Christus announces ambulance upgrades

Christus Health has upgraded all its ground ambulance units serving the 12-county area with new life-saving technology, the health system announced.

“The addition of these new devices in every unit is a big win for our patients, associates and our mission,” said Shawn Salter, chief administrative officer for Christus EMS. “I am so very appreciative of the cities and counties that have chosen us as the EMS provider of choice. These new technologies are just another way to show our commitment to providing the best health care for those in need.”

The new equipment, which includes ventilators and chest compression devices, has been installed on all 30 ambulances and five licensed back-up units that serve 25 communities in 12 counties, ranging from as far south as Bullard, west through Wills Point, north through Winnsboro and east through Jefferson.

The Zoil Z “Vent” mechanical ventilator allows crews to provide mechanical ventilation for patients ranging from infants to adults, according to Christus. It allows both non-invasive (face mask) and invasive (breathing tube) options for ventilation.

A Debfibtech Lifeline ARM-CPR chest compression device, commonly referred to as an automated chest compression device, provides the chest compression portion of CPR and does so with precision without the variability experienced when conducted by humans, according to Christus.

Austin Bank announces promotions

The Austin Bank board of directors approved two employee promotions this month.

Lynnette Martin was named vice president and retail office manager. Martin began her career at East Texas Professional Credit Union before working as the branch manager for Regions Bank in Longview. With 30 years administrative and bank management experience, Martin joined Austin Bank in 2009 as retail office manager of the Longview Loop location and promoted to assistant vice president in 2017.

Martin will now serve as the retail office manager for the bank’s Longview Oak Forest and Bar K locations.

Karson Noe was promoted to retail office manager at the bank’s Longview office at 308 E. Loop 281. Noe joined the Austin Bank team in the Gladewater office as a teller in 2016. In 2018, she was promoted to the teller operations supervisor of the Longview loop location and moved into the customer service representative role in 2021. With her current promotion, Noe now oversees retail operations.

Employees recognized at Austin bank

Austin Bank recently honored employees for their outstanding work and years of service with the company. They were recognized at the bank’s 2022 Service Award Luncheon held Dec. 15 at Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler.

“We are proud of all these employees because they work as a team serving our friends, neighbors and businesses located here in East Texas,” said Austin Bank Chairman Jeff Austin III. “They are the key to our bank’s success. Each one takes pride in the tasks they handle in their job; and at the same time these employees continually strive to provide excellent service to our bank customers.”

This year’s annual luncheon honored a group of 63 employees with a combined total of 837 years of experience. Longview recipients include:

Thirty-Five Year Service Award: Jason Petersen, senior executive vice president/chief lending officer, has worked his way through the ranks at the bank in his 35-year tenure. He is a graduate of Hallsville High School and Stephen F. Austin State University, having also completed the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University, Texas Bankers Association Management Development program, Senior Lending Officer program and Banking on the Leaders of Tomorrow.

Thirty Year Service Award: Linda Stewart, overdraft manager, works from the bank’s Longview Greggton office. With more than 40 years of banking experience, she has worked in the credit/note department, as a loan assistant, cash flow manager, credit card processor, loan processing, and in new accounts.

Twenty-Five Year Service Award: Sharon Denton is a vice president/relationship manager in the bank’s Longview Greggton office. She has more than 33 years of banking service with experience in customer service, loan administration and the special assets division. Denton is a graduate of Sabine High School and Kilgore Junior College. Denton has two sons and is a resident of White Oak where she is active in the community. She is a board member of “Because I Care” marrow donor recruitment group; previous board member and area chairman for Gregg County Ducks Unlimited; and she assists with the Combat Warrior benefit auction every year. In addition, Keenan Martin also was awarded a Twenty-Five Year Service Award. Martin serves as senior vice president and loan review officer for Austin Bank. He completed the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University and is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist.

Fifteen Year Service Award: Rhonda McKnight, retail office manager at the bank’s Longview Pine Tree location, has 15 years of service to Austin Bank, serving in positions such as teller operations supervisor and teller trainer. Prior to that, she worked for White Oak State Bank for 15 years. In addition, Shannon Seay also was given a Fifteen Year Service Award. Seay is senior vice president/loan servicing and special assets manager and has been with Austin Bank for 15 years, with a total of 20 years in the banking industry. She has completed the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University and Austin Bank’s Leadership, Community Bankers Lending School, and STAR programs.

Ten Year Service Award: Austin Bank recognized three employees with a Ten Year Service Awarded. Brett Carre works in the bank’s Longview Greggton office as the telephone customer service manager. Staci Lacy, assistant vice president and loan review/compliance analyst, joined Austin Bank in 2012. Since then, she has held several positions such as teller, loan operations administrative assistant, and real estate valuation specialist. She also has completed the Texas Bankers Association Compliance School. Laney Prickett works in the bank’s Longview Bar-K office as a teller operations supervisor and customer service representative. She originally joined the bank in 2012 as a teller at the Longview Oak Forest location. She has completed the Austin Bank Leadership Program.

Five Year Service Award: Austin Bank recognized three employees with a Five Year Service Award. Dan Droege, senior vice president/relationship manager, joined the bank in 2017 and has more than 38 years of banking experience. Before coming to Austin Bank, Droege was the president of First Bank & Trust East Texas, president of Regions Bank, and executive vice president of Longview National Bank. Droege has completed The University of Oklahoma’s National Commercial Lending School and Southern Methodist University’s Southwestern Graduate School of Banking. Hailey Macedo, loan assistant, began her career at Austin Bank as a teller in 2017. In her tenure, she also has worked in the bookkeeping department and customer service. John Ory, senior executive vice president/chief operations officer, joined the bank in 2017 bringing with him more than 20 years of banking experience. His previous experience included roles as chief financial officer/chief operating officer of Community National Bank and chief operating officer for NexBank. He is a graduate of Southwestern Graduate School of Banking. Ory serves as the chairman of ePayResources and president of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking Alumni Association.

Doctor selected for UT academy

Dr. Patti B. Olusola, an associate professor of family medicine and family medicine practicing physician at the UT Tyler Health Science Center, has been selected as a member of The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine, M.D. Academy of Health Science Education.

The Shine Academy’s mission is to serve the UT System through the support and promotion of excellence in all aspects of health science education, educational scholarship and leadership. It is a working service academy and honorific body that recognizes 16 faculty candidates in the UT System who embody its dedication to health science education.

Olusola also was awarded the UT Medical Branch Dr. Wiley Roosth Endowed Teaching Award in 2021, which is reserved for the top community physician who served as a preceptor for UTMB medical students during their clinical rotations. She completed her family medicine residency at the UT Tyler Health Science Center and has remained there for more than 22 years.

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