GROVE CITY – So much has changed during Betty Greggs’ 65-year career in the medical field, but one detail remains the same – she loves her job.
“Maybe I’ll get another 65 years,” she said, laughing about how she has no plans to retire anytime soon.
The 83-year-old Grove City woman started working at what is now AHN Grove City hospital on Aug, 22, 1955, about two months after she graduated from Grove City High School.
It was known as “Grove City Hospital” at that time, and she began in the laundry department “just to get a job.”
The Forestville native spent most of her life living in Wolf Creek Township. Her husband, Nelson, whom she married in 1956, passed away in 2014, and they have a daughter, Brenda Reagle of Grove City.
Greggs remembered her seven-mile drive from the family farm to the Pine Township hospital – a short commute that was often treacherous in the winter.
Soon after Greggs was hired, Myrtle Montgomery set up the medical records department, asking Greggs to join her.
“I was sort of glad, because I didn’t like the laundry,” Greggs said.
From 1961 to 1997, she served as director of the medical records department, where her duties included transcription, coding, filing, storage and working with patients.
“I’ve done it all,” she said.
Handling medical records is a behind-the-scenes job that isn’t just sitting at a desk. There’s a lot of paperwork, documentation and legalities that need to be taken care of, she said.
Greggs has seen the hospital go through renovations and name and leadership changes, but technological advances have been the biggest adjustment.
It’s been “learn as you go,” and she said that paperless and digitized records are easier to store and organize.
Now, she works part-time and continues to enjoy interacting with patients and co-workers.
“We work as a team. We help each other,” she said.
Greggs recalled hosting fun holiday parties at her home for her colleagues, who are like family, she said, pointing out some photos in a scrapbook.
Several photos albums and scrapbooks, compiled by Reagle, feature newspaper clippings of Greggs’ accomplishments, a name tag listing her as department director, and notes and other keepsakes from acquaintances.
A poem called “Ode to Betty” – she couldn’t remember who wrote it – reads in part: “Soon she became the boss, the head cheese. The doctors, they loved her, for she always aimed to please...We’ll tell you we love you, but we won’t say ‘goodbye.’”
Well wishes for Greggs’ 60th work anniversary from Mona Philson, the hospital’s public relations assistant and volunteer coordinator, note Greggs’ admirable work ethic and loyalty to the hospital and her “lovely fashion sense, right down to the last dazzling jewelry accessory.”
Janine Van Doorne, the current director of the medical records department, wrote that she learned from Greggs’ dedication, hard work, professionalism, rapport and respect.
Reagle said her mother is known for getting along with everyone, and she got to see her “good work ethic” firsthand as a hospital employee herself.
Reagle recently retired from the hospital, where she worked with medical records scanning. She said she is very proud of her mother.
Greggs never imagined she’d be working for the same hospital for 65 years, and she will continue to work as long as she is able because she enjoys keeping busy and having a routine.
There have been just a handful of times where she had to take a step back – she was hospitalized in 2019, and she was off for about two months earlier this year because she’s at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
Greggs said she’s in good health, and she enjoys flowers, gardening and puzzles. She keeps in touch with former co-workers, and she also used to make dollhouses.
“I think the good Lord for that,” she said of her well-being.