(Mt. Vernon, Illinois) A charter member of the Good Samaritan Regional Health Center Auxiliary, Mary Patricia “Pat” Rettig is now breaking new ground within the Illinois Hospital Association.
Rettig – who has been a volunteer at the hospital for nearly 47 years – was recently selected as the 2012 chair of the Illinois Hospital Association Constituency of Volunteers Steering Committee. She is the first person from the Southern Illinois Region Five area to be selected as chair of the state committee.
“I am very honored to represent Good Samaritan Regional Health Center at the state level of the Illinois Hospital Association,” said Rettig. “It is my pleasure to serve.”
A charter member of the Good Samaritan Regional Health Center Auxiliary, where she works in the gift shop, Rettig has served two terms as an auxiliary board member. She has been vice president and president of the auxiliary board and is a Hospice volunteer for the Hospice of the Good Samaritan. Rettig was a Cub Scout den mother, a Girl Scout leader, president of the PTO and taught religion classes to Catholic students that were enrolled in public schools. She was also on the board of the American Cancer Society.
As a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, she served two terms on the church finance committee, belonged to the Ladies Altar Sodality, an active member in the Renew program, and is a Eucharistic Minister at the church. She worked as a reading tutor and librarian at Buford and Lincoln School.
While introducing Rettig at a COV meeting in suburban Chicago, Good Samaritan Regional Health Center President Mike Warren said her “life work is a testament to her dedication to help others.”
“For over 45 years she has never stopped providing help to those in need around her,” added Warren. “So, from Good Samaritan and the thousands of lives she has touched, I offer a sincere ‘thank you.’ We are so grateful for your many years of service and congratulate you on your new role.”
Rettig became a dedicated volunteer at the hospital in 1966. Four years later, she was employed by the hospital until her youngest child came along; she then returned to volunteering. Originally, she was the day chairperson and respiratory therapy transporter. Later, she visited patients’ rooms with the gift cart and participated in Dr. James Heersma’s “Rocking Chair” children’s program, which enlisted volunteers to spend time with children in the hospital when their parents weren’t able to stay with them – to this day her time spent with those children remains dear to Rettig.
Next, Rettig moved to what she refers to as the “most rewarding” of all her volunteer services, in what she describes as ‘realizing the dignity of the end of a person’s life,” when she began working alongside her husband, Jean, a hospice volunteer. Today, Rettig continues to devote her time as a volunteer in the Good Samaritan Regional Health Center gift shop.
“I am so proud of Pat for all she has accomplished as a volunteer at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center; Pat is a charter member of our Auxiliary from its start in 1966 when the hospital administrator was Sister Joanne,” said Judy Swinson, Director of Volunteer Services for St. Mary’s Good Samaritan. “It especially pleases me that she has become the chair in 2012 of the COV for IHA as she is the first from Region Five of Southern Illinois. Pat truly exemplifies what a volunteer should be: Having a caring and kind heart and representing, in every sense of the word, our mission at Good Samaritan “to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”