Remember St. Clare's

St. Clare's Remembered - 2015 Reunion

Kathy Adach - 28 years of service - 1980 to 2008

Favorite memories:

  1. Meeting my husband, Jerry, in 1983.
  2. Looking out of my L&D (Labor & Delivery Unit) window when having my first child and seeing signs of encouragement in multiple office windows

Jerry Adach - 31 years of service - 1977 to 2008

Favorite memories:

  1. Starring in a commercial showcasing the new L&D (Labor & Delivery Unit) with my two daughters, directed by Ceil Mack.
  2. The after hour activities (volleyball, softball, basketball, etc.) that Tony Orlando and HR facilitated.

Jane Antolowitz, RN - 20 years of service - 1994 to 2004

Chris, one of my fondest memories of St. Clare's was working on Sunday, on 3 West or 3 South and at the end of my shift, I was able to attend Mass in the hospital chapel. Loved that chapel and the Mass was always well attended. Just one of many great memories!

Ephraim Back, MD - 17 years of service - 1991 to 2008

Hi -- I'd love to attend the reunion. I worked at Carver Health Center and was an attending at St. Clare's from 1991-1996. I worked in the Family Medicine residency and ER from 1996 till the end! (I delivered the last baby born at St. Clare's!)

The people is what most made St. Clare's special (and the way that they took care of each other). I think that the most memorable time for me was the great blizzard (mid-1990s, but I don't recall the year -- Ceil made us all t-shirts - my daughter Rebecca wore it as a sleep shirt for years, before it disintegrated).

Thank you for organizing. See you then.

Anne Bogdan, RN - 20-plus years of service

Favorite memory: The people I worked with.

Hilary Buono - 21 years of service - 1967 to 1988

St. Clare's Hospital exemplified an employee/family working together to provide quality care to our patients.

Vince Carelli, Administrative Director of Radiology
32 years of service - 1971 to 2003

I recently spoke with Jayne Savage and told her I could not attend the first St Clare's Family Reunion because we will be in Florida for the winter. We talked for a while and could have talked longer thinking of some members of our "family." She asked if I could write a paragraph about my being in the family. It is tough to write just a paragraph about my time at St. Clare's. I am sure that would be the same for all of you.

I remember the best Christmas parties ever given to us by the hospital, department Christmas parties that we would all visit, the Coffee Shop, the cafeteria, the nuns working in various parts of the hospital, the interns and residents, attending mass in the chapel, the Clarion, white uniforms for women and men, caps for the nurses, the radiology school from which I graduated and St. Clare's Follies. I remember the "old" ER, OR, Pharmacy, Dental Clinic, Main Lobby, Board Room, the little gift shop and many others that were there before the "new wing" came in the early 70s. I think we called it the new wing for over 20 years!

Some thought that with the "new wing" we would grow bigger and our St. Clare's Family would not be the same. Well, it wasn't the same. We were a little bigger but stayed true to the sense of family, as is evident by the amount of people gathering here tonight to celebrate our St. Clare's.

We all have our ups and downs in life but working here made things easier to bear. When someone from our family passed, we all felt the sorrow; when someone was born among us, we celebrated! Many of our supervisors had the compassion for us when we were hurting or down and would know what to say to us to go on. Isn't that what family does?

Well, I think I could write forever about St. Clare's and maybe someday I will! I just want to mention but a few of the people we grew up with at our St. Clare's Family that are no longer with us. Some you will know; others, maybe not. Sister Bonavita, Mr. Stewart, Dr. Conti, Dr. Maselyn, Dr. Bonaquist, Beverly Nelson, Dr. Curran, Barb Verruto, Nick Gatto, Mary Lanaro, Nancy Buffington, John Ettore, Tom Walsh and many, many others.

When I left St. Clare's, I said that St. Clare's Hospital was just a building but we were its foundation. How true, because our building - while still there is no longer - but here we are, the foundation, our St. Clare's Family. With Love, Vince

Janet Carmichael, RN - 40-plus years of service

Of all the memories I've had over the years, the one that stands out the most is the feeling of being welcomed with open arms. Everyone who walked through the doors of St. Clare's - patients, visitors, staff, volunteers, young, old, rich and poor, alike - shared that same experience. I think that's why we care so much about each other and treasure our time together.

Ceci Frazier Clair - 14 years of service

I was employed by St. Clare's from 1975 to 1989. I also had my children there and surgeries inpatient and outpatient. It always felt like "home" there as I grew up through my 20s and 30s. I would love to attend the reunion and share stories on 10/21/15. I still keep in touch with some of my 2 East and 2 West follow employees... and I hope to see them there as well.

Helena Penny Every, RN - 47 years of service - retired 2008

Memory: All of the wonderful people I worked with and my friends for life.

