Salem Medical Center’s history dates back more than 100 years.
Throughout that long history, many nurses, doctors and staff members have come and gone.
However, full-time RNs Lois Strang and Rosia Rivera — each with 47 years — have nearly hit the century mark themselves with a combined 94 years of service.
“Lois and Rosie are such hard workers and love taking care of others,” said Interim Chief Nursing Officer Justine Murphy. “It is a privilege and an honor to work with both of them.”
In 1973, Strang started out as a nurse on 2nd South, while Rivera began as an LPN on 4 North, the med surg unit.
“When I first moved to the OR, it was on the fourth floor of the original section of the hospital,” Strang remembered of her early career here.
Strang and Rivera have both seen much growth and change, including physical transformations and program changes, but both say their love of nursing has never faltered.
Strang’s career began right out of high school when she started training to become a nurse.
Today, in her role as an OR Charge Nurse, she tackles a little bit of everything including but certainly not limited to patient admissions, scheduling, and general office duties.
In 2017, Strang was named Employee of the Year.
Rivera has served as nursing manager, worked in the medical surgical unit, and is now in recovery, pre-admin testing, and same day surgery. She is a Certified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse through the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.
“Being here 47 years has been an experience,” Rivera said. “There’s been a lot of change, but I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to work anyplace else. We’re family here.”
Neither Strang nor Rivera plan on retiring any time soon.
“I’ll be here quite a few more years, God willing,” said Rivera.
“I could have retired 20 years ago, but I don’t want to,” she said. “This keeps me going. It gets me up in the morning.”