Upson Welcomes New Board Member

Upson Regional Medical Center announced last week Mrs. Kay Searcy’s election to the hospital’s s board of trustees, filling the seat previously held by Ms. Doris Grace.

“Kay has strong clinical and education backgrounds, and she has a true heart for access to and quality healthcare in our community. I am delighted she is joining the board,” said outgoing chairman, Mr. Norman Morris.

Mrs. Searcy currently serves as an instructor in Southern Crescent Technical College’s Allied Health Sciences Department. Additionally, she brings 17 years of direct nursing experience from her years at Providence Healthcare. Prior to nursing, she spent 17 years with the then-Thomaston Telephone Company.

Mrs. Searcy’s passion for healthcare is personal. Mother to two boys, Kelvin and Corey, and two girls, Kara and Kassie, Mrs. Searcy’s first daughter, Kara, was born with sickle-cell anemia. “I had to read to learn to care for her. I had to soak up all the knowledge I could to learn how to make her life better,” she said.

Kara died at age 26 as result of complications from sickle-cell anemia. Mrs. Searcy said it totally changed her life. “I see purpose in everything, and I take life suffering very seriously.” She said nursing is not simply checking vitals or dispensing medicine. “Not every patient needs a pill – sometimes it’s just a kind word or comfort of knowing you’re going to be there when they hit their call light.”

In addition to her clinical passion, Mrs. Searcy also brings a focus on physician recruitment to the board. “When you have to go out of town for healthcare, it costs time and money…a lot of money. The more services we can provide locally the better.”

Mr. Morris said finding someone to fill Ms. Doris Grace’s seat on the board has been a long and deliberate process. “It has taken the better part of two years to find the right fit,” he said. “As I retire from this board, I retire knowing that bringing Kay Searcy on board is one of the best and smartest decisions we’ve made.”

He said her expectations of empathy for suffering and quality care are strengths in healthcare leadership. Students in Mrs. Searcy’s classes often ask her if you get used to the not-so-glamorous aspects of nursing. “A nurse never gets used to human suffering – be it a patient or a family member,” she said. “And if you ever do become numb to suffering, you need not be a nurse.”

Mrs. Searcy is married to Mr. Bobby Searcy, her husband of 48 years. Together they enjoy serving the New Lincoln Park AME church and spending time with their eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
In addition to Mrs. Searcy, Upson’s board of trustees include Mr. Bill Hightower, Chairman; Mr. Barney Hancock; Mr. Jim Edwards, Vice-Chairman; Mrs. Kay Robinson; Mr. Steve Keadle, and Dr. Ralph Warnock, MD.