Throwback Thursday: Volunteer gets 2,000 hour pin, June 15, 1977

By Kristy Bleizeffer Jun 28, 2018

Our volunteer program began as the Hospital Auxiliary in 1953. Twenty-four years later, on June 15, 1977, a Casper paper wrote a story about Miss Kathleen Hemry who had just surpassed 2,000 volunteer hours at Memorial Hospital’s information desk. 

The Natrona County High School teacher volunteered at nights and on Sundays so it wouldn’t interfere with her classroom duties.

This year, Wyoming Medical Center celebrates 65 years of service that volunteers have contributed to the hospital. Six of our current volunteers earned the prestigious 2017 President's Lifetime Achievement Award, volunteering more than 4,000 hours in their lifetime. Fourteen more of our current volunteers have earned the award in the past. 

Read more about volunteer awards and achievements here.   

The following is the transcribed newspaper article that accompanied Miss Hemry’s 1977 photo.

Volunteer gets 2,000 hour pin

CASPER – She calls it one of her more “relaxing jobs.”

Miss Kathleen Hemry, who was cited this week for having donated 2,000 hours of volunteer service to Natrona County Memorial Hospital as a member of the Hospital Auxiliary, said she usually enjoys the time she spends at the hospital’s information desk.

She started her volunteer service at the hospital when the Auxiliary was first organized in May, 1953.

During her 24 years at the information desk, she has always worked at night and on Sundays from 4 to 8 p.m. She taught at NCHS for 43 years and the evening schedule was the best time for her schedule.

Of her work on the information desk, she said, “Once in a while there’s an exciting moment, but usually it’s a calm, well-organized procedure.” She admitted that she has escorted some OB patients who “were in a hurry.”

On one occasion, she “babysat” 17 children who had been left in the lobby while their parents visited patients on the nursing floors. One of her pet peeves is the fact that children are frequently left unattended in the waiting room area, although this is against hospital rules.

Compared to some of her other activities, the hospital volunteer work is less strenuous.

She works for Meals on Wheels as a driver chairman, and is busy all year sorting books for the annual book sale at Natrona County Library. She is also state president of the Retired Teachers Association and is chairman of the joint legislative committee for AARP-NRTA. Her newest project is working with the University of Wyoming on a survey of the elderly in the Casper area.

Throwback Thursday looks back on Wyoming Medical Center’s long, rich history in Natrona County. Special thanks to the Casper College Western History Center, which archives our vast collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other memorabilia; and to "Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History," by Rebecca A. Hunt, Ph.D. Information is also collected from a collection of Hi-Lites, Wyoming Medical Center's employee newsletter, dating from 1982-1996.

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