It is always exciting to see St. Francis Healthcare System through the eyes of those who have a rich, long history with St. Francis. A group of nurses who graduated from St. Francis School of Nursing, when it was part of the hospital, recently paid a visit to the Liliha campus to reminisce and see how much St. Francis has changed over the years.
Jerry Correa, President and CEO of St. Francis Healthcare System, gave a tour to the nurses, starting with visits to the three floors of the Villas in the Sullivan Building. The tour also included a walk through the tunnel connecting the Sullivan Building to the Weinberg Building to view the historical photos of all the people and events that have made St. Francis Healthcare System what it is today.
Martha Miyahira, from the class of 1958, worked in the operating room for a year after graduating from the nursing school and then spent several years in the intensive care unit/recovery room on a part-time basis. “All of us graduates of St. Francis School of Nursing were very fortunate in that we not only learned skills in nursing, but also anatomy and physiology, ethics and religion. We especially enjoyed the religion class taught by the resident Father from Belgium. He was full of wit and humor,” Martha said. “The special friendship that we have formed, living in the nurse’s dorm and working at the hospital daily for three years, is a treasure that I cherish,” she continued. “I was very happy to see that the facility where we trained to be registered nurses still exists and carrying on ‘A Legacy of Caring for Hawaii’s People.’”
Evelyn Cabral, a 1945 graduate, worked at St. Francis Hospital for 39 years, eventually serving as head nurse in the obstetric department and retiring in 1984.
“My fondest memory of St. Francis Hospital was working in the obstetric department in a happy environment each day,” she said.
Lillian (Hayashida) Saiki, who graduated from the class of 1959, worked for St. Francis Hospital for 15 years. “Working in a Catholic hospital taught me humility and to strive to be a more caring person,” she said. “I am so impressed with what St. Francis Healthcare System is doing to take care of the community.”
Lorna Young, a classmate of Martha Miyahira from the class of 1958, noted that after graduating, she returned to her hometown on the island of Lanai for two years, and then headed to Chicago to work before returning to Hawaii to work at St. Francis Hospital. “I do not have any biological sisters, but my fondest memories are of my sisters in nursing. Even after being away from some of them for 58 years, I feel a strong bond with them. When we get together, it’s as if we were never apart as we are as close as ever. This does not only refer to my classmates but for all St. Francis nursing graduates.”
Mahalo to all of the nurses for sharing your experiences and memories with us!