Columbia VA Health Care System
February 3, 2017PRESS RELEASE
Date: February 3, 2017
Release Number: 201702-02-03
Boundless energy and optimism forever constant in employee and her career
by Jennifer Scales / Dorn VAMC Public Affairs
No one enjoys getting shots. But there is one in the midst of the staff and Veterans of William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center who likes to give them, if only to make sure that everyone stays as healthy as possible when flu season begins.
Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program Manager, Heather Roth, has been on the warpath against the flu virus for the 2016-2017 season. From donning her caped crusader attire as Flu-zilla or speaking one-to-one with staff and Veterans, Roth has worked tirelessly to reach a goal for everyone to be immunized against the flu virus.
Even when not working on her flu campaign, Roth is one to be admired by fellow co-workers and Veterans alike.
“She is an excellent person and is always helpful,” Danny Davis, retired Army Veteran said.
Blue Team social worker Heather Alexander also commented on her relationship with Roth. “She was one of the first persons I met when I began working here and her level of enthusiasm is contagious. She is outgoing, yet gracious. Plus we share a common interest in tennis. I have never, ever seen her have a bad day.”
Nursing is in the bloodline for Roth. Both grandmother, Carol Reed, and great grandmother, Maye Thomas, were nurses. Kathy Cooper, her mother has been a Neo-Natal Intensive Care Nurse. The Veteran link comes in the form of her brothers. Andy, is an Air Force Veteran while Eric serves as an Army Veteran.
Roth’s and her wife Shelby are transplants from the Northeast. “Shelby, who was an attorney in Washington, D.C., got the opportunity to come to the area nine years ago, and we have been here ever since,” Roth said. Of course, their cats Addison and Sophia round out the family.
Baltimore is really where her origins lie, even though she has done tons of overseas travel. After high school graduation from Randallstown High School, Roth attended Elon College in Elon, N.C. where she received Political Science and Public Administration degrees. She furthered her career at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
While overseas in the areas of Haiti, Peru, Bolivian, Kenya and London, Roth was involved in public health research. “It is amazing the spirit the persons that we helped had,” Roth said. “In the face of the diseases they faced, such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and other tropical diseases that were killing them by them by the thousands, their spirits remained positive.”
Having lived in England for a time, Roth and her wife enjoy taking vacations in such places as Turkey, Greece, Croatia, and Montenegro.
But while remaining in the comforts of the local area, Roth enjoys playing tennis and watching Independent movies, especially those that have been rated for an Oscar.
“Oh yes, I also love USC tennis, USC women’s baseball and of course the Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles!,” Roth added.
There are a group of Veterans that Roth has taken a special liking to though…Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
“As a Home Health Nurse, I would go to their home residence to see them for the required visit,” Roth begins. “They are so young…and though they have injuries, some visible, some not, they have so much hope. I connected with them and respect them for the awesome sacrifices they, and all Veterans have made.”
Gloria Neumann, Health Behavior Coordinator, rounds out the accolades for Roth. “She has this boundless energy and a passion for what she does,” Neumann said. “She is truly dedicated to taking care of Veterans and employees and ensuring they get the health information they may need.”
(MEDIA NOTE: Photos are available upon request.)