HONESDALE - More than 80 employees were honored at Wayne Memorial Hospital’s 40thAnnual Service Awards program on June 17 at Lukans Farm Resort in Hawley. Among them, two 35 year veterans, Emmy Maierle and Richard LaPoint, who both agreed a lot has changed at the hospital since 1979.
“When I started on the second shift, I was the only one in my department,” said LaPoint who works in Environmental Services. “Today there are five housekeepers and two porters on that shift during the week. The hospital has added a floor, a wing, a building and many more sites off the main campus!”
Maierle, who was born in Austria, echoed LaPoint and added—“It’s all been very interesting!”
Wayne Memorial Board Chair Lee Oakes said both Maierle and Lapoint “have seen more change than either of them could describe, and both have earned our thanks many times over.”
Every June, Wayne Memorial Hospital (WMH) honors employee service at five-year increments, this year up to 35. Hospital staff work in concert with employees from the hospital’s umbrella group, Wayne Memorial Health System, and clinical affiliate Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC). Together, they now have offices in Wayne, Pike, Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties and service more than 30 properties.
Most of those honored, however, said that even with the enormous facility expansions, the most change has occurred in the field of technology.
“If somebody told me 25 years ago when I started that I’d be doing what I do today, I would have called that science fiction,” exclaimed Ellen Scarisbrick, a radiology technologist who now performs digital mammography procedures.
Pharmacist Karen Kay, a 15 year veteran, notes that her team is also doing much more in terms of technology, such as barcoding. “We are far more involved today in clinical aspects where technology plays a big part.”
Wayne Memorial counts itself very advanced in terms of technology, said CEO David Hoff, “we began investing in electronic medical records before many larger health systems.”
“Wayne Memorial really seems ahead of so many others,” said Janis Murray/Medical Records/25 years.
“The hospital’s 64-slice CT scan is still excellent and not a lot of hospitals have them,” said Sara Williams/Radiology/10 years.
Fellow quarter-century staffer Audiologist Bob Gwyn, noted that “two things haven’t changed, though, in all these years: employee commitment to patients and the hospital’s ability to take on a new project and do it well.”
Gwyn himself will take on a new project this summer: a mobile audiology van. “I’m pretty excited about it, it’s a good thing for the community.”
Most of the employees admitted, too, that “the people at Wayne Memorial” make all the difference in the workplace.
“When I came to Wayne Memorial, I said I was making a fresh start and I wound up in New Beginnings,” laughed Heather Holmes-Komar/10 years, “and I’m still there. I’ve made friends for life.”
All the honored employees were thanked by CEO Hoff and Chief of Staff William Dewar III, MD, as well as Oakes, before accepting personal gifts chosen by themselves from a catalog for their respective years of service. In addition, Human Resources staff, which organized the dinner, played a video recognizing each employee and the year they started. The year Maierle and LaPoint began at WMH was 1979. Jimmy Carter was president and a gallon of gas cost .86 cents!
As LaPoint said, a lot has changed.