Health Victories

SHINE Award for May 2024: MICU

Written by Natalie Walters

At the heart of Wellstar MCG Health is a symbol of unwavering commitment to care and compassion—the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). With 24 beds dedicated to adult pulmonary critical care, the MICU serves as a stronghold of healing for individuals confronting the most severe medical challenges.

Within these walls, a devoted team confronts a spectrum of conditions, including respiratory failure, septic shock, organ failure and chronic critical illness. Each day, the responsibility of restoring health and hope to patients is embraced with steadfast determination, with the team navigating the complexities of critical care with unwavering dedication.

What truly sets the MICU apart is the dynamic multidisciplinary team, which is comprised of physicians, nurses, patient care technicians, unit clerks, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, pastoral care providers and various specialists. They seamlessly collaborate to provide comprehensive and personalized care. Their commitment to quality care is unparalleled, reflected in the numerous DAISY awards and critical care certifications earned by staff members.

In the MICU, commitment to innovation and patient-centered care shines through in every aspect of the team’s approach. Advanced medical technology is integrated into practices, allowing optimization of treatment outcomes, while implementing progressive mobility initiatives to enhance patient recovery. Comprehensive palliative consultations are provided, ensuring that patients and families receive compassionate support during challenging times. As the front-line for nurse-driven protocols, the team fosters a culture of innovation and empowerment, where every member contributes to refining and implementing best practices. The MICU also specializes in emerging pathogens, putting them at the forefront of infectious disease management and ensuring they can achieve the highest standard of patient safety and care.

For MICU, teamwork isn’t just a concept; it’s a way of life. Each success is celebrated, and support is offered through every challenge because they know that collective strength is the cornerstone of exceptional patient care. The team demonstrates unparalleled dedication, responding swiftly to code blues and rapid response calls and ensuring that every patient receives expert care during critical moments.

Two Award recipients will receive preferential parking for one month in the Harper Street garage: Daniel Texidor-Cruz and Shaquita Howard.

Join us in recognizing the extraordinary teamwork exemplified by the Medical ICU at Wellstar MCG Health. Together, lives are transformed, and the future of critical care is shaped.

Meet Our Staff

Rachel Lloyd

I am an experienced RN with almost 20 years of service at Wellstar MCG Health. I provided compassionate care to critically ill patients in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) for 16 years before transitioning to my current role as assistant nurse manager for both the MICU and the sixth-floor Intermediate Medical Care Unit (6IMCU).

I am grateful to work alongside a fantastic team of nurses, unit clerks, patient care technicians, physicians, APPs, respiratory therapists, care coordinators, as well as our environmental service team and pastoral care. Their unwavering commitment to our patients inspires me every day, and I am proud to be part of such an exceptional team.

Outside of work, I enjoy reading, traveling and live music. My greatest happiness comes from sharing experiences with my family, friends and beloved dog, Dexter. Also, I firmly believe in the power of kindness and am deeply passionate about spreading positivity.

Anna Long

I’ve been an RN at Wellstar MCG Health since 2016. After completing my nursing school practicum in MICU, I knew this was where I wanted to work. I’ve served as one of the Assistant Nurse Managers for MICU and 6IMC for the last two years. When I’m not at work, I enjoy visiting local coffee shops, watching the Green Jackets, playing board games or learning a new skill.

Getting to be part of the MICU team has been such an amazing experience. The nurses, physicians, techs, clerks, social workers, PTs, OTs, and STs work so well together and ensure patients receive the best possible care. I love getting to work with everyone because they make even the most challenging shifts better. I’m so grateful for our crew – they really are the best!!

Nicole Sela

I’m the clinical outcomes manager for the MICU and have been in this position since July 2023. I’m married to my husband, Cameron, and we have four dogs together: Raider, Zoe, Poppy and Theo. Outside of nursing, I love to read and travel!



Christy Forehand

I’m a critical care pharmacist in the Medical ICU at Wellstar MCG Health and the program director for the PGY2 Critical Care Pharmacy Residency. I received my Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy and completed a PGY1 and PGY2 Critical Care Residency at Wellstar MCG Health. My clinical research and scholarship interests include infectious diseases, critical care pharmacy practice advancement, medication safety, electrolyte disorders, continuous renal replacement therapies and post-graduate pharmacy residency training. I’m involved in several professional organizations, including the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS), Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists (GSHP) and Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

Kelli Keats

I’m one of our two MICU clinical pharmacists. I’ve been in the MICU for almost three years, and I absolutely love my job and the people I work with. I’ve recently been very into gardening with my fiancé. We have two dogs and are very happy to call Augusta home.


Robert Knox, Jr.

I first began serving in the hospital in September 2013 as an on-call chaplain. Then, in 2022, I became a full-time member of the Spiritual Care Department with a combined total of eleven years of service. I enjoy my work immensely and have had the opportunity to meet so many people over the years. Many of my encounters as a spiritual care practitioner have been with patients, families and staff during extremely challenging and traumatic times. It’s a wonderful thing to have chaplains on staff, including community spiritual care partners, to provide meaningful spiritual and emotional care to people who need it during extremely difficult times. As a Father, I have two adult children, Rylee and Robert III. I enjoy spending time with them while traveling, shopping and eating some of the best food around. In my spare time, I enjoy working in my yard and watching a few older sitcoms from the 70’s. It is a great honor that I have been nominated for the Shine Award, along with the MICU unit, here at Wellstar MCG Health.

