Debbie Daniel has lived in Hernando County since 1981 and married into an old Brooksville family. Her husband was a third generation Brooksvillian and now her grandson has started the fifth generation. She has worked at Bravera Health Brooksville when it was located near downtown and was simply Brooksville Regional Hospital. Now after forty-one years as a controller there, she’ll be retiring this month.
She doesn’t consider her employment a “job.” Debbie looks at it as an opportunity to “play a supporting role to a lot of very dedicated and talented caregivers.”
“Hopefully what I’ve done has supported them so that they can deliver great healthcare to our patients,” she continues.
Jennifer Siem, System Director of Marketing & Public Relations, affirms this when she says, “Debbie makes the business of the hospital work effectively so our clinicians can focus on taking care of our patients. Her kindness, dedication and base of knowledge will be missed. Debbie is one-of-a-kind!”
Even with the demanding duties of her career and raising two daughters she has managed to find time for volunteer work with her church and with the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville. Children are her passion and Debbie teaches Bible Study to the young people at her church−Brooksville Church of Christ.
Debbie is also a long-time member of the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville and is the out-going president of the group. Through this organization she is able to, again, express her passion for helping children. One of the club’s big annual events is the Christmas Parade that attracts dozens of floats. Debbie also works with the club on their annual Easter Egg hunt and with the scholarships that the club awards to graduating seniors. At the present time, she is involved with the Kiwanis Club’s major project, a joint venture with the city of Brooksville. The club has already donated $250,000 towards building a Splash Pad at Tom Varn Park.
“The most rewarding thing about working at the church and with the Kiwanis club is influencing and impacting the lives of children,” Debbie remarks.
One other important volunteer position in which she utilized the skills she had as an administrator in the healthcare field was serving on the board of the Nature Coast Community Health Center. This was the 501 c(3) entity that operated the Hernando County Health Department as a federally-qualified health center. Debbie did this for fifteen years.
Now that she is retiring, Debbie is planning on spending more time with her two daughters, sons-in-law, and her four grandchildren. Unfortunately, her husband will not be with her to enjoy this time. He passed away last year. Yet, Debbie is upbeat about her life, her family, her career and her retirement years. She plans to play a little golf, travel, spend time with her family and, of course, continue volunteering. In addition to what she already does, Debbie would like to work with elementary school children.
“I feel I’m luckier than most people because for forty-one years when I got out of bed and thought about coming to work, I felt excitement. It’s an incredible feeling looking forward to work every day. And for that I’m most grateful. Hopefully I’ve made a difference.”
Indeed, Debbie is just one of many local heroes who are making a difference in large and small ways.
For more information on the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville go to https://www.kiwanisclubofbrooksville.org/