Humboldt General Hospital Says Goodbye to Longtime Receptionist

There wasn’t an empty seat at a retirement event for Carol High, a much-admired front-desk receptionist at Humboldt General Hospital.

Tuesday, March 7, staff members gathered to honor High at her retirement reception following 17 years of dedicated service; Tuesday was also High’s birthday.

Humboldt General Hospital Interim Administrator Darlene Bryan presented High with a retirement plaque, flowers and a check for $1,700—representing $100 for every year of service at Humboldt General Hospital.

Additionally, High was treated to flowers, plants, gifts and cards from family members and friends who shared accounts of a “kind but firm” High who was as respected as she was loved.

Robin Granath shared, “Sometimes we would send a patient down with an order.” A few minutes later, Granath said the hospital’s front desk would call indicating the need for more information. Granath laughed saying that if the caller was Carol High, everyone jumped into action. “She tells us something and we say, ‘That’s a fact,’” added Dr. Brad Granath.

Bryan said she initially hired High as an Acute Department unit secretary. When Bryan called to check on High’s references, the person at High’s former place of employment asked Bryan to “tell Carol that we really miss her.” Bryan laughed. “That was all I needed to hear; that told me everything I needed to know.”

Harmony Manor/Quail Corner Director of Nursing Robin Gillis said she attributes her current love of gardening to High who taught her much about cultivating a green thumb over many long conversations in the Emergency Department.

Carol Whitten who worked alongside High at the front desk for four years said “without a doubt she is a gracious, kind lady.”

That was definitely the theme of Tuesday’s reception as person after person shared personal instances of High’s thoughtful caring, both towards patients and staff members. As Business Office Manager Shauna Barsanti said, “She’s always been our voice of reason.”

HGH Maintenance Supervisor Craig Prest said High can even be credited with training a large majority of HGH’s staff since so many current employees passed through the front desk on their way to other positions at the facility. “She’s not a receptionist,” he quipped, “she’s a training supervisor.”

High will now trade in her phone and computer for the many family members who now need her attention. Her first stop will be Arizona where she will see a new great great-grandchild. “Plus, it will be warm there,” she added.

Bryan said that High is a perfect example of “the kind of people we want to work here and a perfect example of the kind of people who do work here.”

High responded, “And I will miss every one of you.”