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Six women, more than 200 years experience combined

FARIBAULT — The Emeralds of Faribault will be holding an Employee Recognition dinner in celebration of six employees who have served care center residents for more than 40 years each.

In the late 1970s, the center hired Tammy Quast, Deb Keilen, Teresa Ozmun, Joann Snow, Brenda Schwartz, and Abbie Swanson.

Ever since, these six women who have formed the bedrock of the care center’s staff.

It wasn’t so clear at the time that the new hires would stick around.

In fact, several of the women said that they were on the verge of quitting within their first few days or weeks on the job.

Things didn’t go quite according to plan. While it’s true that the women are finally starting to think about hanging up their coats again, they now have a combined total of more than 200 years of experience under their belts.

Even after all these years, their enthusiasm for serving care center residents remains undimmed. For now, their drive to serve care center residents still keeps them coming back and colleagues say that if and when they do choose to retire, they’ll definitely be missed.

“This is an incredible accomplishment to be committed and dedicated to providing care and service to our residents & families for forty years,” said Emeralds at Faribault Administrator Joe Gubbels in a statement. “We are very proud of all of them and are very fortunate to have them employed here.”

The care center, previously known as St. Lucas Healthcare Community, was re-branded as The Emeralds when it was sold to Mankato-based Monarch Healthcare Management last year. The Emeralds, just a block from District One Hospital, sits on a site that has been home to a health care facility of one sort or another for more than 100 years.

Many years before District One Hospital would open its doors, St. Lucas Hospital was opened in 1908 by St. Lucas German Evangelical Church, today known as St. Luke’s Church. In the early years, the hospital was run in large part by the Deaconess Sisters, a sisterhood for women of the German Evangelical Church dedicated to nursing and welfare causes.

They also ran an affiliated nursing school.

For more than 30 years, the church and hospital were so closely tied that the church pastor served as hospital superintendent. Yet while the church and the care center maintained close ties for many years, the care center eventually became independent.

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