PVH credits those who helped the hospital in its early stages with enabling it to grow to what it is today. And one former employee of PVH devoted her heart and soul to the hospital and still contributes today as a member of the PVH Auxiliary.
Margaret Amburgey worked at PVH from 1959 to 1995 and is still involved with the hospital today. She served as executive secretary and was able to see the hospital dramatically evolve during her many years of employment.
“When I started (working at PVH) it was sort of like family,” Amburgey said. “We had 40 beds and handled more than one job in each position.”
She added that her job responsibilities included handling several tasks such as doing all of the hospital’s accounting. She also paid the bills and posted charges without the help of computers. According to Amy Leach, PVH director of community relations, there are now three different departments that handle what Amburgey did at the hospital.
Amburgey said the job at PVH as almost falling into her lap.
“I came to the ground-breaking ceremony and we pledged to the (hospital) fund. I put an application in and they hired me,” she said.
Once hired, Amburgey worked part-time for one day before she was asked to work full-time.
“I always enjoyed working. I worked before I was married. I felt lost when my son, Kenny, went to school,” she said. “I was really fortunate to work for so many people. I liked my job and I think that helps you a lot.”
Amburgey said that she has many fond memories of her time at PVH and described the hospital’s humble beginnings as being very special to her.
“In the beginning everyone seriously cared, but (the hospital) had to expand in order for it to be a success,” she said.
She added that she viewed her co-workers as family who stuck together in both good times and bad.
“We had a rough way to go in the beginning and bills had to be paid. I was one that didn’t take a paycheck once. My husband was working so I knew we would be all right and that others needed it,” Amburgey said. “If you like your work, you put your heart in it.”
Leach, who worked with Amburgey for a few years when she was a student, described Amburgey’s work ethic as excellent.
“She is one of the most efficient, on-the-ball ladies I know,” she said.
Amburgey said her enjoyment of the job enabled her to learn many things.
“I learned a lot about accounting and things that I had not been trained for,” she said.
According to Amburgey, technology is just one aspect of the hospital that changed over the years. She saw PVH expand in both size and services. In addition, when Amburgey started employees, all wore uniforms and later those on the administrative side were required to wear “street clothes.” Amburgey said that she did not own many outfits at first and that her sister made her suits to wear.
“Margaret always looked well-dressed. She was an example of an exemplary employee,” Leach said.
Although Amburgey is no longer employed by PVH, she still makes time to volunteer at the hospital as a member of the PVH Auxiliary. She also was able to attend the hospital’s 50th anniversary celebration, which was held Sept. 19, at the National Guard Armory.
“I think it’s very exciting (to see the hospital reach 50 years) knowing that you were there from the beginning,” Amburgey said.
Leach also commended Amburgey for her commitment to PVH.
“If not for folks like Margaret, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate the 50th anniversary,” she said.
Amburgey also described the hospital’s anniversary as a way to reflect on the good times she had working at PVH.
“Getting to work for so many people made me feel good. I always enjoyed my job — if you like your job then you do not dislike it,” she said.
As for volunteering at the hospital, Amburgey encouraged others to volunteer as well. Leach also praised Amburgey as well as the other PVH volunteers.
“If not for people like Margaret, our auxiliary would not exist,” she said.
To honor Amburgey for her dedicated service to PVH, the hospital had a plaque made for her, which will be placed on the hospital’s memory wall.
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