Pauline Fox retiring from Meade District Hospital after 50 years

Story by Tom Kuhns, Meade County News, December 13, 2017

Come next week, Pauline Fox will wrap up a 50-year career at Meade District Hospital. Her last day on the job will be Wednesday, December 20. The hospital will host a reception in her honor on Tuesday, December 19 from 1-3 p.m. in the hospital lobby.

After a half-century of service to a single institution, Pauline admitted earlier this week that it was hard to grasp the concept of not coming to work anymore. “Once I turned in my resignation, I’m kind of getting resigned to it, but it just doesn’t seem real yet,” she stated. “But I just feel that it’s time.”

Pauline’s employment with the hospital actually goes back farther than 50 years. “In 1963 I started working here as a nurse’s aide,” she explained. “But I quit for about eleven months and we moved out of town.” She moved back to Meade in 1967 and was rehired by the hospital. “I never had any idea I would be here fifty years,” she added.

In the early years of her career at MDH, Pauline worked as a nurse’s aide. She changed jobs in 1988. “The position opened up in Central Supply, that’s when I made the decision to go back there and work,” she said. Her department handles most of the medical supplies for all aspects of hospital operations. “We get supplies in once a week, but there’s probably something every day that comes in,” she explained. “It all comes here and we have to make sure it all goes to the other departments.”

Pauline was quickly promoted to the position of Manager of Central Supply. At the same time, she became certified to sterilize surgical equipment. “I worked in the OR and helped sterilize instruments and I worked in here too,” she added. Fox continued in her role as manager of Central Supply until 2005, when she wanted to slow down a little. “I decided I didn’t want the responsibility anymore so someone else took over as manager,” she said. “But I just kept working in here.”

Over the years, Pauline has seen plenty of change in her department. Not only did she help with Central Supply’s move from the old building to the new facility, but she was also on hand to see the hospital take ownership of the nursing home and the medical clinics in Meade and Plains.

Pauline said that the fact she stayed at Meade District Hospital for fifty years was simply a reflection of how much she loved her jobs. “I always enjoyed working around the medical field,” she stated. “I missed having one-on-one contact with the patients when I stopped doing that, but I’ve always enjoyed working in the hospital, in an atmosphere where you’re helping people.”

“What I’ll miss the most is interacting with people when I quit working here,” she added.

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