Mary Anne Griesche - 6 years of service

Favorite memory: so many to choose from. The one that sticks out the most is the Christmas Eve snow storm of over 30 inches of snow. I was working an overnight in the ER when my husband called to tell me my daughter was very sick with non-stop vomiting. It seemed to take for-ever for him to get her to the ER because of the snow. They arrived and my daughter was brought to a room. She just kept on vomiting; then in walks Brian Cummings blowing bubbles all over the room. This made her smile and to this day my daughter refers to him as BUBBLE BOY.

Robert (Bob) Harrison, Retired VP, Fund Raising/Development
13 years of service - 1984 to 1997

The "Spirit of St. Clare's" was rooted in devoted health care by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor and has been nurtured by hundreds of loyal staff, volunteers and Auxilians as well as thousands of grateful patients and their families.

Some of the fondest memories of my wife Sally and I was the community involvement and participation that was a part of the St. Clare's "Follies" at Proctors Theater for more than a decade. Sponsored by the hospital auxiliary, Follies brought together hundreds of talented singers, dancers and performers that raised in excess of $25,000 for the hospital. Many of my most endearing memories and lasting friendships came from my association with hospital staff and community volunteers involved in the Follies.

The "Spirit of St. Clare's" lives on in the hearts of so many of us who were privileged to be part of the St. Clare's Family. My sincere thanks to the committee that planned this reunion.

Dr. Ivan & Martha Hernandez - 48 years of service

What made it special? Everyone that worked there! The respect everyone had for each other and the unyielding passion to provide excellent care to the patients we served.

Pete Jones - 35 years of service

I worked for St. Clare's for 35 years. In fact, on my 35th anniversary, they announced we were merging with Ellis.

What made St. Clare's Special? was like one big family. We partied together, we celebrated together, we worked together. It was one big happy family. I really miss that!

Ellen Jordan, RN - 31-plus years

Good morning Barbara. I'm not sure if our paths ever crossed at St. Clare's. I started working on 2 South in 1976 and stayed on that unit for 31 years. As a staff RN, I experienced many changes, not only on 2 South but with St. Clare's itself. Many staff members came and went. I worked under several directors of nursing and chief executive officers. The changes on 2 South included one wing for Neuro patients and CCA and Pediatrics were on 2 South while their units were being remodeled. I also worked on the ACE (Acute Care of the Elderly) unit under Dr. Panneton. In 2007 I took an early retirement and in January 2008, I started working in PATs (Pre-Admission Testing). As Ellis became my new employer, I was able to stay at the St. Clare's campus until I became fully retired in Jan. 2015. St. Clare's was a very special hospital that took wonderful care of our patients and the many special people who worked there!!!!

I hope to meet you at the reunion on 10/21 Barbara. Many thanks to you, Chris, Jane and Ceil for putting the reunion together!!!!

Linda Kiernan, RN - 16 years of service - 1988 to 2004

Dear Chris, I look forward to the St. Clare's Family Reunion. I started at St. Clare's after graduating from Maria College in 1988. I worked on 4 West, Pediatrics and Maternity, retiring in 2004.

One of my favorite memories of St. Clare's is before I even started working there. After graduation, I was looking at which hospital to start my career. I visited a St. Clare's Open House and could not believe how friendly and helpful the nurses were. They took me up to the floors to meet staff. Everyone was so welcoming. It was not that way in other hospitals that I visited. I am very happy with that decision and look forward to being with St. Clare's Family again.

Jo Kitzman, RN - 35-plus years of service

I worked at St Clare's for more than 35 years. The work was challenging but in the O.R. we were a team and when time allowed we would help each other complete all the work. Administrators kept us up on new equipment and new procedures. I miss the staff I worked with; we worked hard but there was laughter also. We needed those lighter moments.

The Rev. Richard Leskovar - 25 years of service

For two and a half decades I was privileged to be a part of the family of St. Clare's Hospital. Although the institution no longer exists, the St. Clare's family does. Her memory goes on by those who were part of that great family and the relationships still maintained to this day. We salute those who put the "Care" in St. Clare's.

Marty Mack, RN - 46 years of service

Hi Barb, I'm looking forward to the reunion. I worked at St Clare's for 46 years.

I thought of so many special memories; this one was truly mine. I was called in about 2 A.M. for an emergency C-Section during a heavy snow storm. Bill McGroty (Security officer) told me to bring my car to the front door. When I got there he told me to hurry and get to the OR and he would park my car. When I was ready to leave, I called him for my keys, so I could get my car. He brought it to me all cleaned and warmed up. He was a very special person who always looked out for the nurses.
See you soon.

Jim, Ceil, Ian & Rachel Mack - 68 years of service

For us, St. Clare's will always be "The Family" and we consider it a privilege to have served with such extraordinary people.