Anne McElroy Hooper

I’ve been a social worker at Wellstar MCG Health for one year. I’m from Michigan – Go Blue! My family and I moved to Augusta after my wife, Kellie, earned her doctorate at UGA ( Go Dawgs!) and took a dean position at Augusta Tech. We have two sons (10 years old and 20 years old). Our oldest is a police officer for Augusta University. We love watching our teams win in the fall and spending time at the pool or beach in the summer.


Rose Jean

I’m a new Georgia resident, and this is my first year in this position. I was born in Haiti and moved to the U.S. when I was 15. I’ve lived here ever since. I have an adult son, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, Autumn (18) and AJ (four months). In my free time, I enjoy cooking, fishing, and spending time with my family. I love working at AU for the EVS department.


Gayle Elliott

My name is Sharon Elliott, but everyone knows me by Gayle (middle name). I’ve been an administrative assistant for nearly eight years for MICU and 6IMC. I work for the best units in the hospital, and our staff is awesome, providing the best care you can get! I’ve been married to my best friend, Chuck, for 44 years. We have two daughters and three grandchildren. Both of my daughters are respiratory therapists, and I’ve had the joy of working with them here. I love yard work and gardening, so Chuck helps with the cooking (he’s a better cook) and housework to balance it out.

Dr. Sameena Salcin

I’m a second-year pulmonary/critical care fellow. I’m originally from Atlanta and have been at Wellstar MCG Health for almost two years. I am married with no kids. My husband and I just celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary! I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling and getting outdoors!


Paula Wright

I’ve been a nurse practitioner and member of the MICU team through pulmonary medicine for almost three years (this July). I am a mother of three, with an 11-year-old daughter and 10-year-old twin almost boys. I enjoy spending time outside watching the kids play sports, taking them camping/swimming, gardening, reading and occasionally, sewing.


Shaquita Howard

Early in life, I watched my family members work in the medical field, and it encouraged me. After my grandmother got sick, I offered to take responsibility to help take care of her. I am confident that the skills and knowledge I have acquired have been instrumental in shaping me into a competent and dedicated healthcare professional. Throughout my career, I have received consistent, positive feedback from patients, their families, and fellow co-workers, which has strengthened my commitment to delivering quality healthcare service. I am so proud to deliver high-quality healthcare services to my patients and their families.

Denika Allen

I was born in Greenville, S.C. but was raised and currently live in the Augusta/North Augusta area. I’ve worked as a unit clerk in the Medical Intensive Care Unit since 2011. I’m a mother of five children and enjoy spending time with family and friends. Some of my pastimes include growing plants, arts and crafts and reading or listening to audiobooks.


Morgan Matthews Luder

I came from the Intermediate unit to MICU in 2020 and have been working p.m. shifts since. My husband and I have been married since 2021 and just finished building our first home together. We moved in this past month and love spending time gardening/landscaping and making a house into a home. I am so honored to receive the SHINE award. Thank you so much!


Kelli Holder

I’ve been a MICU nurse for more than 25 years. My husband, Rodney, and I have been married for 23 years and are blessed with two boys. Tj is a junior at Georgia Southern majoring in construction management, and Will is a junior at Harlem High School. I love being a nurse, and I thank God for my MICU family! I am honored to be nominated for this award!


Megan Collman Barmore

I work in the MICU as an RN. I have worked in MICU for over four years now. I recently got married in November and in my free time, I love spending time with my husband, Walker, and our dog, Nala!


Daniel Texidor-Cruz

Serving as a registered nurse in the MICU for the past two years, I am deeply committed to providing compassionate, expert care to each of my patients. I’m married to Karis, an ambitious Ph.D. student in chemistry at Augusta University. We have a vibrant four-year-old daughter, Clara. My personal pursuits include a passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, where I hold a purple belt. Additionally, I cherish the joys of fatherhood and find great pleasure in cooking and baking.

Sydney Williams

I am 26 years old, and this June will mark four years that I’ve been working in the MICU. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family. My puppy, Sophia, is the light of my life!


Katy Moncrief

I’ve been a staff nurse in the MICU since 2015. I’ve been happily married for going on seven years and have two beautiful (and sassy) daughters, who are three-years-old and five-years-old, so life is always chaotic. On my off days, you can most likely find me curled up reading a book or spending as much time as possible with my family.

Theresa Filart

I’m a registered nurse with 12 years of experience. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of serving in various ICU settings, both in my home country, the Philippines, and abroad in England. Currently, I am happily working at the Medical ICU. Being a nurse and serving others is something I truly value, and my journey thus far has been a rewarding experience. 

Recently, I’ve embarked on a new adventure as a mother. Welcoming my little one into the world has brought immense joy and a new sense of purpose into my life. Navigating the responsibilities of motherhood with my career has its challenges, but it’s a journey I embrace wholeheartedly. 

During quiet moments, I often immerse myself in books and tidying the house. There’s something about order and cleanliness that helps me think clearly and stay focused. Taking leisurely walks is another way I clear my mind and sort through my thoughts and emotions. I find that amidst the busyness of life, these moments of reflection are essential for maintaining balance and finding clarity. 

As I continue to navigate the beautiful chaos of motherhood and the challenges of my nursing career, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities and blessings that come my way. With each passing day, I strive to make a positive impact, both in my family’s life and in the lives of those I care for. 

Also Recognized:

Morgan McClendon, Theresa Filart, Micheal Ingalls, Sandra Clay, and Dr. Curran Dalal