Education | Wayne County Community College District

Her name is Delreesa Lyons, and she is a single mother of five and a grandmother of two. Her story is one of thousands of single parents nationwide who are finding out that parenting, working full-time, and going to school at the same time is no easy feat. It is a full-time job, but Lyons, who is in her second semester in the WCCCD’s paramedic program, said she is up for the challenge.

Recently, Lyons was recognized for her contribution to patient care and well-being by the Henry Ford Health System in Wyandotte. While this recognition is typically reserved for employees who demonstrate excellence in service to patients, visitors, and fellow co-workers, Lyons earned this recognition as a student.

Brandon Young, Safety Officer, EMS and Emergency Preparedness Program Coordinator at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital (HFWH) and WCCCD, could not be more proud.  “The other week I received an A.W.E. card written to ‘Dell’ (Delreesa Lyons), and the patient had nothing but incredible praise for the young lady. She made a tremendous impact on that patient and their family,” Young says. “This is the first time ever that a student has received an A.W.E. card. Her action reflects HFWH, and we want to recognize that.”

Lyons said she was shocked to hear that she had been recognized, but her pride and dedication are evident in the glowing smile she wears every day. “When I talked with my children about receiving the Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital award, they were just as surprised as I was, and they continued to encourage me to pursue my goals and trust in my abilities,” she says.

These abilities are far-reaching, as Lyons works full-time as a patient care technician at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in the Surgery Preparation Center and take a full load of classes at WCCCD as a paramedic student. She admits that “balancing work life, school life, and parenting is extremely challenging.” She had worked locally in the healthcare field for 12 years before going back to school in 2015, and the change has not been without its sacrifices for both Lyons and her children.

In addition to work and keeping her grades up at school, Lyons remains committed to devoting time to her family. She claims that she has mastered the art of multitasking and remains committed to her children’s personal well-being and academic success while setting a great example for them. “We all do our school assignments or study as a family and run errands together in order to get family time,” she explains. “There is also time for fun, though. I carve out a block of time during the weekend and do something my children want because they also have made a sacrifice so that I may attend school.”

Lyons has demonstrated a commitment to teamwork that extends beyond her school assignments and job responsibilities. “I explained to my children over a year ago that I was returning to school and that we all would have to sacrifice what we want in exchange for what we need, and my children were very receptive,” she says.

Anthony Arminiak, president of the Downriver campus, which houses the program, says the paramedic program has consistently produced graduates that are knowledgeable in the assessment and management skills necessary to treat a wide variety of acute and life threatening situations. Yet he adds that “they are also adaptable and highly skilled at administering the appropriate treatments and operating the equipment necessary for life-saving efforts prior to arriving at a hospital.” Arminiak also serves as Chief Academic Officer and Provost for the Michigan Institute for Public Safety Education (MIPSE).

Commenting on Lyons’ award, Arminiak says, “Some of the most important skills and qualities to have as a paramedic are the most difficult to attempt to teach: compassion, empathy, and the ability to establish a rapport with patients.” Lyons has embodied these characteristics and represents the type of student that WCCCD strives to develop. Brandon Young affirms that Lyons is a “great reflection on WCCCD” and states that he is appreciative of “the time (the WCCCD EMT Program) spends developing students not just clinically but also professionally. Lyons’ passion and dedication both personally and professionally have not gone unnoticed.”


Wayne County Community College District Emergency Medical Technology student Delreesa Lyons Receives Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital Appreciating Wyandotte Employee Award.



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