MaryAnn Malkiewicz - 39 years of service

One favorite memory was on weekends. We used to cook Hot Dogs over the Bunsen burner in Bacti (Bacteriology). Art Merchant, RIP, was my helper. I loved the Christmas parties, 'cause we were always a family.

Jane Marinello

I have many good memories of St. Clare's and my fellow nurses, etc. I liked the feeling that we were a team who functioned well together and gave great care. I also liked the warm friendships we shared.
I moved to this area a couple of years before I started work. I listened to people describing the wonderful care they had received at St. Clare's. It left no doubt in my mind that that was where I wanted to work.

Diane Endries Mauro, RN - 22 years of service

Hi Barb. I had 22 yrs service. My favorite memory probably would be working nights during the blizzard of 86 or was it 87. Mr. and Mrs. Reilly came with lots of food for all of us. That’s a team. See you there.

Josephine Palombo Oliver, RN - 36 years of service - 1973 to 2009

I started at St Clare's Hospital on March 23 ,1973 and stayed until the end, 2009. St Clare's was not a job for me but my career and my family. When I started I hadn't even finished high school. I started in Central Sterile Service on the third floor. When we moved to the basement, I spent several months in the O.R. under Mary Lou Guerriero. With her encouragement and guidance, I was promoted to O.R. Instrument Leader.

In 1975, Ve Murray became CSS (Central Sterile Supply) Supervisor and under her leadership, I got my G.E.D. She then became Director of CSS and I became CSS Supervisor.

In 1995, I decided I wanted to become an RN so I applied for a PCA position. Under Karen Griffin, to my delight, I had found my home. All the nurses became my co-workers and teachers, but most of all, my extended family.

In 1999, I graduated from Maria College and became an RN. I was accepted in the CCA (Critical Care Area) as an RN. I was a protégé of many and guided though my training in CCA with professionalism and care. I took the position of Night Shift and stayed until 2008, when the doors of my beloved Hospital closed.

For 36 years, I have enjoyed employment there. I have made many friends. My heart will always be in those halls.

What I will remember most and what has filled my heart at the worst time of my life was when my Daughter Ida lost her battle with cancer. She battled cancer for five years. My co-workers dried my tears and gave me strength to be strong for my sweet Ida. I will never forget at the funeral home, at my most desperate and deepest sorrow, I looked up and almost every nurse I worked with from every shift was standing in line together with a pink rose in their hands, which was my daughter's favorite flower.

Like I said, St Clare's was also my family and I will never forget!

Martha Paraszcak, RN - 30 years of service

Hi Chris, I have been with St. Clare's since 1978. I worked 3 South, Floated, then Family Health Center. Most recently, Wound Care. It will be great to see everyone.

Robert Perry, President & CEO - 3 years of service - 2005 to 2008

Hello to all the employees, medical staff, and families on the occasion of the St. Clare’s reunion. Karen and I are so sorry that we are unable to attend but please know our thoughts are with you.

It was both an honor and extreme pleasure to be associated with St. Clare's and in my 40 years as a hospital executive, I was never more proud to serve an organization.

Despite the difficult and stressful era of transition that we experienced, the dedication and compassionate caring - as demonstrated by St. Clare’s, The People’s Hospital - should serve as an ideal example for others to follow and emulate.

Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to pull this reunion together. Enjoy yourselves. Have fun. Tell stories. Share memories. Be well. Our sincere best wishes for health and happiness for you and your families.

Janet Plourde - 23 years of service (and enjoyed every minute!)

In a nutshell: The staff, physicians, and volunteers all contributed to the kind , family like atmosphere. It was a privilege to work with everyone and felt we all had the best interests of one another as well as the best interest of the patients that passed through our doors.

Lots of funny stories but most cannot be repeated! I did love singing and IV pole races in Surgical Center with Mary Pagano and Cathy Brewer!

Ronald Pollack - 25 years of service

Enjoyed working in the Pharmacy. It was like a family away from home.

Chris Rakus, RN - 40 -plus years of service

The more I think about my years at St. Clare's, the thing that come back to me the most is the feeling that my friends and co-workers were my extended family. They were there in good times and bad both in my personal and professional life.

The love and affection that I felt at my retirement dinner prompted the start of the St Clare's Family reunion dinner. Maybe that dinner will help everyone reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.

Ann Reilly, RN - 26 years of service

I spent 26 years of nursing at St. Clare's, made so many wonderful friends and remember my time there as some of the best years of my life.

Kathy Russell

Thank you St. Clare's Hospital for letting me be part of the team. Good times and good friends will forever be in my heart. Whenever I walked through the doors, I felt as if I was home... I was blessed to be a part of the St. Clare's Family. xxoo

Jayne Savage, RN - 38 years of service - 1968 to 2006

My random memories of St. Clare's: My first day at St Clare's....just out of college and being told I was to be the Charge Nurse on 2 East...terror! Making myself scarce when I knew Sr. Senana was prowling the halls. Walking to work during ice and snow storms knowing we'd be camping in.. oh those hallway flood lights were our saving grace.

