CEO Message: Nurses Week 2015 (Inspired by SeeSee)
I had the best time this morning at a really great birthday celebration — and there are three reasons why it was particularly enjoyable and special.
First, the celebration was for Florence “SeeSee” Rigney — a nurse in our Surgical Unit at Tacoma General. And it was in honor of her 90th birthday! That’s right — 90! She is the oldest practicing nurse in the United States.
Just imagine all the changes SeeSee has seen in her life since she graduated from high school — in 1943. Listening to some of the details of the experiences she has had over the course of a wonderful life is inspiring. I have no doubt that her happiness and success in life is related to her appreciative approach to everything that life has presented to her.
Second, SeeSee has been a part of our MultiCare family since 1946, when she first put on the starched white uniform of a student nurse in the Tacoma General School of Nursing — and then stayed on after graduation to work with us. Even though her career has taken her across the country, and though she took time off to raise a family, she has been a part of our team on and off for nearly 70 years — about half of the years since Tacoma General was founded in 1882!
According to her colleagues, SeeSee is a terrific nurse. Nowadays she has cut back to just a couple of days a week, but she still pursues her lifelong profession with the same energy, focus and careful execution of her duties that has marked her career across seven decades! And she still inspires those around her.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Nurses Week than with the story of a career nurse like SeeSee, and that’s the third reason I so enjoyed the celebration this morning. In celebrating SeeSee’s life, let us also celebrate the more than 3 million nurses in this country who are foundational to modern health care and who are active in virtually every aspect of what we do.
I am specifically thinking of our own MultiCare team of nurses — each one of you who, like SeeSee, brings your training, skill, experience, willingness to serve, and compassion to your work every day. My hope is that during this week of celebration you will be reminded of the importance of your work, and of the way you contribute to fulfilling our mission every single day.
About The Author
Bill Robertson has served as MultiCare's President and CEO since May 2014. He came from Adventist HealthCare, Inc., based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Prior to Adventist, Robertson served as CEO of Shawnee Mission Medical Center near Kansas City, Kansas. More stories by this author