The passing of Anthony Keene, DO, has had a profound effect on his friends and coworkers at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC). Dr. Keene, who worked in PMC’s Emergency Room (ER) since 2008, died in a motorcycle crash on Route 680 in Floyd County on Aug. 2.
In addition to being a highly competent, caring and compassionate physician, he is being remembered for his friendship, his ability to mentor, his sense of humor and his adventurous spirit, among other endearing qualities.
“Dr. Keene wasn’t just a great ER doctor, he was a great friend – a friend to everyone he worked with,” said Emergency Services Director Jenny Buck, RN. “He lived life to the fullest. I know my staff will miss him dearly. They would say, ‘We are in code purple [10 or more patients in ER waiting area] but it’s all good, Keene is here now.’ He always had a hug for you when he saw you. I pray I can comfort my staff through these hard times.”
ER Shift Supervisor Callie McCoy, RN, worked closely with Dr. Keene on the night shift.
She said, “When I’d meet with the staff on nights he worked, I’d tell them, ‘We’re going to be fine. Dr. Keene is here.’ You could always depend on him. He was an excellent physician. He always had that infectious smile on his face. It’s going to be hard without him.”
Known as “Keene” by many of his coworkers, he helped others grow professionally and on a personal level. April Adkins, RN, shift supervisor, and Dr. Keene began working in the ER around the same time.
“Keene and I worked together for the past seven years, and me as a nurse – most of it is attributed to him,” she said. “He taught you things. He recognized that we were a team and he cared about us. He went above and beyond to take care of the patients.”
ER Shift Supervisor Coty Mullins, RN, also learned from Dr. Keene.
“Keene was more than a coworker; he was a close friend and mentor,” said Mullins. “He had my back from day one, inside and outside of work. His sympathy and love for caring for others will live through those he has left behind. He is irreplaceable and missed by us all.”
Emergency Services Clinical Manager Chris Whitt, RN, added, “Dr. Keene was not just a coworker, he was a friend. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. His absence will be felt in both the hospital and the community for many years to come.”
Dr. Keene shared his enthusiasm for the outdoors with close friend AJ Ison, RN, ER shift supervisor. They went on numerous fishing trips together and Dr. Keene introduced Ison to hunting.
“He took me deer hunting,” Ison said. “He always pushed me to start hunting because I never had. He took me and got me started on it, and I loved it.”
Ison said the ER staff is a tight-knit group.
“We’re not just coworkers,” he remarked. “We’re family…I lost a brother.”
Michelle Rainey, BSN, assistant chief nursing officer and senior assistant vice president, worked with Dr. Keene during his entire career at PMC.
“He was a great doctor, a great friend and a great asset to this community and to the hospital, said Rainey. “He will be truly missed.”
Dr. Keene had a large presence with his positive demeanor and sense of humor.
“Keene had the most infectious smile,” Adkins said. “He could make every day a happy day just with his attitude and with his sense of humor. He was a jokester. He was always pulling pranks. He was infectious. He was someone you wanted to be around. He’s left a void in the community, the hospital and most of all, the hearts of all of us who work in the Emergency Room.”
In addition to forming friendships with staff, Dr. Keene was also well liked and respected by his fellow physicians. John Fleming, DO, assistant director of Emergency Services, will miss his colleague and friend.
“I do not have the words to describe the emotions I feel with the loss of Dr. Anthony Keene,” he said. “He has been a great friend for many years. I have worked alongside of him in the Emergency Department for seven years now. I have heard countless stories of the lives he has saved and so many more stories of the lives he has touched while working in our ER. Pikeville Medical Center and our community have suffered a great loss with his passing. He was a very talented and intelligent man. He was a fun loving and adventurous person, living each day to the fullest. He will be missed.”
PMC Chief of Staff Aaron Crum, MD, said, “Dr. Keene was truly an excellent physician and a close friend. His compassionate care of patients in the Emergency Room and the close relationships he developed with his coworkers is well known in the community. Anthony was a close personal friend of my family and we will miss his youthful spirit and pursuit of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”
Hospital employees have been wearing black ribbons over their hearts that they created to honor Dr. Keene.
“We wanted to remember him because he’s very special to all of us,” McCoy said. “He was an excellent doctor. This is our way to pay tribute to him and all he did for us and the ER.”
PMC President/CEO Walter E. May said Dr. Keene touched numerous lives and will be missed.
“In the seven years he worked in the Emergency Department, he had a big impact on the lives of patients and his co-workers,” stated May. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues.”
Dr. Keene’s funeral services were held today in Oakwood, Va.
Dr. Anthony Paul Keene
Dr. Anthony Paul Keene, 39 years of age, of Pikeville, passed away Sunday, Aug. 2, from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
Born March 12, 1976 in Richlands, Va., he was the son of Veronica Jean (Vicky) Stacy Keene of Grundy, Va., and the late Joseph (Joe) Keene, who passed away Feb. 7, 2006.
Anthony was a 1994 graduate of Grundy Senior High School and a 1998 graduate of Clinch Valley College of UVa.-Wise in Wise, Va., where he received his Bachelor Degree in Science. He earned his Doctor of Osteopathic from Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2004, and completed his residency in Dayton, Ohio. He then moved to Pikeville, where he practiced Emergency Medicine at Pikeville Medical Center.
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge #17 in Grundy, a member of the Snoot Club, member of the American Osteopathic Association Board, certified by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. Dr. Keene loved the outdoors, was an avid hunter and fisherman. He had won an award for the fourth biggest deer killed in North America in 2012. He completed the World Turkey Slam in thirty days, had completed the Tough Mudder in Spartin this past June. Most of all, he dedicated his life to helping others. He was a loving son, brother, grandson, uncle, colleague and friend.He was of the Church of Christ faith.
Survivors in addition to his mother, Veronica Jean (Vicky) Stacy Keene, include his sister Amanda Paige Keene-Sheppard and husband Andrew of Abingdon, Va.; niece Shaynae Alexius Sheppard of Abingdon; Maternal Grandmother Nora E. Stacy of Grundy; Girlfriend Erin Caudill and her daughter Kennedi of Pikeville; several aunts, uncles, cousins, and a host of colleagues and friends.
Funeral service for Dr. Keene will be at the Shortridge-Ramey Funeral Home Chapel of Keen Mountain, Va., Friday, August 7, at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Paul Ketron officiating. Entombment will follow at Greenhills Memory Gardens, Claypool Hill, Va.
Active pallbearers will be Mike Asher, James Slone, A.J. Ison, Billy Johnson, Chris Adkins, Dr. John Fleming, Shane Keene, Oliver Williamson, Jamie Huffman, Chris Whitt, Kendal Wright and Shannon Wright.
Honorary pallbearers will be the doctors and nursing staff of Pikeville Medical Center, Pikeville, Brandon Matney, Chris Childress, Steven Allen, Tina Allen, Jimmy Rogers, Bill Vanhoose, Dr. Aaron Crum, Todd Mayhorn, Willard Kinzer, Cindy Adkins and her children, Dr. Jimmy Steger, Dr. Bernie Sargeant, Rusty Davis and all his hunting buddies.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Shriners Hospital For Children, 1900 Richmond Road, Lexington, Ky., 40502 or the Driven Knights Club, 1868 Six Mile Road, Danville, W.Va., 25053.
Online condolences may be sent to www.shortridgeramey.com.
The family of Dr. Anthony Paul Keene have entrusted the care of their loved one to Shortridge-Ramey Funeral Home of Keen Mountain.