Last night was the hospital awards banquet. Bill and I went to celebrate my fifteen years of service to Southwest Washington Medical Center. It is hard to believe that I have been working there that long. Before this job, I had never been anywhere longer than three years. I started out as the ENT Surgical Nurse Specialist and have transitioned over to doing more information technology work for perioperative services. I started out working in the old OR and now have an office in the new tower--at least for the time being.
The awards banquet was very nice. It was scaled back from previous years due to the economy but was better in my opinion. I never enjoyed the casino night activities that they have always had in the past anyway.
It was also a bit of a nostalgic evening. This was to be the last awards ceremony for Southwest Washington Medical Center. The hospital is in the process of merging with PeaceHealth. The process should become final at the end of the month. The hospital has been independent for quite a few years now since it broke away from the Sisters of Providence but with the way healthcare and the economy have been--it just isn't feasible to stay independent any longer.
I love the history of our beginnings with Mother Joseph starting the first hospital in 1857 in a small converted laundry building at Fort Vancouver. She went all over the Northwest begging for money for the hospital. PeaceHealth has pretty similar beginnings. The Sister of St. Joseph of Peace came to Fairhaven, Washington in 1890 and started St. Joseph's Hospital in Bellingham. Before becoming Southwest Washington Medical Center, our hospital was known as St. Joseph's. It would have been so fitting to be able to return to that name but because there is already a St. Joseph's Medical Center in the system, we will now be known as PeaceHealth Southwest.
I have loved working at Southwest Washington Medical Center these past fifteen years and hope that the transition will be a good one and that I will like working for PeaceHealth as well.