Frazier Retires After 34 Years With Hospital
Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011
Fond Farewell -- Charlene Frazier, with husband Jimmie, retired after 34 years with Love County Health Center and Mercy Health/Love County.
After 34 years, Charlene Frazier has ended her career as business office director at Mercy Health/Love County.
About 50 coworkers honored her at a surprise retirement party at the hospital in November.
The handful of coworkers who have worked longer talked about Frazier’s love for people and her quiet constancy.
“She has been a friend of colleagues and a confidante,” said Richard Barker, administrator and CEO.
Her assignments with the hospital over the years have included posting payments from patients, billing insurance companies, handling payroll time records for the nursing department, and overseeing the dietary and housekeeping departments.
The hospital was only five years old in 1977 when Frazier applied for an opening as a telephone switchboard operator.
“The switchboard was open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Two of us worked it, me from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., then a high school student. I remember working weekends and the student’s days off,” she said.
She moved up as people left or business processes changed. “I never intended to stay this long, but I was always eager to learn and to take classes in new subjects. I wasn’t afraid to learn something new or ask for help,” Frazier said.
As a 20-year member of the hospital’s Mission Team, Frazier had a hand in planning building improvements and charitable initiatives.
She pointed to the hospital pantry, for which she does the food ordering, as an inspiring project. “It started small but has grown because it serves a real need in the community,” she said.
She witnessed a cascade of changes in rural health care. Numerous small hospitals found themselves unable to compete because of economic and regulatory pressure.
When hospitalization was more accessible, “we used to have surgery here and deliver babies. We had two very busy wings and sometimes had to put patients in the hall. The heliport was an exciting addition, and we welcomed the ambulance back. We’ve struggled but we have had a very good leader who keeps the doors open.”
Frazier’s parents, Floye and Huston Reed, and her husband of 44 years, Jimmie Frazier, participated with coworkers in the retirement surprise party.
Jimmie Frazier retired in 2008 after 36 years with Uniroyal (now Michelin) tire company in Ardmore. The couples resides and raises cattle south of Leon. They have two sons, Kevin and Damon.
Charlene Frazier graduated from Leon High School in 1967 and is a lifetime member of Leon Baptist Church.
Frazier said she and her husband plan to spend more time in their diesel pickup hauling their travel trailer to blue grass music festivals across the South. She also looks forward to indulging in her other hobbies, crocheting and gardening.
An avid reader, she received an Amazon Kindle e-book reader from coworkers at her retirement.