Longtime Business Services Director Retires from Humboldt General Hospital

It was an emotional day for Shauna Barsanti as co-workers, friends and family gathered to wish her a happy retirement.

Friday, May 31, Humboldt General Hospital’s Business Services Director bid farewell after 30 years of dedicated service.

“Thank you to everyone,” Barsanti told the gathered crowd. “This has been an amazing place to work; I’ve seen so many changes and so much growth. But the hardest part is leaving everybody that I love.”

Barsanti began as a receptionist in 1988, moved to the billing department just a few months later and then was promoted to billing department manager in 2009—a position she has held for nearly 10 years.

Barsanti acknowledged she has seen a substantial amount of growth at HGH over the past three decades, both in terms of the physical plant and its business processes.

She says the past 10 years of expansion and remodeling at Humboldt General are some of her favorite experiences—“just to remember what it was like when I first started to where we are now.” She laughs that she can’t exactly pinpoint where the old hospital is in relation to the new one, but she believes the Harmony Manor Skilled Nursing facility used to run down her business office hallway.

Barsanti also delights to think how far HGH has come in its business processes. “I remember when we couldn’t even make payroll,” she said. “We were told not to cash our checks before 3 p.m. on Fridays when we got paid, and even then we weren’t sure they would go through!”

She added, “It’s hard to believe seeing where we are now.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise over the past 30 years is how such a shy and reserved young woman gathered such a loving and loyal following. Barsanti says the people she has worked with have been some of her best memories.

“I have made some of the best friends I could ever ask for in my life here. I have had the wonderful experience of watching people grow—receptionists that are now full-time RNs; co-workers that are now amazing managers.”

Not only that but Barsanti’s son was born at HGH, and she also met her husband, Bill Barsanti, at HGH. “So those are also great memories, of course.”

As to the future, Barsanti said her only plan right now is to not have a plan. “We will do some traveling in our new fifth wheel, I hope to give yard work and gardening a shot, and I’ll just spend time with my family—my non-HGH family that is,” she quipped.

Friday, surrounded by that HGH “family,” Chief Financial Officer Sandi Lehman spoke for the group when she said, “I’m so happy that you get to retire, and I’m so sad for me that you get to retire.” Lehman presented Barsanti with a plaque, flowers and a retirement gift—representing $100 for every year of service at Humboldt General Hospital.

She also read a letter from HGH Interim CEO Karen Cole, who was unable to attend the celebration.

Cole wrote: “Thirty years with one organization is almost unheard of in these times. In striving to find the right professional fit, some people ask, “What can this organization do for me?” Others ask, “What can I do for this organization?” From my interactions with you, I believe you are from the latter group, in coming to work each day wanting to know how to help and whom to help in the most helpful and efficient way possible.”

Not only that, but Barsanti planned to retire in April 2018, but stayed on for the good of patients, staff and the hospital. Cole said she was not surprised by Barsanti’s sacrifice.

“From what I also understand, that kind of selflessness is characteristic of who you are and what you have brought to this organization.”

Numerous friends at Barsanti’s retirement party shared how they will miss their co-worker’s kindness, her ready smile and her many professional skills.

“You will be missed,” they chorused from all sides of the room, which made Barsanti’s tears spring to the surface. “I am going to miss you too,” she said.