Deutscher marks 50 years taking callsDon’t be surprised if you call to set up a doctor appointment, and the woman answering the phone already knows your name. That’s because she may have booked appointments for your parents and grandparents too.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
Don’t be surprised if you call to set up a doctor appointment, and the woman answering the phone already knows your name.
That’s because she may have booked appointments for your parents and grandparents too.
Leona Deutscher, switchboard operator at Innovis Health, celebrates her 50th year with the company Monday.
“I do recognize names and I do recognize voices,” she said.
Deutscher originally worked in medical records and registration before operating the switchboard a few months later. She said she’s assisting the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the patients she helped when she first started in 1959.
“She’s been here since the beginning of time,” said a joking Laura Hovland, nurse supervisor at Innovis.
Back then, the Streeter (N.D.) High School graduate took the job as a means to save up to earn a degree in nursing.
“I thought I was just going to work until I had enough money for school,” Deutscher said.
But Deutscher said she liked living near her family and she enjoyed coming to work — even if that work changed its name a time or two.
When she started, Innovis Health operated under the name Depuy Sorknes Clinic. The name changed to Jamestown Clinic in the early 1970s and Dakota Clinic in the mid-80s, she said.
The company renamed itself Innovis Health in January 2008.
“Very dedicated — That’s how I would describe her,” said Vicki Walsh, business office supervisor.
Walsh has worked with Deutscher for 30 years.
And not only dedicated, but co-workers compared Deutscher to a history textbook mixed with a telephone directory. When co-workers have questions about where to find a specialized doctor or a doctor that used to work at the clinic, Deutscher always knows, Hovland said.
“She’s able to do all that for us,” she said.
In fact, Deutscher said she remembers the extension number of each of the doctors she used to work with, even the ones from 50 years ago.
“I sure enjoy being here,” Deutscher said.
And it’s the enjoyment she gets from her co-workers that brings her back, day after day.
“If and when I retire, I’m sure going to miss it,” she said. “I know that.”
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org