50 years ago in 1972, Nashville's future looked bright as Opryland theme park opened its doors and the inaugural CMA Fest took place. It was also 50 years ago when Inge Crow, 88, started her volunteer career at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West. She is now known as the hospital's longest volunteer.
A friend first invited Ingre to volunteer at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West, then known as Saint Thomas Hospital West. Her daughter was going back to school and, fortunately, it wasn’t necessary for Inge to work. She happily started volunteering at the original hospital location on Patterson Street in 1972. Igne moved with the hospital as they developed their new location on Harding Pike in 1974.
“I started off my volunteer career passing out lunch menus to patients in their rooms,” said Igne. “I moved to work in the medical imaging department helping patients get checked in and processing their payments. They then moved me to the information desk at the front of Seton garage to greet patients, push patients in the wheelchair, and offer patients anything that they needed.”
When COVID restrictions took place, volunteers were asked to take about a 6 month break before they could return. After returning, Igne was in charge of taking temperatures and asking pre-screening questions at the entrance of the hospitals. “I have done this for a long time now and it was wonderful to get back to volunteering after the COVID restrictions were partially lifted,” said Igne.
Igne volunteers her time at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West on Fridays and spends her other free time volunteering at local organizations around Nashville. “I love to help people,” said Igne. “I enjoy seeing patients come in, my coworkers, and the employees. I can honestly say I got much more out of it than I have ever given to Ascension Saint Thomas. I love it, or I wouldn’t have stayed for 50 years.”
“Inge personifies the spirit of volunteerism,” said Patrick Housman, volunteer coordinator at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West. She radiates warmth and positivity to each individual she considers herself honored to serve. To imagine the countless lives she's touched, days she's brightened and care she's provided to patients, visitors and staff over the course of 50 years is simply staggering. Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West owes a debt of gratitude for the gift of Inge's service and wholehearted commitment to its mission.”
Ascension Saint Thomas would like to thank Igne and all the volunteers who have dedicated their time to help our patients and associates. You make the world a better place.