Beverly Youmans was shocked when she heard her name at a recent banquet.
She had just been named the latest Catherine McAuley Award winner for St. Joseph’s/Candler.
“I got chosen, but there’s others people who do the same thing at our center,” the Brooklet resident said. “God’s blessed me and let me take care of oncology patients.”
Youmans, manager of outpatient infusion at the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion in Savannah, has been with the St. Joseph’s/Candler system since 1988, but has worked as a registered nurse since 1978, serving in Effingham County and other hospitals.
The McAuley Award is presented annually to a co-worker who best exemplifies the mission and values of the health system. It is named in honor of Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in the 1800s in the hopes of bringing education, health care, social justice and spiritual guidance to those in need.
“Her mission was to provide care for the poor, sick and uneducated,” Youmans said. “This award is just really special to me because the Sisters of Mercy continue to be a presence in our hospital, and they set an example of how to care for people, patients and others.”
Agnes Cannella, the director of missions at St. Joseph’s/Candler, said that without hesitation, every person she spoke with at the hospital about Youmans during the time of narrowing down the nominees was enthusiastic about how deserving Youmans was of the award.
Cannella said she’s even known of patients who stop Youmans in the mall, saying things like, “It was because of you that I got through my treatment; you helped me walk through my journey.”
“She is an inspiration and a healing presence to people,” Cannella said. “She truly lives out our mission statement: ‘Rooted in God’s love, we treat illness and promote wellness for all people.’”
One of the nominations Youmans received stated, “Not only are the patients infused with medicine, they also appear to be infused with the love, goodness and great compassion that comes from Beverly, her staff and all services.”
Another wrote, “She is a very positive force in a place where many patients must face, pain, uncertainty, fear. Even though Beverly serves in this environment every day, she remains positive, smiling and hopeful.”
Youmans and her husband, Foy, are the parents of five children and have four grandchildren.