A half century of curing and caring

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Hottendorf, who was the nurse executive then, recalled having to find jobs for all the maternity nurses, either in other units at Franklin or other hospitals in North Shore-LIJ. The maternity wing was converted into a pain management department and the disbanded pediatrics unit, which closed in 2004, made way for an end-of-life-care center, known as hospice.

Dicker was there to oversee the expanded use of technology in the hospital, but also had to deal with diminishing financial support from the government and increased rules and regulations. “It become a far more competitive and difficult climate to operate,” he said. “Things were not simple anymore.”

Special programs

Since its inception, Franklin Hospital has relied on volunteers for a variety of support services, from cheering up patients to working in the gift shop. “You’ll see them throughout the hospital,” Hottendorf said. “The volunteers are very important.”

Karen Maguire, a long-time hospital administrator, said every summer the hospital has 100 candy stripers who volunteer. They do anything from answering the phone to filing to working in the kitchen. Typically, she said, they are high school students.

Walter started out as a volunteer in the emergency room. After serving in the Army Medical Corps, then working with his father in the jewelry business, he decided he wanted to give back to his community. He started out volunteering two hours per week in the early 1970s and four decades later he still can be found there visiting patients and greeting staff members.

Maguire, who started working at the hospital in 1973, and then returned in 1990 after taking time off to have children, also spoke of the summer scientific program that has been in existence almost as long as the hospital has been standing. College students in pre-medicine programs spend several weeks at Franklin and visit each department. They shadow the doctors and attend lectures. Many, she said, have gone on to become doctors themselves.

Striving to be the best

Tullo said the hospital’s perception within the community has improved in recent years. “Back in the day, let’s face it, it didn’t have the best of reputations,” she said.
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