Mary Taylor and Blanche Brock-Jones stood at a picture board Friday at Metroplex Hospital’s 35th anniversary celebration reminiscing about how many changes the hospital has undergone.
“I remember that main entrance,” Taylor said.
Taylor, who has been with the hospital for 17 years, and Brock-Jones, for 18 years, are volunteers who work at the information desk and send patients in the right direction as they come in the door.
Both Taylor and Brock-Jones said being at Metroplex is “like being with family.” Taylor’s grandson was born at the hospital less than two months after it opened its doors on Sept. 28, 1978.
Medical staff and volunteers gathered together for cake and to peruse through an array of old photos and newspaper clippings about the hospital.
In the hospital’s beginning, it had 78 patient beds and one physician. Today, the hospital sees more than 140,000 patients a year and is equipped with 232 beds, 43 medical specialties and 300 physicians.
Leanne Starkovich, director of health information management, said she “came with the building.”
She has seen the medical field evolve and the hospital grow since day one.
“I just love working here, it’s such a great environment. It keeps me coming back,” she said. “Technology has been the biggest change — going from paper records to electronic records.”
Starkovich said the switch from paper to electronic documentation of medical records was the most difficult change, but now she would “never go back to paper.”
When she began, two people worked in her department. Now she works with about 40.
Nineteen years after her mother was director of marketing, Robin Bodkin took on the same role at Metroplex.
“It was strange because who would have ever thought I would be doing the exact same job my mom did that many years later,” she said.
Bodkin said experiences she’s had with patients have given her a “sense of purpose.”
“I’ve had several patients that really touched me,” she said.
“When I first started, one lady was in and out of the hospital a lot. Every time I would see she was here I would go visit her, and it got to where we really knew each other. When I saw that she had passed away, I really felt like I lost a friend.”
Bodkin said that’s when she realized she worked in a “neat environment.”
“I work in an administrative position, but I had a relationship with a patient,” she said.