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
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,
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.