After 48 years working in the health care field, Kathy Brunner is retiring. Brunner was introduced to opportunities in the health care industry when she took a job training course her senior year in high school and that training was in the business office at Community Memorial Hospital. Her entire career in health care has been at CMH. She started in the business office and then moved to medical records, where she spent the rest of her career.
Brunner said the biggest change that she witnessed over the years was at the switchboard, which technically is part of the business office, because when she started out they were still using wires that plugged into the switchboard to answer incoming calls.
Brunner also witnessed a myriad of changes in the medical records department during those years. Initially, doctor’s orders for lab work were recorded on a 3x5 note card with the patient’s name, date of the visit and what tests were ordered. All of this was typed on a manual typewriter and filed. She said things are a lot more complex today, with the department being largely a system of codes. Her tenure in medical records started out with her position as a receptionist, from there she moved to transcription and finished her career as a “certified coding specialist.”
What will she miss most? She said it will be the people.
“I have met a lot of very nice people. That will be the hardest part: not seeing my co-workers,” she explained.
What will she do in retirement?
“My grandchildren have made plans to spend a lot of time with me,” she said. She will also fill her time with gardening and scrapbooking.
“My husband is looking forward to having me home more. He’s counting down the days!”