The WellSpan Spotlight

Awards and recognitions

A passion for helping people: WellSpan team member honored for aiding veterans' survivors

A passion for helping people: WellSpan team member honored for aiding veterans' survivors

Amanda Stuber has always wanted to help people. From her previous position as a nursing assistant in the emergency department to her current role as a decedent affairs coordinator at WellSpan York Hospital, she looks out for the needs of her patients and their families.

Her dedication recently resulted in a commendation from the York County Department of Veterans Affairs, for her work to improve processes and create training to help beneficiaries of eligible military veterans qualify for benefits.

As decedent affairs coordinator, Amanda serves as a liaison to funeral directors, the York County Coroner, WellSpan nurses, providers, morgue staff, Horizon planning, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, York County Department of Veteran's Affairs, Gift of Life, and families.

She also ensures that providers have the correct information to complete death certificates.

The work that led to the recognition

When the Pennsylvania Department of Health changed its policy from paper to electronic death certificates, Amanda found some policy gaps which became a challenge for providers, she explained.

"I was getting a lot of questions and I wanted to understand the whys," she said.

Sometimes death certificates didn't include information about contributing factors from military exposure and they needed to be amended.

"For example, patients may have had conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, hypertension, asthma, or COPD," Amanda said. "These can be caused by exposure to Agent Orange, burn pits, and other toxic exposures in military service."

As a result, she researched WellSpan's current policies, compared them to state laws, and then created standard work to train providers. She also worked with the other WellSpan hospitals during the electronic transition process.

"Amanda has taken the initiative to develop training materials for providers to ensure consideration is given for any conditions resulting from military exposure," said Jennifer Boyd, director of patient access.

By doing so, beneficiaries of military veterans may qualify for benefits.

"The benefits to survivors can be significant, and these actions enhance our ability to maximize benefits for veterans and surviving family members," said Kevin L Smyers, who is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and is deputy director of the York County Department of Veterans Affairs.

The job is not finished

Not only does Amanda continue to work with the York County Department of Veteran Affairs but she also speaks to community groups so survivors can learn what to expect, Jennifer explained.

Amanda recently attended a grief support group event and the Voices for Hope banquet so that she could help expand grief resources for decedent families.

"I am happy her efforts haven't gone unnoticed by our community," Jennifer said. "I couldn't be prouder of the work she is doing for our patients' survivors and the work she does daily."

Amanda sees her work as a calling.

"I just have a passion for helping people, especially at this stage in life," she said. "If I can be the positive at someone's worst moment, I need to do it."