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Contact: Linda Johnson
WCA Hospital Public Relations
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WCA Hospital

Photo Caption: Congratulating Arlene for her years of service from left, Mary Sue Pawlak, R.N., WCA Nurse Manager; Karen Bohall, Director of Human Resources; Arlene Hamilton, honored as 45-year honoree – longest serving employee at this year’s event; Betsy T. Wright, WCA Hospital President/CEO; Ruth Walton, R.N., WCA Nurse Manager; Ann Downing, R.N. MSN, Vice President of Nursing at WCA Hospital.

Jamestown, New York (Wednesday, April 14, 2010)—Arlene Hamilton, L.P.N. at WCA Hospital since January 26, 1965, will celebrate her 45th year of service this May during the “51st WCA Hospital Employee Recognition Dinner” which will be held at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club on Monday, May 10 at 5:45 p.m.  Hamilton will be honored as the longest-serving honoree at this year’s event.

The WCA Hospital Board of Directors will honor 213 employees at the ceremonial dinner held each year during National Hospital Week – the nation’s largest healthcare event that celebrates the history, technology and dedicated professionals that make health care facilities beacons of care.

When asked why Arlene dedicated her nursing career to WCA, she summed up her commitment by saying, “I am taking care of the patient which is exactly what I love to do!”  A nurturing person at heart, Arlene said she cared for stray animals on her family farm while growing up.  “I use to rescue the raccoons and mend the birds tails when I was a child,” said Arlene.  “A nursing calling seemed like a natural and perfect career path to follow.”

“Arlene is an inspiration to others and truly exemplifies our mission at WCA,” said Betsy T. Wright, WCA Hospital President/CEO.  “The patients and families we serve can take comfort in knowing that our healthcare team is backed by years of dedicated and unwavering service to our hospital.  This annual commemorative celebration serves as a reminder that hospitals are the foundations of communities and serve people in every community from all walks of life.”

Arlene Hamilton joined the WCA Family on January 26, 1965.  She began her career as a Nurses Aide on the Medical/Surgical Floor of WCA Hospital. She attended the St. Francis L.P.N. School of Nursing in Olean, New York, and was promoted at WCA Hospital to a Licensed Practical Nurse on September 30, 1968. Her starting rate of pay at that time was $2.00 per hour. A role model and extremely skilled intensive care nurse for much of her career, Arlene has helped hundreds of patients back on the road to recovery over the span of her career.  During her tenure at the hospital, she made time for family. She had a son Daniel and has a grown daughter, Sheri Mundt, and is the proud grandmother of grandson, Alex Mundt.

Karen L. Bohall, Director of Human Resources at the hospital noted, “We are very proud of what our honorees have accomplished and inspired to have such highly-skilled, compassionate individuals caring for our patients.  This honorary banquet is our way of saying ‘thank you’.”

Two hundred and thirteen employees will be honored for 3,545 years of combined service.  Employees will be honored who have reached 5, 10, 20, 30, 35, and 40-year anniversaries with the hospital. The highlight of the evening’s celebration will be a video tribute to top honorees.

The first National Hospital Day was held on Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12, 1921.  National Hospital Day was originally conceived by a Chicago magazine editor as a public healthcare event that encouraged trust in the city’s hospital in the wake of the ‘Spanish flu’ outbreak of 1918, which killed more than 600,000.  The event expanded to an entire week in 1953.  Today, every state celebrates National Hospital Week, which is sponsored by the American Hospital Association.

WCA Hospital will celebrate 125 years of service to its community on Sunday, May 23, 2010.  A commemorative birthday party will be held on the grounds of WCA Hospital’s Main Campus at 207 Foote Avenue, Jamestown, from Noon – 3:00 p.m. A chicken barbeque, music entertainment, historic exhibit, wall-exhibit unveiling ceremony, horse and carriage rides, historic story-telling, games, balloon-man, and much more for all ages including, of course, birthday cake that will top the afternoon’s festivities. 

For career opportunities at WCA Hospital, visit the hospital’s website at

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