50 years is a lifetime. For the past 50 years (now, nearly 52 years), Idamae McAlister, RN, Prep/Recovery, has made her professional home at St. Anthony Hospital. Her official hire date was May 21, 1969, and she’s been an integral part of the St. Anthony Hospital family ever since.
Idamae has witnessed a plethora of rapid changes and advancements in the ever-changing world of health care and nursing, specifically. “Medicine and health care have changed so much, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have adapted to these changes by working in several different areas in the hospital.” Idamae has become an expert in several areas of nursing care including general nursing, Interventional Radiology (IR), PACU, pre-op and more. She even worked at St. Anthony North Health Campus for a time.
Idamae’s dedication to St. Anthony Hospital is evident in the work she’s done for the past five decades, and she attributes her longevity with the organization to its faith-based mission. “I am drawn to the fact that at St. Anthony Hospital, we treat the whole patient…mind, body and spirit… over everything else, and we treat them with dignity and kindness through the healing ministry of Christ,” said Idamae. “That mission has also been central to me personally, and it’s why I’ve remained at St. Anthony Hospital.”
In speaking with Aisha Huebner, RN, Interim Perianesthesia Clinical Nurse Manager, Idamae’s current supervisor, it is evident that Idamae touches the hearts of the patients and caregivers she encounters in her daily work. “Idamae is an inspiration to me and everyone around her,” Aisha said. “She is one of my hardest workers, and I am honored to know and work alongside her. I think she is amazing,” she added.
Idamae’s dedication to St. Anthony Hospital is a culmination of her dedication to her faith, her true passion for nursing and the support of her family. A mother to five children and a loving grandmother to three little ones, Idamae said, “I could have never done this without the support of my family.” She added, “Just a few weeks ago, my little granddaughter came to see me at work, and we had lunch in the Healing Garden…these relationships are what keeps me going.”
In 2019, Idamae was celebrated by her colleagues and her family at a 50-year anniversary celebration. While that was just one small way to recognize Idamae for her lifelong dedication to St. Anthony Hospital, we celebrate Idamae every single day for her resilience, loyalty and devotion to Centura Health and the many ways in which she continues to selflessly give of herself and her talents to help our patients have the most positive health care experience, regardless of their situation.
Idamae’s resilient spirit and ongoing dedication to our mission are nothing short of impressive. To know and work alongside an individual who is an expert in her field, who has been around for decades, seeing the changes and advancements in medicine and having an unwavering spiritual drive is not something we are lucky enough to encounter very often. So, it behooves us to listen, learn from and appreciate people like Idamae, who are true cornerstones of what it means to provide excellent care.
Idamae, we thank you for everything you have done for St. Anthony Hospital and the thousands of patients whose lives you’ve touched over your past 50 years of nursing excellence. We celebrate you!