October 16, 2013
Faces of Fauquier: Dad’s example led to new career
Volunteering with the Warrenton fire company and the Red Cross led to Colleen Shanney’s job in the Fauquier Hospital emergency department.
I am empowered to escort a family to their loved ones and share a smile. It allows us to do the simple, yet important things to make sure people are comfortable.
As a clinical technician in the emergency department at Fauquier Hospital, Colleen Shanney treats patients like family.
Described as a vibrant employee, Ms. Shanney received the 2012 Planetree “Giver of the Year” award at the hospital for her focus on patient-centered care.
“As a Planetree facility, I am empowered to escort a family to their loved ones and share a smile. It allows us to do the simple, yet important things to make sure people are comfortable,” she explained.
Inspired by her father to get involved in her community, she began volunteering with the former Fauquier chapter of the American Red Cross and with the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co. After years as a Fauquier Bank employee, Ms. Shanney decided to switch careers after realizing she has a knack for helping people in emergency situations.
She appreciates Warrenton’s friendly nature and compares it to Mayberry of the “Andy Griffith Show.”
Clinical technician in the emergency department at Fauquier Hospital for 5½ years. I’m part of the nursing team. I provide direct patient care in the emergency department¬, such as taking their temperature, doing blood work, comforting them, etc. I’ve been a volunteer paramedic/firefighter with the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Company for 12 years.
• Why you do the job?
I came into the medical field in my late 40s. Before that, I worked at The Fauquier Bank in the wealth management department. I volunteered with the Red Cross and the Warrenton fire department and I loved it. Working at the hospital really brought everything into full circle for me, because I see the people who would come to the bank when I worked there and now I help them here at the hospital.
Three grown stepsons, John, Jason and Michael; niece, Sarah, and a grandnephew, Evan.
Paramedic certification from Northern Virginia Community College, 2005. Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calf., 1976.
• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of Mount Morris Baptist Church in Hume. Treasurer on the board of directors at the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
For 20 years, since 1993.
• Why do you live here?
We found Fauquier by accident. My husband was hired by IBM in Manassas and we found a property here we really liked. What really hooked me was while attending a Memorial Day Parade in Old Town (Warrenton), a man I didn’t even know asked us if we wanted to have lunch at the armory. I said, “We have moved to Mayberry.”
• How do you describe this county?
Warrenton is a very warm, friendly town. It feels like home. People are polite and nice.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I would like to see more balance between business and residential areas. I also want to see the agricultural livelihood preserved.
• What do you do for fun?
I love to travel, spend time with my friends. I like to read. I like to ride motorcycles, Harley Davidsons, but I don’t anymore.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
It’s hard to say because every part of the county has its own distinct beauty. When you drive through it, you can see it is beautiful — from the rolling hills of farmland in the southern end to the beauty of the mountains in the northern end.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
We are seeing growth and I would like to see that balanced. People are discovering the beauty and friendliness of the county.
• Favorite TV show?
“The Andy Griffith Show”
• Favorite movie?
“Gone with the Wind”
• Favorite book?
“Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry
• Favorite vacation spot?
The Outer Banks
• Favorite food?
Seafood, especially lobster.
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
“Treat your family like guests and your guests like family.” A priest named Father Tim told me that in 1968. I apply that working here at the hospital and treat patients like family.
• Who’s your hero and why?
My dad is my hero, because he was very caring, but very quiet about it. The last 10 years of his retried life he dedicated to public service with the Red Cross and feeding the homeless. He encouraged me to be community-oriented.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I would obviously pay off my bills first and then the second thing I would do is take my family to Ireland. Then, I would invest the rest.
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