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Ira Fay Tremmel honored for 30 years of service with Merit Health

Ira Fay Tremmel thought she’d go to work at Merit Health in Biloxi on Aug. 3 and spend the day, like she does most others, fulfilling her role as the employee health nurse.

Instead, friends and family surprised the 46-year medical professional with a celebration to mark her 30th anniversary at Merit Health. Initially, Tremmel thought the fete just consisted of cake and photos in the breakroom until Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich showed up with a proclamation and declared it was “Ira Fay Day.”

“I’ve been so happy and so blessed,” Tremmel says of her career. “I told my children, ‘I don’t care if you’re a ditch digger, as long as you’re happy and doing it.’ I guess I knew I wanted to do something in health care, and I fell in the right way.”

The proclamation declared Tremmel a superb nurse and excellent contributor with the highest level of professionalism.

“Patients in her care immediately recognize their caregiver really cares about them and what happens to them,” Gilich said of his childhood friend. Tremmel and Gilich have known each other since the 1960s.

“We grew up together, literally,” Gilich said. “I graduated in 1965. She graduated in 1967. We were all roller skating together.”

Tremmel also has served as an emergency room nurse and director at Merit Health Biloxi. She has won numerous awards, including Nurse of the Year in 1997 and 2003.

She showed her loyalty and dedication to the community and her healthcare career by staying in town to help during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She also has worked throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic.

And she’s not stopping there. Tremmel does not plan to ever truly retire. She said she wants to volunteer in the health care field once her nursing career ends and continue to help people.

Written by Cherie Ward

Cherie Ward is an award-winning writer and journalist from Ocean Springs, Miss.
Connect with her by email at or find her @cherieward on Instagram.

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