May Ambassador ‘is an unsung hero at Reid’
Melissa Dunaway, Pulmonary Function Technologist
May 6, 2022 -- When co-workers talk about Reid Health's May Ambassador, two things come up over and over again: Her work ethic and her dedication to patient care.
"To sum up all the things Melissa does for her patients and co-workers is very hard because there are so many examples," one nominator said. "She works in stressful situations with ease and a calm demeanor, and she does it all with enthusiasm."
Melissa Dunaway is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and has worked at Reid since December 2004, with the past several years coming as a Pulmonary Function Technologist in Reid's Pulmonary Function Lab.
"Melissa does a fantastic job creating a warm and comfortable environment for patients," a co-worker said. "She can set them at ease to perform their best during a difficult test when you can't breathe on a good day. All she does is greatly appreciated, and she so deserves this award."
Raised on a family hog/grain farm in Liberty, Ind., Dunaway still lives in the town today with her husband, Gary. The couple have three children -- Brooke (husband Jacob), Blake, and Arianna -- and a granddaughter, Sally. The family enjoys riding ATVs, dirt track racing, and cooking out on the weekends.
Dunaway also serves on the board of the Union County 4-H Association.
"I was a 10-year member myself, and my daughter is a current member. I really appreciate everything 4-H taught me growing up about responsibility and how to care and look after my animals' well-being," she said.
Those life lessons about responsibility shine through in Dunaway's work at Reid. She has gone more than 11 years without calling off work and has only done so three times in her 17 years with the health system.
"She has been vital in helping ensure we provide high-quality patient care throughout the COVID-19 surges," a co-worker said. "During those weeks, she worked an insane number of hours and kept a positive and encouraging attitude."
"Melissa does a fantastic job creating a warm and comfortable environment for patients. She can set them at ease to perform their best during a difficult test when you can't breathe on a good day. All she does is greatly appreciated, and she so deserves this award." -- Co-worker
"I enjoy working," she said. "I love that I'm given the leeway to take the time to interact on a more personal level with my patients. I see a response in them when they can connect and start to make lifestyle changes by their choice."
Co-workers called Dunaway "an unsung hero at Reid" who is willing to make whatever accommodations in her schedule are necessary to help with patient or staffing needs.
"Melissa is very patient-oriented. She goes above and beyond for them, ensuring great care," one co-worker said. "She always says yes to add-ons and changes in her schedule for patient benefit. She is an amazing therapist and promotes positivity within our department."