Brahms lullaby over the speaker system every time a baby was born. The tinkle of bells when communion was being distributed and the staff scurrying to make themselves invisible.

Follies, Christmas parades, parking lot steak roasts, meeting at the Fireside after our shift ended and always afraid what role Butch would play in each. The annual Hospital off-site Christmas parties, and the on-site department parties.

Staff sensitivity shared between one another and extended to our patients and their families.
Our hospital, a family at times sharing moments of sorrow together but mostly sharing much laugher, joy and love for one another.

Our doctors, so talented, so supportive; so many unseen in engineering, dietary, housekeeping and security without whom St Clare's could not function. Mr. Stewart, ever the cheer leader, our boss and visionary, and always our friend. Daily mass at 3:30 in the ever-open chapel, and Fr. Leskovar always available to give comfort and guidance.

My last day of work leaving with tears streaming down my cheeks.

Dave Schaperjahn - 28 years of service

Kathy Schaperjahn, RN  - 45-plus years of service

What was special about St Clare's? The people! We had one of the most amazing groups of people ever assembled in one place at the same time.

For Kathy and I, St Clare's was very special. It was an important part of our lives. It was where we met (I took a staple out of her thumb when she was in the In -Service Education office on the 5th floor and the Respiratory Therapy Office was next door. That was the beginning!! We married (41 yrs), had five children born and cared for in the nursery at St Clare's. Sadly, we had some of our most beloved family members cared for so lovingly as they passed away.

It was a very, very special place to us.

Barbara Schwant, RN

St. Clare’s set the course for my nursing career and nurtured my interest in nursing education throughout my time there. I started Dec. 4, 1975, working part time nights and any extra shifts to make it close to full time. The night staff, Ray O'Donnell, Connie LaViolette and Peggy O’Keefe showed me the strength of working together as a team rather than as individuals. St. Clare’s was a close-knit, friendly hospital where the Chief Nursing Officer knew everyone and handed out our checks each payday. Later I moved to full time, on 3-East. Ultimately, I joined Sally Honan and Dr. Prosper in the GI department where I spent 30 years. It was the best team around: Sally Honan, Ellie Cherubin, Margaret Mullarky, Irma Skellie, Donna Baxter Maloney, Juanita Aikens English, Diane O'Connor, Maria Sacco, Marcia Jackson, and Gail Gentile. I enjoyed working with an excellent group of people in Nurse Practice to help things evolve in nursing care. I was especially grateful for the opportunity to work with the National Nursing Gastroenterology Association to help improve patient care.
Most of all, what I remember about St. Clare’s are all the smiling faces of the great staff. Now, remember to take your smiling faces to get a screening colonoscopy at age 50!

Patrice Sheehan, RN - 35 years of service 1980 - 2015

Many favorite memories of mine are the family people I grew up with through all the years. Picnics to parades to group pictures with smiles and laughs. We always looked happy and showed expressions of joy and fun. Christmas parties and recognition dinners that we always gave for our co-workers. We will always be the family of St. Clare's Hospital.

Lori (Lavoo) Symonds, RN - 10 years of service - 1998 to 2008

Dear Chris, I liked the family atmosphere between the staff and physicians at St. Clare's. Everyone has always been proud to say they were "old St. Claresians." I like that my telemetry patients (2-South) were in private rooms, especially in emergencies. *Last Floor Nurse at St. Clare's*

Virginia Tariello - 20-plus years of service

Favorite memory: the chapel and religious statues throughout the building and grounds.

Jeanne Wallyung, RN - 10 years of service

My name is Jeanne Wollyung. I worked as an RN on 2 south for 10 years. Loved every minute of it. St. Clare's was special because - if you had a patient going bad, you always had one, two, three, many people there to help in any way they could. Someone always had your back. I never minded being there; it felt like home.

Looking forward to seeing lots of friends at the reunion.

Dr. Louis Wertalik & Ann Wertalik, RN - 31 years of service

Hi Barb: This is Ann Wertalik. Lou & I are very excited to come to the reunion. I have 16 years of service. For me, it was a true family feeling. Patients first, always. The do-what-it-takes attitude. Everyone caring for each other. A life changing experience for me.

Lou has 15 years of service. His answer as to why St. Clare's was a special place: "In my mind, these two key words, 'Spirit and Healing' is what St. Clare's was all about."
Thanks, Barb. See you soon.

Kathy Zannitto, RN - 24 years of service

I was employed at St Clare's for 24 years on nights and evening, working on 4 West, 4 North and 3 South. My favorite memories are of Gary Amell. Remembering him as outgoing, remembering his laughter, remember his scurrying around keeping abreast of everything that was going on. I remember great Christmas parties.