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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2022 Health Care Champions Technician: LeeAnne Wallace

Select Specialty Hospital

Posted online

As lead radiologic technologist at Select Specialty Hospital-Springfield Inc., LeeAnne Wallace says her position has many layers.

Technologists are the main visual information collectors for “all of the ’ologists,’” she says, referring to radiologists, pulmonologists, cardiologists and nephrologists.

Wallace says the position aids in the diagnosing or staging of a disease, seeing a fracture or helping give the orthopedic surgeon “eyes” during intraoperative procedures via live fluoroscopy, which provides real-time X-ray imaging.

Wallace, who is both a registered radiologic and computerized tomography scan technologist, says radiology is sometimes undervalued.

“We are sometimes viewed as ‘button pushers,’” she says. “I am here to make sure that we are not just known but we are known for the quality and the technical factor that we provide. We are college educated. We are clinically educated. We are involved in patient care; it just looks different than other areas of a hospital or clinic.”

Wallace has worked since 2014 at Select Specialty Hospital, a 60-bed critical illness recovery facility that provides services for patients often dealing with infectious disease, neurologic conditions, brain injury and wound care.

She started her health care career in 1996 as a student technician with Mercy Hospital Springfield before moving on to CoxHealth in 2000, where she was a staff technologist for 14 years.

Upon receiving a bachelor’s in radiology from Missouri State University in 2001, Wallace says she became the first of her family to graduate from college. It’s her proudest professional accomplishment to date, she says.

“My parents have always encouraged me to follow my passions and ‘do better’ than they did,” she says. “My bachelor of science diploma proudly hangs on the wall in my office at work.”

Lisa Hallam, interim chief nursing officer at Select Specialty Hospital, has worked with Wallace the past three years as her supervisor. She says Wallace puts the needs and goals of her patients and team members above her own.

“Clinically, LeeAnne is one of the most skilled technologists I have worked beside,” Hallam says of her 32-year nursing career. “She covers a 60-bed hospital as a solo technologist. She also maintains a call schedule that many would run away from.”

Hallam says Wallace also is a patient advocate and keeps them and their families updated, responding to all their needs.

“She is a natural leader, and I have watched her be resourceful and overcome obstacles over the past three years that many others would have failed at achieving during this pandemic,” Hallam says.

Wallace says it’s not always easy to be a patient advocate as emotions run high when family members see things differently from hospital staff regarding their loved one’s care.

“I feel as though I am making a difference by letting them know that I am here for them,” she says.

Outside of the hospital, Wallace volunteers at the Springfield Dream Center, as well as North Point Church, where she attends services. She also donates time and cooking skills to homeless shelter Veterans Coming Home Center.

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