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Farewell to one of the first

Jeannie Williams retires after more than 30 years at Presbyterian Manor

One of Emporia Presbyterian Manor’s first employees is bidding farewell. Health Services Supervisor Jeannie Williams is retiring after more than 30 years with us.

When she joined the Presbyterian Manor staff shortly after we opened in 1985, Jeannie said she didn’t imagine she would still be here three decades later. She had been a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital for 11 years, and she was ready for a change.

“I loved long-term care and this time in life the people are in,” Jeannie said last year, when we talked to her about her 30th anniversary at Presbyterian Manor. “I really did not think, ‘Well, I'm going to get this job and be here forever.’ I knew it was something I wanted to do and that I would put everything I could into it. It was something I really wanted.”

Debbie Burris, director of assisted living, also worked with Jeannie at the hospital, and they came to the manor about the same time. “Jeannie’s dedication and selfless devotion to our residents and nursing team is extraordinary and will be hard to match,” Debbie said on the eve of Jeannie’s retirement. “It has been my honor to work with Jeannie and to have the privilege to call her ‘friend.’”

Long-term care has changed a lot in 30 years, Jeannie said, and for the most part she thinks the changes have been good for residents. The focus has shifted toward putting their decisions and desires first. And whenever she was having a tough day at work, Jeannie said the residents gave her the motivation to keep going.

"Whatever else I have going on, I have to check it at the door,” she said. “You're their insurance. They've invested in you and everybody else who works here. They are why you're here for these nine hours. It kind of gets to be a part of you."

Likewise, Jeannie has been a vital part of Emporia Presbyterian Manor right from the start. We wish her all the best in retirement!

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