2021 Annual VIA: Sharon Franklin

At Asante Ashland, Sharon Franklin is the quiet force that keeps things humming.

At the center of Asante Ashland Community Hospital is the Medical/Surgical Unit, and at the center of the Med/Surg unit is Sharon Franklin.

Officially she holds two jobs: unit clerk and monitor technician. In practice, however, she is the engine that runs the department. She answers the phone, watches the camera rooms, heeds the call lights, enters work orders, calls IT to fix a technical problem, arranges follow-up appointments, monitors the fax machine, makes copies and gets the cards for staff birthdays, congratulations and farewells.

“She does all this and more with a smile on her face and a kindness in her voice,” says Amalia Kieley, the hospital’s director of Nursing.

It is this level of commitment that earned Franklin the 2021 Annual Values in Action award, Asante’s highest honor.

Having worked for the hospital for nearly 18 years, Franklin is a one-stop font of institutional knowledge, and someone who is in constant pursuit of improvement.

Sharon Franklin’s thirst for travel took her to the Jordanian desert.

“She takes pride in doing her job to the best of her ability and is always striving to do better — be more efficient, learn something new or find a better way to accomplish something,” says Kieley, who nominated Franklin for the VIA.

Over the years, Franklin has gained a reputation as a standard bearer, gently but firmly upholding the hospital’s cultural norms of excellence, ethics and compassion.

“She navigates this with kindness and grace, giving respect to all,” Kieley says.

“Sharon is probably the most organized person I have ever worked with at the hospital,” a co-worker said in Franklin’s nomination letter. “She is always careful, strategic, thorough, professional, and thinks ahead as she communicates with staff and advocates for patients. Sharon is a rock star.”

Brianne Poland, manager of patient care services for General Medicine, describes Franklin as the hub of the department.

“I know Sharon is a humble person and doesn’t always feel she’s deserving of such recognition,” Poland said, “and that is exactly why she’s deserving. She’s always striving to be better.”

When she’s not working, Franklin is an enthusiastic traveler. Not long ago, she visited Jordan with former co-worker Nancy Nowlin, an AACH nurse who retired in the spring. The pair spent time in the Wadi Rum desert, where Franklin rode a camel. Closer to home, she can be found hiking on the trails surrounding Jacksonville.

Franklin was honored at a virtual celebration on Nov. 2, which was attended by Poland and Asante executives. She received a charcuterie box, flowers, badge backer, gift card and crystal award.

As is her style, Franklin kept her comments brief and shifted the focus to her co-workers.

“I work with so many brave people taking care of the sick each day. Thank you.”


Current role: Monitor technician

Location: Asante Ashland Community Hospital

With Asante: 17 1/2 years

Tags: annual VIA, profile, Sharon Franklin, Values in Action
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