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‘Excellence’ in person

Dr. Thomas honored as ‘Fire Starter’

Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 9:04 a.m. CDT

When staff at the Braidwood and Gardner Healthcare Centers of Morris Hospital hear the word “compassion,” the first thought that comes to mind is Dr. Jennifer Thomas.

In fact, they say it’s very rare to find someone like Dr. Thomas who shows genuine concern, while giving love and the utmost respect.

Dr. Thomas was honored as Morris Hospital’s March Fire Starter of the Month.

“Dr. Thomas is the very definition of what our hospital represents,” wrote Patient Service Representative Patrick Dalton in nominating Dr. Thomas as Fire Starter. “She is the word ‘excellence.’ She brings 110% of herself every day when she comes to the office, and we are the luckiest bunch of employees at Morris Hospital because we get to spend our day with Dr. Jennifer Thomas.”

Dr. Thomas joined the medical staff at Morris Hospital in 2010, after completing her residency in family medicine.  She grew up in Belleville and moved to the area after meeting her husband, Matt, a teacher at Minooka Community High School.

She describes herself as a “science kid” when she was growing up, and says she was interested in a career that would allow her to help people. She credits her nurse grandmother and speech pathologist mother with pointing her in the direction of medicine.

Over the past two and a half years, Dr. Thomas has established a busy practice at both the Braidwood and Gardner Healthcare Centers. Her patients describe her as a wonderful, excellent, kind physician who is very caring and listens to what patients have to say.

“I’m not surprised to see Dr. Thomas selected as Fire Starter of the Month,” says Dr. Lloyd Flatt, one of Dr. Thomas’ healthcare center physician colleagues. “She is a terrific and very caring physician who puts her patients’ needs above everything else. This is a well deserved honor.”

Dr. Thomas says being a family physician is one of the things that makes her life rewarding.

“It’s fun and exciting because there’s a lot of variety,” she says. “I have the opportunity to really get to know patients, and often times even their children and grandchildren. It’s a privilege to get to know the families in the Braidwood and Gardner communities.”

According to Sarah Riordan, director of the healthcare centers, Dr. Thomas’ strong commitment to her patients is quite apparent and she is always willing to add on appointments to accommodate them.

“Dr. Thomas is a true professional who works cooperatively with staff,” says Riordan. “She and the staff are a team in the true sense of the word.”

In early civilizations, fire starters were the individuals who had the important job of keeping the flame alive.

As Fire Starter of the Month, Thomas received a Grundy County Chamber of Commerce gift certificate, a special “Fire Starter” lapel pin, and a designated parking spot for the month.

Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers is one of the largest employers in Grundy County with over 960 employees.  

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