Jul. 9—ANDERSON — After 45 years, the time simply was right for Holly Renz.
Renz, who has served as program director of Community Hospital Anderson's sexual assault treatment center since its opening in 2003, will work her last day Friday, capping a career marked by achievement, innovation and the admiration of her peers.
"It's time for me to pass the baton and to allow somebody else to have an opportunity to work here, too," Renz said. "This job defined me as a person. I've been a nurse most of my life, and it really does define the person you are. I'm going to miss that."
Two years ago, Renz received the Torchbearer Award from the Indiana Commission for Women, given to those who "have been pioneers throughout their lives or who have stepped forward as leaders by breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles." She has been named an Athena award recipient (2008) and The Herald Bulletin's Person of the Year (2004), and she's served on numerous boards and task forces at the local, state and national levels.
In 2016, then-Gov. Mike Pence appointed her to serve on the state's Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Standards and Certification Board.
"Holly's dedication to our patients and this community is clear," said Beth Tharp, president and CEO of Community Hospital Anderson. "She has been instrumental in several of our hospital's life-saving programs, including getting AEDs (automated external defibrillators) into the community and getting Narcan to our police officers. Our sexual assault treatment program has provided hope and healing to so many, and Holly's leadership made that possible."
Renz recently reflected on her work over the past four-and-a-half decades, and her thoughts kept returning to the patients she has cared for through the years, as well as her efforts with the sexual assault treatment center.
"I want it to continue, and I want it to thrive," she said. "We know that there are victims out there right now who choose not to report, and we want to have a place for them to come that is safe and secure and a place that they know that they can receive the treatment that they need, the resources they need."
Her work with Madison County's SAVES program — of which she has been director since 2002 — was also noted by her co-workers.
"SAVES is a (Community Hospital Anderson) Foundation program that has placed 165 automated external defibrillators in the community, with life-saving results," said Tom Bannon, vice president of community engagement and chief foundation officer at the hospital. "I want to thank Holly for her commitment to our programs and wish her all the best in her retirement."
Renz, who is also a member of the Anderson Community Schools board, said she and her husband have plenty of plans to stay busy in retirement. She will continue to consult with the sexual assault treatment center and will consider serving on boards and committees that interest her as opportunities present themselves.
"With the COVID restrictions being lifted, it'll be nice to be able to travel," she said. "Just not having a schedule is going to be nice. I will be here occasionally, just on my terms and when I'm not busy. I'm looking forward to just being with my husband because we haven't had that luxury. It's going to be an interesting ride."
Follow Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or call 765-640-4809.