Allegan General Hospital Employee Finally Retires After 50-Year Career

By: 
Contributor

Today's work environment is as competitive as ever, and employees are switching jobs at unprecedented rates -- in fact, $11 billion is lost annually due to employee turnover. But Janice Hays has been working for the same employer for 50 years, and after half a century she has finally reached her retirement,WZZM reports.

Born in 1949, Hays spent the 20th and 21st centuries working at Allegan General Hospital, a non-profit acute care facility that opened in 1938. Allegan General is one of the 5,564 registered hospitals in the United States, and it is financed in part by contributions from the County Board of Supervisors, theKellogg Foundation, and the Federal Works Agency.

"I started working [at Allegan General Hospital] in 1967, and my last day is [Wednesday, July 19]," Hays told WZZM. "I still can't believe it's over."

Although Hays has worked under the same employer for 50 full years, she's worked in numerous departments and held even more job titles.

"I started by doing transcriptions for radiology, then moved to switchboard after that," said Hays. "I then was an insurance biller, before taking on the role as registration clerk."

After working as a registration clerk for about five years, Hays learned more and more about the various departments at the hospital. Eventually, she was interested in pursuing a job in finance, and Allegan General was happy to oblige, allowing her to work in the payroll department, where she maintained her position for 40 years -- the remainder of her career.

Workplace stress causes approximately one million U.S. employees to miss work each day, and although working in a hospital inevitably has its stressful days, Hays says the hospital has been a part of some of the happiest moments of her life.

"Every event of my life has been celebrated here at Allegan General," added Hays. "I got married while I've worked here, and my kids were all born here."

Hays seems to be taking her retirement in stride, relishing the fact that she will be celebrating one more life event at Allegan General.

"Retiring is a big event, and that is happening for me here at the hospital, too."

Growing up in Hopkins, Michigan, Hays has been physically and emotionally close to Allegan her whole life. She got married in 1972, just five years after she started her career at the hospital, and she and her husband have resided in Allegan ever since.

In a recent survey, 81% of retirees cited good health as the most important ingredient for a happy retirement, and Hays has a number of hobbies and interests to keep her happy and healthy after retiring. She looks forward to spending a significant portion of her time with her seven grandchildren. 

Ultimately, Hays reflected on her successful career at Allegan General with gratitude, expressing appreciation and respect to the place that not only helped bring her into this world, but helped her to thrive in it.

"The bosses that I've had over the years have always treated me well," said Hays. "This is really a great place to work, and I can't quite imagine yet what it will be like to not come in every day."

For full story, pick up a copy of the MONTH XX issue of The Allegan County News/The Union Enterprise/The Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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