Sister Peggy Fannon named Georgia Hospital Association Ambassador

By Mary Beth Spence | June 24, 2014

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Sister Peggy Fannon

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital patient educator Sister Peggy Fannon, a 40 year employee of the hospital, has been named a Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) G.R.E.A.T. Ambassador. The G.R.E.A.T. Ambassador Program, which stands for Giving Recognition for Excellence, Advocacy, and Teamwork, celebrates and showcases the commitment and caring that hospital employees bring to their job, community and to the Georgia health care industry.

Fannon was selected for the honor after submitting a personal essay explaining why she chose the health care profession and also sharing some of her experiences at Emory Saint Joseph's. Fannon actively encourages and mentors peers, builds morale, and participates in shared governance through her service on councils and unit-based committees to improve patient care through evidence-based practice.

Emory Saint Joseph's, Atlanta's first hospital, was established in 1880 by the Sisters of Mercy with a mission to care for the sick with dignity, respect and compassion. Fannon is one of only four remaining Sisters of Mercy in Atlanta, and she continues the legacy of the Mercy Mission by providing compassionate, clinically excellent health care to those in need every day in her role as a certified diabetes educator, teaching patients about their disease and how to cope with it.

"During my 40 years serving at Emory Saint Joseph's, I have been blessed to have many opportunities and experiences that have molded, challenged and made me the nurse I am today," she said. Fannon has had the opportunity to work closely with patients who require costly medications to remain healthy. In one particular case, Fannon served as an advocate for a young man unable to afford medications because of his family's financial challenges. She was able to successfully secure a year's supply of necessary medication for him from a pharmaceutical company.

"I have worked in the hospital setting all these years for a number of reasons, but the most important one is that I absolutely love what I do at Emory Saint Joseph's," she said. "I love working with and serving the patients and family members that are entrusted to my care. It is a true joy and honor for me to serve in this way."

One of eight children, Fannon attended Catholic schools in Atlanta and graduated from Saint Joseph's School of Nursing in1968. While she was in nursing school, Fannon's father died and her mother was diagnosed with cancer. After her mother's death, she honored her mother's request to keep the family intact, and raised her five younger brothers.

After her youngest brother turned 21, Fannon left Atlanta and moved to Baltimore to pursue her religious calling with the Sisters of Mercy. Upon completing the novitiate program, she returned to Atlanta and Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital. During her extensive career at the hospital, Fannon has worked as a charge nurse in the pediatric unit, with burn patients, and also in the areas of oncology and neuro/vascular plastic surgery.