Dennis Hanlon, BSN, RN, EMSI, Paramedic, a shift supervisor in nursing administration at Mercy Health – Willard Hospital, holds his award for being the OHA Health Care Worker of the Year

OHA Health Care Worker of the Year Goes to Mercy Health Employee

Jun 13 2019

Mercy Health – Willard Hospital nursing administrator named OHA Health Care Worker of the Year

Dennis Hanlon, BSN, RN, EMSI, Paramedic, a shift supervisor in nursing administration at Mercy Health – Willard Hospital, was selected the winner of the Ohio Hospital Association’s Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year Award. The award is presented each year to one Ohio caregiver who personifies a leader, gives back to the community, reflects the mission and values of his or her organization and routinely goes beyond the call of duty.

Dennis was selected among 64 nominees from across the state, including 10 from Mercy Health hospitals. All of the nominees (listed at bottom) were honored at the OHA Recognition Dinner in Columbus on June 4.

Learn more about Dennis’ road to becoming OHA’s Health Care Worker of the Year in his nomination.

Dennis is a Great Leader

In Dennis’ 16 years working at Mercy Health – Willard he has held a variety of leadership roles. He has been an RN in the emergency department where he makes split second decisions that impact the direct outcome of the patient. Dennis has been an electronic medical record super-user, a mass casualty incident instructor, and a resource for the hospital Emergency Response Team.

Recognizing a need for a coordinated response between the hospital and EMS community, Dennis helped develop a trauma program at Mercy Health – Willard which assures a smooth transition of the patient form injury site to emergency department. In this role, he coordinates education to EMS and emergency department personnel. He abstracts trauma records from Defiance, Tiffin, and Willard emergency departments and enters them into Trauma Base which is an aggregate database that will make decisions that have a direct impact on traffic safety measures throughout the state. He is currently a shift supervisor overseeing the work that is done in the entire hospital. Dennis works as an EMS instructor at the Vanguard-Sentinel Career Center and EHOVE Career Center.

He Goes Beyond the Call of Duty

Going beyond what the community would expect Dennis to do is a regular occurrence. While maintaining a full-time position at Mercy Health – Willard Hospital he volunteers more than 100 hours each month at the Attica Venice Reed Fire District as a firefighter-paramedic. He has more than six years’ experience as a member of the dive team for the Seneca County Water Rescue Team. Dennis spends more than 50 hours every month as a member of the ECHO unit as a nationally registered paramedic.

He gives selflessly to the communities he serves. He is an educator, advocate, and resource to co-workers and the community. Dennis uses his paramedic experience to help the nurses at the hospital. At least once annually, he educates staff on vehicle extraction and floor evacuation. On multiple occasions, he has combined his skills as a paramedic and nurse to provide Mobile ICU transport to another facility to get a patient to the services needed. Dennis is continually looking for ways to improve the health care of the community that he serves.

He Reflects the Mission and Values of the Organization

Dennis’ sense of mission is his most notable achievement. He puts the needs of patients and others before his own. In 2018, Dennis made a mission trip to Haiti with six other Mercy Health – Willard employees. While at the orphanage Dennis devoted many hours helping to paint as well as spending several days helping build a deck and staircase off a second-floor building. One afternoon an ambulance arrived from a Port-a-Prince hospital with a newborn baby boy. Dennis administered CPR and other life-saving measures with inadequate supplies. The newborn baby passed despite the efforts made. Sister Diane Hay who accompanied Dennis on the trip noted, “The sunset that evening was one of the most beautiful I saw all week. It was like God was saying ‘Dennis you are a good and faithful servant and did your part for this little one. Now he is with me.’”

Dennis also lives his mission at home whether he is serving as a volunteer paramedic for Attica EMS over a hundred hours a month, serving on the Seneca County Water Rescue Team, or switches roles from an ED RN to a Transport nurse in efforts to help patients in need reach their destinations without delay.

Dennis Gives Back to the Community

He volunteers as a paramedic more than 100 hours every month at Attica Venice Reed Fire District. He has served countless numbers of hours covering home fires, car accidents, and disasters over the past 28 years. A few years ago, due to extensive rain, roads were flooded and closed. Dennis and his team received a 911 call for a car stranded in the middle of a flooded road. Upon arrival, they discovered a car submerged in water up to the windshield. Using his experience and education from his six years as a member of the Seneca County Water Rescue Team, Dennis tied a rope to himself and treaded the dangerous waters to save the young female driver who was stranded. He carried her out of harm’s way.

Ken Majors RN, NREMTP Director of Seneca County EMS noted, “Dennis Hanlon is one of a kind. He has such a simple approach to everything he faces and it serves him well.” In the community of emergency responders, Dennis is an educator and advocate for the quality of care provided to those people he serves in their time of need.


Here are other Mercy Health nominees for OHA’s 2019 Health Care Worker of the Year Award:

Vanessa Fitzpatrick: Mercy Health — Children’s Hospital

Stephanie Damman: Mercy Health — Defiance Hospital

Irvin DelValle: Mercy Health — Lorain Hospital

Kevin Griggs: Mercy Health — Springfield Regional Medical Center

Barbara Dianda-Martin: Mercy Health — St. Anne Hospital

Andrew Thompson: Mercy Health — St. Rita’s Medical Center

Jennifer Hill: Mercy Health — Tiffin Hospital

Elaine Dyar: Mercy Health — Urbana Hospital

Gina Murray: Mercy Health — West Hospital

Dennis Hanlon: Mercy Health — Willard Hospital


Mercy Health is beyond proud of Dennis and all of the nominees. We are grateful to have such amazing staff on our team to be the face of care for Mercy Health.

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