Mary Beth Fair, after serving Sequoyah Memorial Hospital in Sallisaw for over 41 years, officially retired on Friday.
She was honored by her colleagues at a retirement reception on Sept. 17.
Fair retired as head of the hospital’s radiology department and was the Corporate Compliance Officer for the hospital.
Fair said she began her association with the Sallisaw hospital when she was born there. As an adult she graduated from Sparks School of Radiologic Sciences in 1975, and while in school she worked at Sequoyah Memorial as a student technologist. At graduation she was hired as a fulltime employee and began working on July 5, 1976.
Mrs. Carrie McClure was the hospital administrator at that time.
Fair said, “Mrs. McClure was such a great role model. She was always checking on the patients and their families, making sure everyone was being taken care of.”
Fair said two others who helped her along her career path and to whom she will always be grateful for their support are the late E.B. Sanders and Lanny Magness.
“Mr. Sanders wrote a letter of recommendation on my behalf to enter the radiology program,” Fair said. “Mr. Lanny Magness, manager of Walmart in 1975, worked with my school schedule so I could continue my store employment.”
At the hospital Fair began as a staff technologist but quickly became department manager. In 2009 she began to divide her time between imaging administration and the Corporate Compliance Officer.
“I enjoyed compliance because this allowed me to work with all the staff, patients, family members and physicians to improve all areas of Sequoyah Memorial,” Fair said. “The hospital is proud to be a four out of five-stars facility.”
Fair is a member of the American Registry of Radiologic Technology and the Association for Medical Imaging Management. She has also served as a clinical educator for the radiology programs at Bacone College in Muskogee and Carl Albert State College in Sallisaw and Poteau.
At the reception honoring Fair, John Cripps, chair of the hospital board, noted that Fair began her career when the hospital only had x-ray equipment. But during her tenure at the hospital the department has grown to include other services including mammography, CT scanning, sonography, MRI and bone density scanning.
Cripps said Fair was instrumental in bring the department from analog into the digital age.
Debbie Knoke, the hospital’s recently retired administrator, also praised Fair. She noted that not only was Fair born at the hospital, so was her youngest son, Zachary.
Knoke said, “Beth has a unique caring relationship with this hospital. She is truly a servant to SMH and has served so very well. She will be missed by all.”
Current administrator Julie Ward spoke about Fair’s desire to improve the mammogram services.
“She was instrumental in the hospital being awarded the Susan B. Komen grant,” Ward said. “Beth is irreplaceable when it comes to the compliance officer. She has such a gift when working with and helping people.”
Cripps presented Fair with a plaque honoring her years of dedicated service to the hospital. The hospital auxiliary presented the hospital with a check for $2,500 to go toward the mammography project in honor of Fair.
Fair said, “My work at the hospital was a privilege to serve the community – God’s plan for my life – and now I will spend more time with family and I have plans to travel. But I will be here ready to support our community hospital in any way.”
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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