Dorothy Shaw Celebrates 100th BirthdayMay 4th, 2011 | By Submitted | Category: Community News, Front Page
It wasn’t just any birthday. It wasn’t even just any 100th birthday, as remarkable as that was in and of itself. It was a celebration of “Dorothy Shaw Day” in the Madison County Memorial Hospital cafeteria, where numerous friends, family and former coworkers gathered to honor the hospital’s longtime former Director of Nursing (from 1958 until 1976) and celebrate her lifetime of dedication to the hospital and the community of Madison.
Renetta Parrish, Chair of the Madison County Commission, read the proclamation that named April 28, 2011, in her honor. It was followed in rapid succession by several other awards and proclamations, from Mayor Jim Catron on behalf of the city of Madison, Director Ben Harris on behalf of the Hospital Board, and Health Department Chair Bonnie Webb on behalf of the Madison County Health Department. Webb concluded her presentation with the story of how “Miss Dorothy” was still volunteering as recently as three years ago, giving out flu shots. With her daughter Connie as chauffer, Shaw brought vaccinations to people who were unable to come in to the Health Department. “She saw a need, and she filled it,” said Webb, who also presented Shaw with a vase of red roses, representing the passion that latter had shown all her life for nursing and for service to the community.
Born in Brooks County, Ga., April 26, 1911, Shaw, born Dorothy Collins, attended the Charity School of Nursing at age 15, and went on to work as a railroad nurse for Atlantic Coastline Railroad, an obstetrics nurse in Miami, a school nurse at Cherry Lake School, and ultimately, as Director of Nursing for the hospital.
Dr. William J. Bibb began the recollections of Shaw’s years with the hospital, recalling her work on the general medical floor in the 1960’s, and later the operating room the obstetrics/delivery rooms and the pharmacy. “We depended on Mrs. Shaw back then.” He concluded.
Several others spoke of her contributions and overall excellence in her job and in the staff she oversaw. “She ran a good, clean, tight ship,” said Hospital Board member Jimmy Sale.
“If you didn’t have high standards, you didn’t work for Mrs. Shaw,” added Linda Cherry.
Juan Botina was hired by Shaw as an orderly in 1972, then she sent him to EMS school. 39 years later, he still works in the Emergency Medical Services. Former nurses Yvonne Alexander, Frances Davis, Linda O’Brien, Mary Ann Burns and others, all had words of praise, some of them emotional, for their former supervisor.
Jenny Andrews, who once worked as a medical record-keeper when teaching jobs were scarce, said, “I have a bucket list, and nursing is on that bucket list,” because of Shaw’s influence. “Every few years, I threaten to go to nursing school.”
With speeches concluded, and many well-wishes exchanged, Vicki Howerton lit the candles and Shaw blew them out. As the gathering that was part birthday party, part reunion of old friends and colleagues, and all celebration of a much appreciated lady wound down, the general consensus among several of those gathered was, “we’ll definitely have to do this again next year.”