Approximately 170 Associates have 40 years plus of service working at CHRISTUS. Do you know one of them? Send us their stories.
Here’s one from CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini in Alexandria, La.
If reliability goes hand in hand with good work ethic, then Joanne Thiels has a super human work ethic. For 40 years she never called in sick. She retired two weeks ago, but before she did she left her colleagues with a solid impression of what it means to be dedicated, productive and cooperative.
“I am a really healthy person,” she explained as part of her modest estimation of her years of service. “If I called in [sick] that would mean it would impact another person and put them out.”
When Joanne started in 1976 at St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria she was 18 years old. She began in the Laundry Department and retired in 2016 as a CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital housekeeper.
The importance of hospital housekeeping cannot be overstated. At times when Alexandria would experience harsh weather, the hospital would send someone out to Joanne’s house to bring her into work. No one wanted to do without her and Joanne didn’t want to do without the hospital.
“I really enjoyed the people and the stories that came through the hospital. It meant a lot to me to be able to be relied upon,” she said.
Now an elderly parent relies on her. She lives with her 89-year-old father who Joanne says growing up was both a farmer and a bus driver.
“We grew up on a farm in Rapides Parish. I was the second oldest of 11 children. Both my mother and father raised us to value our work,” she explained.
A lot of Joanne’s family has worked at CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini, including three sisters and her mother.
Joanne’s sister Marilyn still works at the hospital as a wound care nurse.
“My sister doesn’t brag much on herself,” Marilyn said. “But I will. Joanne does her work in a quiet, humble, and unassuming way. I will miss seeing her little grin every day, but I know that she deserves a well-earned rest.”
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