“In February of 1966, we moved to Polson from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. After four years on that beautiful prairie, my goal was to do some hospital volunteering—helping with meals, writing letters, visiting, and so on. St. Joe’s was part hospital with nursing home patients, so the nurses took care of the ‘senior’ patients as well as new moms, babies and post-op patients. Several of us were selected to study under the tutelage of the residents, Sister Rideout, Sister Candy and Sister St. Stanislaw.
After 40 hours of floor work at night, and 40 hours of book work at home, we were tested. My score was 98.6,—just like my temperature! I started two nights a week on the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. That allowed me to get home before my beloved husband had to leave for his job. Working with such great women—all RNs—Jessie Clemens, Mary Ann LeBrun (Gerrity), Marchita Funk, Ellen Weidman, to name a few, was such a great learning experience. These women were heroes to me.
When my children started school, my career as a certified nurse’s aide was short-lived. In 1967 and then again in 1971, our fifth and sixth children were born at St. Joe’s and we have been faithful supporters for fifty years. Happy Birthday, St. Joe’s.”
“Coordinating the bead workers for the ‘Know Me, Care For Me, Ease My Way’ beading project at St. Joseph Medical Center was a wonderful experience. These beautiful works of art from the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe members help welcome patients and visitors, and are a positive addition to the décor.
So many friendly staff worked with me and the artists to complete the project. I appreciate their efforts immensely.”
—Marie Torosian, The People’s Center
“My most treasured memory at St. Joe’s was the moment we brought our son into this world. The team there was so wonderful, and made our experience perfect. We love the fact that my husband, myself and our son were all born at the same place.
Our roots are deep here in Polson and they all began at St. Joe’s hospital.”
—Heather Knutson-Walter, Mayor of Polson
My first up close and personal experience at St. Joseph was in 2011 when I visited the emergency room for what turned out to be a heart condition. The care and treatment I received saved my life. This created a sense of gratitude and a warm fuzzy feeling for the people who make it a great facility. Since this time I have had two short term admissions, each time I received excellent care and was treated with dignity and respect.
There is a culture of caring at St. Joe’s that is reflected in phrases you hear constantly, whether you are a visitor, patient or worker they are Good morning/afternoon, Can I help you, and Thank you.
As a hospital volunteer, it is uplifting to work with people who are making a difference, not just a living.
—John Kelly, volunteer