A Pen Bay hospital employee for 37 years with 35 years in the Special Care Unit, Judy Benner has lots of spring in her step and always a smile on her face.

An example of her complete dedication to her work, Benner would always say, "If you called me earlier, I would already be there!" if you asked Benner to help cover a sick call.

Sharon McDermott, director of Critical Care Nursing Services, said: "Judy Benner is an outstanding employee who does all that she can to provide a positive experience for the patient and family. She is always helpful, often anticipating what needs to be done and doing it without being asked. I am always confident that she will follow a problem until it is satisfactorily resolved. Judy Benner makes a positive impact on the workday."

Professionally and personally, Benner stays pretty busy. She is an Excellence Always ambassador and keeps the SCU up to date with information. Each year she helps collect money for the SCU Christmas Family fund and in her local community, Benner is involved in her church.

To attest to her commitment to this organization, Benner spent the entire weekend at the hospital during one of the winter blizzards. Gretchen Kuhn, a co-worker writes: “Judy Benner, SCU, deserves special recognition for her tireless, unwavering support to all areas of the hospital during the busy blizzard weekend. Benner is always helpful, but on Saturday when the kitchen was short-staffed, Benner was down there helping out. She is always keen to get supplies, get food, help move patients, etc. Benner is truly one of the most efficient, helpful and courteous staff here at Pen Bay.”

Another one of Benner's co-workers had this to say: "Judy Benner truly is like the air traffic control coordinator for our unit. She is efficient and multitasks throughout the day to make sure things run smoothly for patients and staff alike. She seems to be one step ahead of any request and is always willing to help in any way possible to ensure that our patients and families receive excellent care.”

Benner's daily routine supports Pen Bay's motto of caring for the sick and injured and improving the health and quality of life for the people of Midcoast Maine. She is an exemplar of Excellence Always. Benner was totally surprised by her selection as Employee of the Month. She remarked, "It's the people that make the job pleasant — I love the people! It's easy to do my job with this crew. They are very supportive."

Benner lives in Waldoboro and is very close to her family, which includes two sons, five grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Pen Bay celebrated Benner's selection as Employee of the Month with a surprise party and numerous colleagues dropped in to congratulate her.