40 Years & Counting at Wayne Memorial!
Four Wayne Memorial Hospital employees were honored for 40 years of service at the hospital’s annual Service Awards dinner on June 11th. One hundred other employees, honored for between five and 35 years of service, gave the four women a standing ovation. Registration clerk Ruby Hagenmeier, Nursing Unit Coordinator Marie Dougherty and Home Health nurses Karen Doney, RN and Mary Ellen Douglass, RN all joined the staff in 1975—and none is thinking of retiring any time soon.
“Why would I?” said Hagenmeier, “I like my job.” The mother of four from Lakewood admitted a lot had changed in four decades, especially in the area of technology. “When we first started using computers, I remember having to call an administrator in the middle of the night. He didn’t even yell at me!” She laughed. “And I’m still here!”
Dougherty and Douglass, who each have three children, both said in the long run computers turned out to be helpful. “They take a lot of the guessing out,” said Douglass. Born and raised in Honesdale, Douglass, too, enjoys her job and her patients. “Many of my patients say to me it’s so nice to see someone I know.”
Karen Doney should be a familiar face also, but not just because she’s from Honesdale and raised her family here. And not just because she’s been a Home Health nurse for 40 years. “I actually started working at Wayne Memorial as a teenager,” Karen smiled, “I was a candy striper.”
The Awards dinner at Lukan’s Family Resort in Hawley included remarks and a video presentation highlighting events of the years employees started working at WMH. In 1975, the average price of a gallon of gas was .57 cents and All in the Family was a top tv show.
“Where did the time go?” Hugh Rechner, first vice chair on the hospital’s Board of Trustees read aloud from a statement by Chairman Dirk Mumford, who was unable to attend the dinner. “One of the answers,” Rechner continued, “ is that your time went into making the hospital a much better place for our patients and our community at large and one we can all be proud of.”
Rechner, along with WMH CEO David Hoff, WMH Medical Staff Chief William Dewar III, MD and Foundation Executive Director Richard Garman all praised the employees for their years of dedication and commitment.
“This hospital is unique,” Dr. Dewar told those gathered, “because of you.” Referring to recent mergers and acquisitions of Pennsylvania hospitals by larger corporate entities, he added, “It hasn’t needed help from a big health system to stay alive. It’s the dedication of employees like you that make this hospital what it is.”
Photo: Wearing corsages to mark their 40-years of service at Wayne Memorial Hospital, Marie Dougherty, Mary Ellen Douglass, RN, Ruby Hagenmeier and Karen Doney, RN pose for a photo with CEO David Hoff.