Mount Carmel St. Ann's has a lot to celebrate this year. The hospital opened a $110 million expansion and began performing open-heart surgery. This year also marks St. Ann's thirtieth anniversary since opening its doors in Westerville in 1984.
Six dedicated volunteers, who have been with St. Ann's since the beginning, are also celebrating their own anniversary along with the hospital. Sue Miller, Donna Karshner, Loretta Thomas, Marcia Staub, Judy Joseph and Becky Eldridge each had their own reasons for volunteering, but their reason for staying is the same.
"We thoroughly enjoy what we do and we've made lasting friendships," said Karshner, who will turn 90 in October.
Throughout its thirty years, St. Ann's has experienced many changes as it continues to provide high-quality care to patients. However, despite the building expansions, medical advances, and technology additions, St. Ann's has remained a close, tight-knit family of physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers.
Staub, who volunteers as a liaison between patients and their families, has loved interacting with the patients and the joy she brings to them during difficult times.
"I remember one of the sisters from the Sisters of St. Francis, the founding order of St. Ann's. She came in for surgery once when I was there. She just thanked me so much. She said that was the nicest experience she'd ever had and that made me feel really good."
Joseph cherishes the relationships she has made. "You meet some really nice people. Every once in a while, everyone goes to lunch or gets together at each other's homes and we get to know each other. It seems like it happens automatically."
Karshner, Joseph and Miller started volunteering together at the information desk the week the hospital opened. During their time together they've seen many changes, but always for the good.
"The changes to the hospital are beautiful. There are always a lot of little changes but you have to change. Change is a part of life," Miller said.
Similarly, Eldridge, a volunteer in the Mother Infant Unit, welcomes the changes to St. Ann's. "Everyone's always been friendly and appreciative. It was a small hospital and I think it's held onto that feeling even as it's grown."
Regardless of the changes that have happened over the years and the changes sure to come, it is guaranteed that dedicated volunteers will continue to support the hospital.