Good Shepherd Medical Center honors staff milestones in special luncheon

<p>Good Shepherd Hospital CEO and President Dennis Burke, left, receives a pin honoring 25 years of service at the hospital from Board of Trustees member Bill Elfering at a special lunch Friday.</p>

Staff and administrators at Good Shepherd Hospital in Hermiston met to celebrate and honor a group of people who have reached a series of milestones in their tenure at the health care facility.

Hospital CEO and President Dennis Burke, along with County Commissioner and Good Shepherd Board of Trustees member Bill Elfering, spoke to about 80 people during a luncheon Friday.

Employees who have worked at the hospital for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years were honored for their service. Burke said it was unusual to retain employees for extended periods of time in the health care industry.

“There is a lot of turn over in health care,” Burke said. “This a great community, and a great organization with an administration that has worked together for a long time. There’s a lot of depth to the organization, and that’s very beneficial.”

Burke said having a staff committed to the hospital benefits the community. He said, without loyal employees, the community and the hospital would be missing a vital element in health care.

“These people provide a stability,” Burke said. “Without that, you wouldn’t have the depth of service that we have here. They really are the leaders of this place.”

Burke himself was celebrating 25 years at Good Shepherd.

“This is such a supportive community,” Burke said. “There’s a lot of opportunity here. It’s fun to be a part of, and I can’t imagine living somewhere where I wasn’t a part of that.”

Good Shepherd Public Relations Director Mark Ettesvold said Burke’s dedication and level of service was a demonstration of how the hospital is able to retain employees. Ettesvold said having the same CEO for 25 years and celebrating his achievement made the day even more significant.

“It’s exceedingly rare,” Ettesvold said. “To have a hospital CEO for that long is very unusual. You just don’t see that very often these days. It really made the day even more special than usual.”

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