Swami Sivananda once said, “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret to success.” This week’s Hugh Chatham Way Highlight team member not only exemplifies this sentiment, but also helps the hearts of so many in her role as Director of Cardiopulmonary. Known by her team and peers as a person of integrity, intelligence, good judgment, an eye for detail, and a “can do” attitude, Wendy Triplett is most deserving of recognition.

Ashley Tilley, Lead Respiratory Technician, stated, “Wendy is probably the most generous, caring, compassionate person I have ever encountered. She is a woman of faith; she lives by her faith day in and day out. She leads by example – that is Wendy in a nutshell.” Ali Wood, Clinical Coordinator, let us know that Wendy’s favorite character is Wonder Woman. Ali continued by saying, “I think the quote from the Wonder Woman series says it all, “Because no matter how small an act of kindness or generosity or simple positivity you put out into the world, it will make a difference.” Wendy is one in a million!! She is a dedicated, loving, hardworking, God-fearing woman! We are all blessed to know her.”

Brittany Anderson, RCP/RRT, continued the high praise by calling Wendy “the definition of a leader. She has the biggest heart ever; she is caring, understanding, and just all around, the best boss ever.” Wendy’s steadfast commitment to our core values of Service, Teamwork, Accountability, Respect, and Safe Care (STARS) has inspired the Cardiopulmonary department to deliver the highest levels of quality, safety, and service. Her team members’ dedication to our patients is both evident and a testament to Wendy’s positive leadership and support.

The heart of cardiopulmonary care here at Hugh Chatham since 1997, Wendy is preparing to enter a new and exciting chapter with her family. We will miss you, Wendy. But know that you leave behind a vibrant legacy of caring, compassion, and excellence that we will honor through our own efforts, each day. We wish you all the very best!

– Paul

Q & A with Wendy

How did you come to Hugh Chatham?
“I started here at the age of 15 at the gift shop as a volunteer. Then, while in high school, I was in the health occupations program, where I rotated through the departments here at Hugh Chatham as a shadowing student. I knew I wanted to do healthcare, but I didn’t know which field. Through the rotation, I went to the respiratory department and fell in love with what respiratory did. I ended up working here while in high school at age 17 as a Respiratory Care Technician because, at that time, you were able to have on-the-job training, which was many years ago. I worked here for a year and decided to go to Forsyth to get more critical care and specialty training while attending college for respiratory therapy. I worked for Forsyth for seven years under some top-notch pulmonologists, but I knew I wanted to work at Hugh Chatham. I returned here and have been at Hugh Chatham for almost 25 years.”

What led you to work in healthcare?
“My dad had his first heart attack at the age of 40 and later died at the age of 52. Heart disease ran on his side of the family. His father died, his uncles, and my cousin, who is my age, all from heart disease. I learned about heart disease and ways to prevent and improve heart function. I try to exercise, eat right, and teach others awareness. As far as my career, even though it focused on lungs, the heart and lungs work together. Heart disease and lung disease can be hereditary, but there are steps that we can take to help ourselves live longer lives. In our cardiac-pulmonary rehab, we teach people about improving their heart and lung diseases and early warning signs/changes in their condition. I have enjoyed being a part of that department’s journey of and being able to help others have more days with their loved ones. I will be 50 next month, almost the age my dad was when he died. I wish he had a program like cardiac rehab or some tools given to him earlier in his life. I take what I have learned to help others.”

What do you enjoy most at work?
“I enjoy the critical care aspect of my job the most. When we have a patient who is having difficulty breathing and in respiratory distress, placing them on a BiPAP or some other intervention where they turn around fast is very rewarding. I have been the manager for quite some time now but have continued to take part in patient care because that is what I enjoy the most. Making a difference in someone else’s life, if it is for only a moment in time, is very important to me.”

“We perform various tests in our field, and they might be mundane things you do every day, but you are checking on the patient and creating a treatment based on how the patient responds. You made a difference in their day.”

“We were informed that one of our patients passed away by her daughter, who was back here as a patient. She said, “you took such good care of my mom, year after year of her coming in. Every time my mom was in the emergency room, I knew you were going to fix her. Now that it is my time, I am looking for your faces so you can help turn me around.” That’s the most rewarding thing for me.”

What are your clinical interests?
“Critical Care: ventilator/BiPAP management, intubations, arterial blood gas testing, arterial line placements. I am excited that we have initiated Arterial line placement in our department this past year; this is a great service for our patients to monitor their hemodynamics status better and lessen arterial punctures.”

What do you do during the week?
“I serve as the Cardiopulmonary and cardiac-pulmonary rehab department director. I oversee policies/procedures, supplies, budget, staffing, scheduling, training and competencies for all employees in both departments. I also maintain our arterial blood gas machines, JACHO and CLIA compliance and ensure we meet state requirements in our rehab programs. I am also a part of routine inpatient care including ventilator/BiPAP management, oxygen/bronchodilator therapy, neonatal care, and outpatient services: EEGs, PFTs, 6 min walk tests, ABG’s, etc. Patient care and management have been challenging, but I have really enjoyed the challenges. The people have grown and learned a lot over the years. I love my people and we are all close, just like a family.”

What do you like to do for fun?
I am an avid runner; I have been running since high school where I was part of the track team. I call it my “me-time”. I love spending time with my family. We love to do a lot of outdoor activities, from kayaking to playing sports. All my kids played sports, and I love watching those games!”

“I enjoy going to church and have been active in the same church, Rachel Baptist, for 32 years. My favorite Bible verse is “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” Our job can be demanding at times, but if I feel overwhelmed or heartbroken over the loss of a patient, God speaks to me and says, “I give you strength,” and He does just that! He gives me what I need to better serve those He loves.”

What do you like people to know about Hugh Chatham?
“This is a family-oriented hospital, and it is the people who have made it what it is today. They are the heart of the organization, and even though people have come and gone, the culture has always managed to stay the same. I hope it never loses that little community feel. We welcome our community here. We want to take care of them and get them back to living their lives with their families. I have enjoyed working here, and this is a great hospital. We will do everything we can to make sure we provide excellent care to our patients. I feel privileged to have been part of this “family” and participate in its growth.”


Wendy Triplett was nominated by Mary Blackburn.