health Community Volunteer Coren Ross was awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award at the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) annual Hospital Heroes Awards luncheon Dec. 10 in Atlanta. Ross, who was one of only 10 individuals statewide to receive the award, was recognized for her work in establishing a new waiting area near the trauma intensive care unit.
For many years, Ross has been a well-known community leader and volunteer in Savannah. Memorial University Medical Center was just one of many organizations she supported with her time and money. But a tragedy involving her family would lead her to create a lasting gift for the patients and families at the hospital.
In December 2005, her daughter Jennifer, a college student, spent a week in Memorial’s Level I trauma center. Jennifer had been shot during a robbery attempt in a downtown square. Despite the best efforts of the trauma team at Memorial, Jennifer died on Jan. 1, 2006, as a result of her injuries.
Within months of her daughter’s untimely passing, Ross sought to provide hope and comfort for other families whose loved ones would be treated at the trauma center. She remembered the long hours she and her family spent in the trauma intensive care waiting room. From her experience, Ross had the vision to create a waiting area that would be comfortable for families dealing with the tragedy of a traumatic injury. She understood that loved ones needed to be close to the trauma intensive care unit so they could easily receive updates when they were available. She sought to create a space where family members could get some much-needed rest during a difficult time.