Former WERDCC employee and Vandalia resident Renee Goeppner, a current Unit Supervisor for the Ozark Correctional Center, was recently honored with the Missouri State Employee Award of Distinction signed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
She received the honor for her heroism at an event held in Jefferson City on May 28.
On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, Goeppner donated a kidney to her former co-worker, Chris Mattox.
Mattox has the genetic condition polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which has no cure.
She had went through extensive testing to discover she was a match and was eager to donate her kidney.
“Like I’ve told him all along, the world is a much better place with him in it,” Goeppner told The Vandalia Leader in a story published last October. “I did it for him and I did it for his daughter (who is in college.) I just wanted them to have a long, happy life together.”
Goeppner told The Vandalia Leader she was thankful she could help out her friend.
“I’d do it all again in a heartbeat, knowing it went so well and it helped him so much,” she said.
The write-up on her receiving the award said her “selfless act of heroism saved her co-workers life.”
Her courage earned her the Department’s Lifesaver Award.
Vandalia’s Edna Berry was reportedly also honored on May 28 as she received an award. Berry, an employee health nurse who served at both NECC and WERDCC, was named the November State Employee of the Month last year by the Center for Management and Professional Development in the Office of Adminstration’s Division of Personnel. She was recognized for providing vital immunizations to staff, which reduces the potential for transmitting extremeley contagious respiratory infection into the community. Her efforts were credited for departmental savings in the thousands of dollars range.
“I am proud to recognize Edna Berry’s initiative and considerable contributions to the Department of Corrections and she is a shining example of our most dedicated State employees,” Division of Personnel Director Nancy Johnston said in a story last November.