Huntsville Hospital employee honored for dedication to a tough job

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - When you're going through something devastating, you want to be surrounded by people who care. One woman knows that first hand and helps others get through the pain.

WHNT NEWS 19 received a nomination about Penny Owensby, a patient family representative at Huntsville Hospital. Cindi Bradley writes, "Penny Owensby is amazing and has experienced things none of us would ever imagine. You pray you never need her services, but if you have to, there is no one that can get you through the worst day of your life like Penny can."

Dealing with death, unthinkable accidents, and unexpected illnesses is hard. This bereavement room at Huntsville Hospital has seen a lot of loss and so has Penny Owensby.

"M daughter died when she was two years old and my husband died with cancer," says Owensby. "I always thought if I ever got the chance to make a difference, I would."

Those personal tragedies led her to a two decade-long profession of helping others deal with similar struggles.

"You can't ever say you know what they're going through," says Owensby.

WHNT NEWS 19 did things a little differently for this Pay it Forward. The $319 is going to be donated to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation in honor of Penny Owensby.

"Because of the philanthropy we can do more," says Huntsville Hospital Foundation Gifts Officer Katie Rose Norman. "We can purchase equipment , we can fund programs and services that may not have otherwise been provided."

Norman was excited to see Penny Owensby also recognized as a care champion.

"It's available for our patients who feel like they're doctor, their nurse, maybe even the person who changed their bed sheets went above and beyond to make their stay here at the hospital a little extra special," explains Norman. "They can choose to give back."

One hundred percent of our $319 Pay it Forward gift will help patients and is a way to show appreciation to a woman who gives 100 percent to a tough job.

"That was very kind, very sweet and the money is definitely going to a wonderful cause," says Owensby.

Owensby will also be recognized at an upcoming Huntsville Hospital department head meeting.