Everett General Hospital workers reunite

It’s a reunion for employees of the former Everett General Hospital, an event that’s occurred for so many years that even some of its regulars can’t remember exactly when the tradition began.

“I’ll tell you what, it’s been a long time,” said Al Muller, 84, who was the hospital’s chief executive for 25 years. “We’ve got longevity.”

Gloria Heinck, who graduated from the hospital’s nursing school in 1951 and went on to work at the hospital until 1983, figures the annual picnic dates back to the early 1980s.

It began as a potluck for employees who worked in the hospital obstetrical, maternity and delivery units, she said. Later, it was opened up to any hospital employee.

The one constant over the years has been the day of the event, always scheduled for the Wednesday after Labor Day.

The picnic has outlasted the hospital, which merged with Providence Hospital in 1994.

Pat Henry still remembers both the feeling of closeness Everett General employees had and the competition with what was then its crosstown rival, Providence Hospital.

Although there was a lot of kidding about the competition, “I think a lot of it was real,” she said.

She began her career at the hospital as a nurse in 1969 and ended it with her retirement in 2004, working for the Pavilion for Women and Children. General was “a good place to work,” she said.

After all these years, what continues to bring people together? “The camaraderie,” Heinck said, seeing people “we only see at this event.”

Muller agrees. Employees at the former General Hospital “were just sort of a family back then,” he said.

“You develop relationships over the years,” he said. “I always show up.”

Reporter Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

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