Memories of St Marys Hospital

Patricia Sullivan
Employee (1956-1957) 
Business Office

In 1956, I had the opportunity and privilege to work at St. Mary's Hospital after school, weekends and summers. You might think that at the young age of 16, I would be a candy-striper or nurses aide. No, I worked in the business office along with another friend from high school and some of the most wonderful experienced co-workers, whom I still remember with great fondness. At that time, the room charge and drug charges were added to cards by a machine which would be archaic today, no computers existed. At the end of the day one had to add, adding machines existed, all the card totals and the final total had to balance. The adding machine tapes were long and many nights after closing hours, I was searching for a penny. Sister Ruth Haberstadt, in charge of the business office, was a perfectionist and I admit I am also. We had a lot of fun in the office and Sister Ruth, who could see everything from her office, through the glass partition, enjoyed us and was always ready to laugh with us. Sister Martina was head of the hospital, a very caring administrator. Sister Simplicia was in charge of admissions and we often spoke of getting her roller skates as she bustled about. The elevators were across from the business office. A mystery for two young teenagers was watching ten to twelve Daughters of Charity with their "winged" headpieces fit on one elevator. We were sure there was some divine intervention. Though I wasn't planning to enter the business world, after a career in teaching, I am now treasurer of my religious community. The experience at St. Mary's Hospital is one I have always treasured.