Betty Pritt recently celebrated 50 years as a volunteer at Garrett Regional Medical Center in Oakland, having begun her career as a volunteer at the acute care hospital in 1971.
“There was a pushcart we had that we used in order to go from department to department, and we had magazines, candy, and other goodies to offer patients and employees. That was our ‘job,’ as volunteers. Things have changed a great deal,” Mrs. Pritt stated.
In her 50 years with the hospital, Mrs. Pritt has seen volunteers go from offering goodies door-to-door to performing a plethora of duties in support of hospital services. Volunteers take care of the mail; greet patients and visitors at they enter the facility and direct them to various departments; provide support through copying, making patient binders, and other office assistance; and manning the hospital’s gift shop. The Loar Auxiliary Gift Shop in the hospital lobby is where you can find Betty Pritt every Monday. From her post at the register Mrs. Pritt can be found greeting customers, offering advice on fashion items, and helping patients, families, and hospital employees find everything from the perfect gift to the candy or snack they can’t do without.
“I really enjoy the gift shop; I love working with people,” Pritt said.
Prior to her years as a volunteer, Mrs. Pritt worked as a teacher and was also a mother to two children. She is now the grandmother of 5, and great-grandmother of 18. She is also active with St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, where she can be heard participating in the church’s radio broadcast every Sunday.
“Betty is a blessing to this hospital, and to our community in general,” said Mark Boucot, GRMC’s President and CEO, who presented Mrs. Pritt with an engraved glassware sailboat in honor of her 50 years of service. “Betty welcomes every Gift Shop customer with a smile – no customer is a stranger. The staff loves her, as well as our other volunteers. Our volunteers are part of this hospital and our commitment to treating every patient like family. I can say in all honesty that Betty lives our mission in the work she does here. We can’t imagine our Gift Shop without her.”
Anyone interested in volunteering at GRMC can find information on the hospital’s website, www.grmc-wvumedicine.org, or by calling the hospital’s Volunteer Coordinator at 301-533-4055.