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Kathryn Traversi FOR THIS NURSE, CARING IS HER MOTTO

BY LISA SCHMIDT

simply wouldn’t be who we are today without them.”

GIVING BACK TO EAST SAC

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n 1999, Kathryn Traversi retired after almost 50 years as a registered nurse, the last 36 of them at Mercy General Hospital, where she was the chief nurse executive. After retiring, many people travel or take up a hobby. Traversi got involved with Mercy Guild. “As they always say, ‘Once a nurse, always a nurse,’ says Traversi, now serving her fourth year as president of the volunteer group. “While I was working, I had many interactions with the Guild. The members volunteer in many areas of the hospital, and I would meet them during their shifts.” The primary purpose of Mercy Guild is to provide services to patients and their families and to assist trained personnel in the hospital. Guild members volunteer at the information desk and in surgery waiting rooms. According to Traversi, “In many areas, if I or another volunteer wasn’t there to help, there would be no one. Our members are both men and women and come from all walks of life, not just health care.” Guild members also manage the hospital’s gift shop, which is the group’s primary source of funds. They use the money to purchase state-of-the-art specialized equipment for the hospital and to provide teddy bears to young patients, pillow cases for heart surgery patients and heart pillows for breast cancer patients.

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“You don’t have to volunteer at the hospital. Just volunteer somewhere.” Her fellow members credit Traversi for the Guild’s success. “She is devoted to the principles of volunteering. Caring for people is her motto,” says Olivia Lage. Volunteering is important to Traversi, who is a widow with two sons, one daughter and seven grandchildren. “My favorite part of being a member is providing a service to the patients and their families as well as to the hospital staff,” she says. “I can give back to the community, to the Sisters of Mercy and to a hospital that means a lot to me.” She also volunteers at St. Mary Catholic Church. “So many retired people tell me they are bored,” says Traversi. “I say go out and get involved. You don’t have to volunteer at the hospital. Just volunteer somewhere.” “We are most proud of the scholarships we sponsor,” says Traversi. “Each year we set aside $10,000 for graduating high school seniors who are going to enter a medical field.” The hospital’s leadership recognizes the importance of the

Guild’s work. “Mercy Guild has been an integral part of Mercy General Hospital for the last 63 years,” says hospital president Edmundo Castañeda . “Their support of our programs and services has helped Mercy General be a leader in the region and community we serve. We

For more information about Mercy Guild or to volunteer, call Kathryn Traversi at 320-9001. To suggest someone for a volunteer profile, call 441-7026 or email eastsaclife@aol.com n

East sacramento jan 2016