Judy Farris, Medical Support and Debbie Dahl (right), Employee Health Nurse encourage staff to get healthy with “water drinking challenge”.

Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman Oklahoma has named Debbie Dahl, MSN, RN “Facility Employee of the Year”.
Debbie has worked for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services since January 2014. Debbie is the Employee Health and Infection Prevention Nurse which oversees approximately 500 employees. She is also the manager of medical support and laboratory services.
Debbie was a high school science teacher for 10 years. She taught Biology and Environmental science at Moore High School before becoming a nurse.
“I was looking for something different to do with my biology degree, so I decided on nursing”
My best friend, Vickie Keeton, and my sister, Nancy Solomon, are both nurses.
I went to Kramer School of Nursing in the accelerated program. This program is for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree and seeking a second bachelor’s degree in Nursing. All of the professors were excellent in working with adult learners.
I worked 3 years in Orthopedic Nursing/ post op of knees, necks, hips and back surgeries.
While looking through the Nursing times paper, I saw an ad for “Master’s Degree Scholarships” from OBU. I applied and received the full tuition waiver for my master’s degree in Nursing Education. OBU has a great program for nurses returning for higher education degrees.
People are always asking me: “Do you miss teaching?” I reply: “I do not miss the high school classroom, but I am still a teacher. As a nurse we teach our patients and families every day”.
I love the culture at Griffin Hospital. All of the staff has such a great desire to help those with mental health disparities.
Griffin is a 120 bed acute care in-patient psychiatric hospital within the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Debbie teaches Smoking Cessation and Healthy Living classes twice a week to the patients in Griffin Hospital.
It is an honor to be named employee of the year, as each person at Griffin deserves this award.
Not only was Debbie named Employee of the year, the department she supervises was also named Griffins Department of the Year.
I love to be active in my job. Since coming to Griffin, I started a wellness program for employees. This includes a workout station to use during break time, the Biggest Loser contest and a Wednesday exercise class. I was recently able to secure a lactation room for employees. We now offer a blood drive twice a year for employees and families. Debbie has served for 2 years as the Treasure in the Epidemiologists and Professionals in Infection Control organization and was the past Treasure for Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing- Beta Delta Chapter.
My staff and I like to have fun at work. We dress up for holidays, OU football games, and Thunder games.
My daily motto is; “Do what you love and love what you do”.
Debbie is a member of the “City with a Little Country Cloggers”. We perform at nursing homes, festivals, and have clogged for the past 2 years for the Griffin Hospital Christmas party. The patients love to see their nurse in clogging shoes.
Dancing for others bring me such joy. When people hear I am a nurse, they are amazed that I can work all day and still dance after work. They ask: where do you get all of that energy?
Besides dancing, I also walk 3 miles a day and love to read books. My husband, Mike and I have been married 29 years. We have 2 children and 2 grandchildren who also keep me busy.