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Published on June 29, 2016

After 57 Years as a Nurse, She’s Now A Volunteer

Loris Clark - Volunteer; nursing graduation photo

Loris Clark graduated from nursing school in 1957, and worked as a nurse at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland until her retirement in 2014.

Loris Clark’s career as a nurse at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland spanned the course of 57 years. When she retired, though, the 80-year-old didn’t quite leave the place she considered to be her second home. Instead, she became a volunteer.

A Newberry, Mich., native, Clark began her career in health care when she was just in high school. She worked as a “blue girl,” or a junior nurse aide, and then went on obtain her nursing degree from Nazareth College, a college near Kalamazoo which has since closed.

“I began my career at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland in October 1957,” Clark said. “It certainly became my second home, and my fellow employees were my second family.”

For 38 years, Clark was a nurse on the maternity floor, working with moms-to-be through labor and delivery. She also worked in the Employee Health Department. In 2000, she took some time off, spending a month in Arizona as a nurse at a Navajo reservation.

When she returned home, she continued to work in the Employee Health Department. “I was a strong patient advocate, and then when I started working in Employee Health I became a strong employee advocate,” she said. And though things have changed significantly since Clark became a nurse – when she first started, for example, nurses were responsible for sterilizing their own equipment – she truly enjoyed learning “something new every day.”

Loris Clark - Volunteer at MidMichigan Medical Center - Midland

After a 57-year career as a nurse at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland, Loris Clark now serves as a volunteer in the Gift Shop.

In September 2014, Clark retired from the Medical Center, and found herself with some extra time on her hands. She didn’t have to think too long about what she wanted to do during her newfound free time, however.

“When I was working, many days I would go to the Gift Shop at the Medical Center, as there was always an interesting display of things to see,” she said. “Everything that they had was very unique. I thought, why not spend my free time in a fun place that’s near and dear to me, for a great cause that I’ve been committed to for years.”

There’s some things that haven’t changed since Clark became a nurse in 1957. Nearly 60 years later, you’ll still find her at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland, doing something that she loves. “I enjoy every minute I volunteer for so many reasons,” she said. “The people I’ve worked with and now volunteer with are very near and dear to me.”

Those who would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer at MidMichigan Health, may visit www.midmichigan.org/volunteers.

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