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Two From Union Medical Center Earn Palmetto Gold Award

Daniel Prince

Katie Henderson and Melinda Malone are two of 8 nurses from SRHS and two of 100 in the state to earn the honor

Eight Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System nurses have been named recipients of South Carolina’s 2022 Palmetto Gold Award, an honor given to those who have shown a steadfast commitment to excellence in the nursing field. Each year through its Palmetto Gold Nurse Recognition and Scholarship Program, the SC Nurses Foundation recognizes nurses who have shown exceptional commitment to professionalism, safety, and patient care. 100 nurses from across the state were honored at the 20th Annual Palmetto Gold Gala on September 16 in Columbia. Among them was Katie Henderson, chief nursing officer for Union Medical Center.

Through her leadership role, she is responsible for implementing processes to provide excellent patient care and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration. She also mentors and develops associates, optimizes systems and collaborates with associates to improve and promote a culture of service.

She has previously worked as an emergency department director and in quality management, as well as a women’s and children’s nurse.

Henderson has been a nurse for 12 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from Lander University and her Master of Science in nursing degree from Western Governor’s University.
She said she first became a nurse to “serve people in their most vulnerable moments” and to “make a difference in other’s lives.”

Another honored was Melinda Malone, who is a clinical coordinator in Union Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

Her duties include data collection, education, audits, mentoring, team building, staff development and optimizing processes to provide safe patient care, among other duties.

Malone is also a past hospice nurse and former University of South Carolina Upstate health center nurse.
She has been a nurse for 29 years after starting her career as a paramedic. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Chamberlain University.

“I began taking classes while working. With the support of my husband, family and co-workers, I was able to accomplish my dream of helping others. As a nurse, we not only help the patients, but provide support to the families, co-workers and our community,” Malone said.

Malone said part of being a nurse is about being a role model and mentor to others.

“A special person once told me, ‘When the light shines the brightest, take a step back and let it shine on those around you.’ I would hope that who I am as a person and a nurse is reflected by those around me.”

The other SRHS nurses honored were Megan Burdette, Tammy Denson, Marie Dyer, Krystel Hannon, Kelli R. Honeycutt Collier, and Erin Masters.

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