HGH Says Goodbye to Retiring Respiratory Manager

Monday, November 30, was a blue day for Humboldt General Hospital.

It was Arnie Prissing’s last day on the job before retiring as the HGH Respiratory Manager.

“This is a sad day for us,” said HGH CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish. “We have seen a lot of advances over the last 10 years and Arnie has been part of the team that made that happen.”

Prissing has been at the “head of the bed” for 10 years at the local facility. As a respiratory therapist, he has provided care for patients with heart and lung problems, often treating people with asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis and sleep apnea, but also those experiencing a heart attack or suffering a stroke.

Prissing has also spent a great deal of time performing diagnostic tests for lung capacity, administering breathing treatments, recording patients’ progress, and consulting with physicians and surgeons on continuing care.

Now, Prissing will turn in his scrubs for fishing poles, maintenance tools and a whole lot of time with his kids and grandkids. He’s also hoping to get in some reading and time with his refracting telescope and his corvette.

But there’s no doubt he will be missed among his peers. Co-worker Rick McComb told Prissing during a short retirement reception Monday, “We’ve had lunch every day; now we’ll have to find some other old curmudgeon to take over!”

Prissing wasn’t always a respiratory therapist. He spent 20 years working the timber industry; he’s also been a mechanic, and even aspired to be in the hospitality industry before deciding that wasn’t for him.

Certainly, respiratory therapy was for him, though, considering the many people he has helped and the many co-workers who call him friend.

Parrish said Prissing was recruited to “improve patient care and patient service.”

“You have done that,” he told Prissing, “and we will miss you.”

Along with many warm wishes from his friends and co-workers, Prissing was treated to a delicious chocolate cake Monday, a plaque honoring him for his 10 years of dedicated service to Humboldt General Hospital, a check for $1,000 representing $100 for each year of service, and several boxes of chocolates.