Celebrating dedicated service
2014 Service Recognition Award stories
- Forty years of memories - a special brand of care
- Because service matters... we honour volunteers and staff
From the front lines, Dr. Gordon LeBoldus has watched, and experienced, the tides shift at St. Joseph’s Hospital for more than four decades. Forty-five years of wondrous changes, and more than a few miracles.
2011 Service Recognition Awards
Officially, his start date is listed as 1966 but since the dedicated otolaryngologist was also a young, keen intern at the hospital, Dr. LeBoldus can actually boast nearly half a century of caring at St. Joseph’s.
“I’m just fortunate to have survived this long,” jokes the tireless specialist who, at 75, now finds himself treating grandchildren of some of his early patients.
Over the years, Dr. LeBoldus has seen advances that have dramatically improved and saved lives, and other successes he can only describe as “miracles”. The Sisters of St. Joseph are among his fondest memories, even “squaring off with Sister Benedict on the pediatric floor” when they didn’t see eye-to-eye. The atmosphere, he says, was always “wholesome” with “lots of caring, compassion and concern.”
Those attributes have been carefully preserved despite years of transformation, adds the surgeon. “St. Joseph’s has always been the most patient-friendly hospital in the city and I feel we’ve maintained that.”
Dr. LeBoldus is one of two individuals celebrating 45 years of service at St. Joseph’s in 2011. He shares the distinction with family physician Dr. Lloyd Brubacher. They were among 890 staff, physicians and volunteers who received invitations to St. Joseph’s 2011 Service Recognition Program, which honours the commitment and dedication of those who have reached milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and more years of service.
Dr. Brubacher, who delivered hundreds of babies at St. Joseph’s Hospital, is also sentimental about having worked with the Sisters. “My best memories are of the excellent care and supervision of staff by the Sisters. The floors were so well run, it was a pleasure.”
With admitting privileges at St. Joseph’s since 1966, Dr. Brubacher, one of only two family doctors in Ilderton until five years ago, has spent countless hours looking after his patients in hospital. He performed one of the last circumcisions before the Perinatal Program moved in June and continues to come to Mount Hope weekly. “I was sad to see inpatient care at St. Joseph’s Hospital disappear, but that’s change. “
Among eight individuals celebrating a remarkable 40 years was registered nurse Jackie Millman, who began her career in the isolation and medicine wards at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Those were the days when patients who had gallbladder surgery were in hospital for days with nasalgastric tubes and intravenous, recalls Jackie. “Now they’re mostly outpatients.”
For almost all her career, Jackie, 61, has worked nights, a shift she found handy after her second child was born 32 years ago and one she has stuck with ever since. In recent years, she has enjoyed her work on the inpatient surgery floor. “With so many changes over the years, it’s never been boring.”
Jean Hancock, meanwhile, continues to dole out her volunteer spirit after 20 years at St. Joseph’s. From washing the hair of inpatients to selling candy, chips, magazines, cards and the like from the gift cart on the bustling inpatient floors, Jean has done it all.
For the past 15 years, Jean has been doing a lot of singing and cake cutting at Mount Hope where she helps out at the monthly birthday parties for residents. Now age 84, Jean is older than many of the residents with no plans to retire. She is among about 90 volunteers celebrating 20 years of service at St. Joseph’s.
“I enjoy it so much. It gives me a lift to be helping people out, singing with them and celebrating with them. It shows them that we care.”