Cynthia Persily, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dr. Persily is the CEO of Highland Hospital in Charleston, WV
Yesterday, it was party time at Highland Hospital! We said goodbye to our front desk receptionist Shirley, who has been with Highland for 28 years and it was oh so bittersweet. While we are happy for Shirley, we are so sad for Highland. For years, Shirley has been the first person that our employees, patients, families, and visitors see when they enter our hospital. And no matter the situation, Shirley warmly welcomes everyone who comes in, introducing herself by name, and letting them know what to expect. I can’t help but feel in my heart that patients, families, and especially parents of children in our care feel better because of the care shown by Shirley to them. I also can’t tell you how many times someone has come to meet with me, escorted from the lobby by Shirley, and the first thing they tell me is what a gem Shirley is—and I have to agree. There has never been a doubt that Shirley would be the first one to volunteer to help with any endeavor at Highland, she just pitches in and helps.
Shirley exemplifies all that is good about the Highland companies. Our employees are warm and caring. They care about each other, and they care about our patients. They work hard, and they live our values every day. And they support each other through thick and thin. Yesterday, about 15 retired employees came to wish Shirley a wonderful retirement, it was so nice to hear about their memories of Highland. And when I last counted, at least 100 of our current employees had arrived to wish Shirley well. That’s what being a part of our companies is all about, and I for one am proud of all of our employees for their choice to bring their values and caring to our companies.
So, as we wished Shirley farewell, there were tears, and laughter, and many memories shared. There were hugs and gifts. No words can express how much Shirley and all of our employees mean to our patients and the success of our organization. But Shirley, as you retire, remember that you have left behind a legacy of encouragement, achievement, and work ethic that will always be part of your coworkers. Congratulations and here’s to you and your family—we wish you a bright future with the time to do the things you have always wanted to do. You will be missed.