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Garrett Hospital - Original Nurses, 2014

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


OAKLAND — The original nursing team at Garrett County Memorial Hospital, now retired nurses, has joined forces to help the hospital develop a History Wall to be located on the first floor.

(Seated from left to right) Toni Eshleman, Elizabeth Teagarden, Phyllis Maffett, Mildred Dunbar, (and standing left to right) Martha Sanders, Norma Gnegy and Norma Hesen helped establish the precedent of quality care when they joined the hospital staff in the early 1950s. Most of them began working there right after graduating from nursing school.

“Louise Messenger, whose late husband, Max, served as chairman of the hospital board, has done a great job helping to piece together stories that make up the history of the hospital,” said Kathy Greaser, senior director of marketing and public relations for the hospital. Messenger will also assist the group with historical information on West Virginia physicians.

Eshleman was one of the first nurses hired before Garrett County Memorial Hospital opened its doors in 1950. Looking back fondly on the early days of her career, she recalls helping with setup of the nursing department and hiring additional staff.

Sanders and her sister-in-law Bethel Sanders were hired before the hospital opened to help with the development of the nursing staff and to set up the obstetrics unit.

Throughout the team’s meeting, the women shared memories and photographs. “Getting the girls together and remembering the 1950 opening has been a lot of fun,” said Hesen, who spearheaded the meeting. “When we get together again we are hoping to have a few more of the original nurses and it would be great to have a couple of the earlier physicians join us.”

Scrapbooks of information compiled by Maffet over the years were loaned to the hospital. The meeting also netted many photographs that will be enlarged and hung on the History Wall.

“This is a wonderful group of women. It was such an interesting meeting, talking with them about the hospital’s history. Each one has been very generous in sharing their scrapbooks and photographs,” said Mark Boucot, hospital president and CEO. “The History Wall is really important in celebrating the future of Garrett County Memorial Hospital. It celebrates the history of where we came from that makes us who we are today, ” said Kendra Thayer, chief nursing officer.


Cumberland Times-News

The older photograph above is of the 1948 graduating class of the Sacred Heart School of Nursing. It appeared in an article from the September 11, 2014 edition of Garrett County's The Republican newspaper. In the third row at the far left is Elizabeth "Sue" Teagarden, who was hired by Garrett County Memorial Hospital (GCMH) in 1951. Toni Eshleman, who was one of the first nurses hired by GCMH is 1950, is depicted on the far right of the first row.


Collection Location:
Allegany County

Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Allegany County, (Md.)

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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