Myrna Bailey to be honored

November 10, 2000
Santa Paula News
By Wilma Allen Turning lemons into lemonade is an everyday occurrence for the recipient of the Santa Paula Hospital Foundation’s Meritorious Service award, registered nurse Myrna Bailey. She’s had plenty of practice.Orphaned at the age of 8, Myrna was shuffled from one foster home to another. Each one had a different slant on how to treat a little child whose mother had died of breast cancer and father had left the scene a very long time ago. Unpaid servant and source of extra income were only a few of the choices.And even though she had close relatives, a grandmother and uncles, they were not willing to take the little girl into their home, but preferred strangers raise her. Throughout the telling of this heartbreaking story, Myrna will maintain she was very lucky!And she finally did have some luck when she found a haven in the home of a minister and his wife, a registered nurse. Here, she finally felt safe and secure. Raised by these generous and kind people, she was legally adopted by them. But not as a child - it was when she was a young adult and, by then, a married woman. This couple even sent out announcements saying they were announcing the adoption of a 120-pound green-eyed girl!Inspired by her adopted mother’s career choice, nursing, Myrna went on to study at Tacoma General Hospital in Tacoma, Washington. She met and married her husband Vern and they moved to Ventura, where she worked at the old Foster Hospital which eventually became Community Memorial Hospital.It was at Community in 1962 that Myrna met Dr. Ernest Carlson. He persuaded her to come to Santa Paula Memorial, and thus began her 38-year tenure at SPMH.Myrna, one of those rare creatures, a born nurse, expresses her satisfaction in nursing as a broad spectrum of caring - not only for the patient’s physical condition, but his emotional and spiritual state of being. Her good humor and cheerful attitude must have, over the years, convinced hundreds of the most frightened and apprehensive patients that all would be well.
After a long and full career, you would imagine that retirement would be calling to this dedicated nurse. Well, yes, but at this very moment she’s trying to figure out how to combine just a little bit of nursing with spending time with three grandchildren and a vacation home in the San Juan Islands. She can’t give nursing up! It’s in her bones.The Meritorious Service to Santa Paula Memorial Hospital Award will be presented to Myrna Bailey, RN December 10th at the Santa Paula Hospital Foundation’s annual gala held at the Spanish Hills Country Club.The festivities will begin with a social hour allowing guests to inspect and bid on a variety of silent auction items, as well as several unusual live auction items.One of the live auction items is a beautiful glass shelved and lighted cabinet that held the Virginia Hanscom demitasse collection which was donated to the Foundation in 1998. It is available for inspection at the Whistle Stop Café in Santa Paula. The cabinet is made of blond wood and, in addition to having glass shelves, also has three drawers.After a luscious dinner and presentation ceremonies to honorees Myrna Bailey and Elizabeth Blanchard, partygoers may dance to the music of Leo Krubsack of Valley Village.

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