At LifeBridge Health, we regularly recognize employees who have reached service milestones, beginning with 5 years of employment. But we thought it was time to highlight some employees who have been with LifeBridge Health more than 35 years, as their longtime commitment makes for an invaluable source of history and knowledge.
Imagine the year is 1958. Seventeen-year-old Harriet Garner, who has just started working at Sinai Hospital. Fast forward to the present and Garner, medical secretary in the Gynecology Oncology department, still works at Sinai Hospital. Has she seen a lot of changes? "Oh my yes!" says Harriet.
"Personnel was three people. Three! There were four of us in Accounts Payable and I don’t even think there was a Marketing department," Garner says.
Employees at LifeBridge Health tend to stay around for a while. Sometimes they stay for a very long while. Bernice Rubinstein, secretary in Food Production, began working at Sinai in 1964 and recalls that women weren’t allowed to enter the hospital if they were wearing pants.
It was only when patients began being seen in the rehab building in 1967 when women could enter Sinai Hospital outfitted in pants. "And then the women’s tops had to be tunic-length and the same color as the pants," says Bernice, laughing at the memory.
"A lot of things have changed," she says.
At Northwest Hospital, Elizabeth Colfelt, Surgical Services family liaison in Guest Relations, marvels at the physical changes and expansion she has witnessed since she began working as a nurse’s aide in 1974.
Like Harriet, Elizabeth has had a few jobs throughout her long career. She has worked as a cashier, financial counselor and plastic surgery coordinator.
In fact, the ability to move into different jobs at LifeBridge Health is one of the things that was appealing.
"There is always a job you can go to in the hospital system," she says.
Elizabeth moved into her present job in October 2007 and says it was her best move yet. "I love this job," she says. "I’m an advocate for anyone who comes into surgery." She says she's doing "work she loves."
These longtime employees sometimes had other options - at one point Bernice was offered a job with the federal government. But she turned it down.
"I have never regretted it," Bernice says. "I’m still enjoying working here. It keeps my brain active. It’s almost impossible to believe I have worked here for 45 years."