Pam Ruark Leaves Legacy of Caring at Humboldt General Hospital

Staff members at Humboldt General Hospital said good-bye for now to a longtime nurse who has made a big difference.

Pam Ruark retired August 30, after 28 years of dedicated service. In all, Ruark’s nursing career spanned 48 years.

According to Harmony Manor Skilled Nursing Facility Director Robin Gillis, Ruark has been a mentor, an instructor, a loving caregiver and a friend.

“I’m going to really miss you,” Gillis told Ruark during a surprise going-away party August 25. “I have learned so much from you as you have quietly guided me.”

Ruark conceded that 28 years is a “long time” to work in one location, “but I have made great friends here,” she said. “I have enjoyed myself so much here.”

Ruark was named Humboldt General Hospital’s “Nightingale Nurse of the Year” for 2012. At that time, nominators likened Ruark to Nightingale for her professional and caring manner with residents at Harmony Manor.

“She is very knowledgeable, attentive, and supportive with the residents and their families,” wrote one person. Other nominators addressed Ruark’s leadership qualities, telling how she not only oriented new employees but served as a role model.

Others mentioned Ruark’s sense of humor, which could soften any situation and help others feel at ease.

During her going-away party, Ruark was treated to flowers, chocolates, and a plaque commemorating her service. HGH CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish also presented Ruark with a check for $2,800: $100 for every year of service she has given to HGH.

“Congratulations,” Parrish told a smiling Ruark. “You have done a great job for us and we will miss you.”

Staff members also showered Ruark with gifts, including a jar of marbles from co-worker Diane Nevis who joked, "We thought we'd give you back the marbles that you lost!"

Ruark said she chose nursing because “it was a profession that meant something.” Plus, she noted that “working with people, especially the elderly” is what kept her coming back every day.

Ruark said, “I can truly say after all these years that I have enjoyed working here.”

She added, “Maybe next year I’ll come back and work part-time. I’ve already had several job offers and I haven’t even retired yet!”