The Pen Bay Healthcare employee who coordinated the extensive seasonal and H1N1 vaccination effort last winter has been named the organization’s 2010 Employee of the Year.

Leann Sebrey, RN, CPN, learned of the honor during a ceremony in the Cafe at Penobscot Bay Medical Center during Employee Appreciation Week. She was one of six employees of the month for the previous fiscal year eligible for the honor. She received a plaque and a $1,000 bonus.

Sebrey was singled out for her work balancing her role as Kno-Wal-Lin clinical nurse manager/pediatric specialist and championing the seasonal and H1N1 vaccination effort for Knox County and the Midcoast during the 2009-2010 flu season. She was named Employee of the Month in January 2010. In July, she was named director of nursing for KWL’s Homecare and Help at Home division.

“So many people were a part of this effort,” said Sebrey, in a press release, as she accepted her award from Pen Bay CEO Roy Hitchings in front of approximately 100 Pen Bay colleagues and friends. “You may not know this, but our goal was to not lose a single child to this virus…and we didn’t. This award is for our community…for all of us.”

Sebrey was accompanied to the ceremony by her husband Patrick and two daughters, Melanie and Aleah. She also has two sons.

Donna DeBlois, executive director at Kno-Wal-Lin, said that thanks to the successful collaboration between schools and local and state public health officials, the incidence of seasonal and H1N1 flu was down significantly in Knox County, especially in the pediatric population.

In addition to spearheading the local vaccination efforts this season, Sebrey is also known as a great team member. She “smiles through the chaos” and “makes it very attractive to join her in any of her efforts on behalf of the health of the community,” said DeBlois.

Roy Hitchings, the Pen Bay CEO, echoed themes of community during his awards ceremony comments.

“You’re all winners,” he told the group of nominees and the 100 people gathered in the cafe for the ceremony. “On the back of all of our badges is a line from our Pen Bay Healthcare mission. It says, ‘…improving the health and quality of life for the people of the Midcoast. That’s exactly what Leann did. We all recall at the time, we were afraid we were facing a pandemic. Leann worked above and beyond with many, many schools and local organizations to keep our children and our community safe. She was directly responsible for coordinating an effort that immunized 17,000 people in our community.”

Sebrey came to KWL in 1996 after moving to Midcoast Maine from Philadelphia. She worked as nurse case supervisor and clinical nurse manager two years ago before being named director of nursing for KWL’s Homecare and Help at Home division. She also worked in the Special Care and Step Down units at Penobscot Bay Medical Center for several years.

In addition to her role at KWL, Sebrey is working on a Ph.D. in philosophy with a focus on integral health and counseling psychology. She loves to read, teach and write. Sebrey’s book “The Parents’ Guide to Baby Signs, Early Communication with Your Infant,” was published by Gallaudet University Press in 2009.

Sebrey lives in Union with her husband Patrick. They have four children: Adam, 23; Melanie, 21; Sean, 6; and Aleah, 5. She enjoys walking and sailing. Of her life outside of KWL, Sebrey said, “Penobscot Bay was created for sailors, and our family goes out as frequently as possible on our Bristol 27 anchored in Rockland Harbor. My husband and family are my life and respite. I am blessed as we are healthy, kind of sane and happy.”

When she was named Employee of the Month, Sebrey said: “Every day I have the opportunity to work with individuals who want to do the right thing, advocate for best practice and demonstrate a commitment to our community — this is what I like best about my work at KWL and PBH. I have also had the privilege to help grow an awesome pediatric program: baby by baby, child by child and family by family.”

Other nominees for Employee of the Year included Barbara Flint, receptionist, Pen Bay Orthopaedics; Holly Miller, director of foundations, Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation; Janet Smith, receptionist, Pen Bay Speech & Hearing; Anne Norman, Social Services Coordinator, Knox Center for Long Term Care and Alice Hopkins, nutritional services café aide, Pen Bay Café.

Also as part of the Employee of the Year celebration, Pen Bay added 24 new members to the organization’s 25-Year Club of employees. Singled out specifically, was Betty MacFarland of the PBMC Lab, on her 47 years of service to Pen Bay and its predecessor organizations.