NEOSHO, Mo. — Helping patients and saving lives are goals that have kept a Neosho nurse at the top of her game for more than a decade.

“I knew in high school that I wanted to be a nurse. I had a heart for serving,” said Elisha Gillming, O.R. Supervisor.

Something that’s in her blood for Elisha Gillming. Her mom was also a nurse, and that helped jumpstart her career.

“It’s a great way to take care of people, help people, serve the community. Nursing has a wide variety of things you can do. You’ve got hospice care, you have school nurses, you’ve got people who are just working in the doctor’s offices. So it’s a great field to get your foot into and then from there you can decide what you want to do at that point,” said Gillming.

She started out as a postpartum nurse at Freeman West 14 years ago, but she moved over to the operating room just a few years later most recently serving as the Freeman Neosho OR Supervisor.

“The good thing about the O.R. is like, you know what exact steps you need to take, know that you’re gonna come in, you’re gonna make the bed up, you’re gonna get the patient on the table and get them ready, and then you’re always working as a team and the surgeons are right there beside you,” said Gillming.

That team focus played a crucial role in some of her most challenging times.

“When I went into nursing, I felt like God was calling me to something big and you know, we had the tornado right after I started and then we had this COVID, and those were both community life-changing events,” said Gillming.

Freeman Neosho Director of Nursing Anita Walden says Gillming is outstanding at what she does.

“She’s a great member of the leadership team but she’s a great patient advocate. And she is always looking for ways to expand patient services, um enhance patient care, um very patient-focused,” said Walden.

Gillming adds she loves her job, and she loves doing it at Freeman.

“I don’t think I would ever want to go anywhere else because everybody is a great team and a family and we all take care of each other,” said Gillming.