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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

On March 19, Carol Baylor celebrated her 73rd birthday, her 55th service anniversary and received Geisinger’s North Star employee recognition award. In spite of her hectic days, Carol shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. 

“I call this place ‘my Geisinger family’ and I’m proud of a job well done,” Carol says. An environmental services employee assigned to the Emergency Department (ED) at Geisinger Medical Center, Carol is known for her non-stop smile and high energy. “I love moving all the time. Early in my career I worked in the lab and didn’t like it because I sat most of the time. I went back to the ED where I could keep moving! That’s why Dr. Henry Hood, former chief of staff, nicknamed me ‘Zippy.’”

Carol recalls making $1.17/hour when she first joined Geisinger at 18 years of age and while working toward her GED. “I chose Geisinger because I wanted to help people and make a difference. I’ve stayed all these years because I have a good job and I love meeting everyone. People look for someone to smile when they come to a hospital, especially in an emergency. Smiling is big for me. It’s what I do. I smile when I help families of patients find the Atrium cafeteria, or the Subway station, or whatever they need.”

For her fellow employees, Carol has a unique way of creating smiles -- candy jars. Since 1963, each working day Carol has brought two huge jars of candy, purchased entirely on her own, to share with her colleagues. “I buy the candy in bulk. I decorate the jars with my initials and some bling. Often the ED staff won’t have time for breaks or even meals. I fill a drawer with candy for employees, and I walk around with my jar. Whatever candy is left at the end of my day I leave for the next shift.” Why does she do it? “It makes everyone happy and it makes me happy. Some people crochet or knit. My hobby is sharing candy.”

Much has changed during her five decades with Geisinger – technology, procedures, personnel – and Carol has made a lifetime of special friendships and memories. She’s been recognized for her valuable contributions, including as Employee of the Month. But the most important event for Carol was when her grandson was brought to the ED. “He’s the love of my life, and many years ago when he was two, he fell down a flight of steps while in his walker, resulting in major head trauma. The doctors, nurses and all the employees here at Geisinger are the very best. They saved my grandson just as they save people every day. I’m proud to be part of this incredible team. I may never retire!”
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