Q. Where is Peggy Hall, who served as the patient representative at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in the 1990s?
A. Peggy Hall retired from New Hanover Regional Medical Center in 1996 and still lives in New Hanover County.
Hall began her nursing career in 1965 and moved to Wilmington in 1967, the same year New Hanover Regional Medical Center opened.
She first served in the special testing department at the hospital, working with pacemaker patients and those needing electrocardiograms.
In 1980 or ’81, Hall became the hospital’s second patient representative in the fledgling program, she said.
“Our program grew until we had about 10 volunteers and six or seven part-timers,” Hall said.
She and others in the program served as liaisons between patients, staff and the administration. They would resolve patient complaints if they could, or they would follow up with others to see that complaints were resolved.
“We worked closely with everybody in the hospital,” she said.
Workers in her program began giving patients brochures that outlined their rights.
“Communication is the big thing,” Hall said. “People in medicine speak a different language than people in everyday life.”
She said most of those who worked in the patient representative program cared about other people and wanted them to be as comfortable as they could be while in the hospital.
Hall was 64 in 1996 when the hospital gave her and several others in middle management the option to retire. She took it and never looked back.
“I didn’t do much of anything except what I wanted to do,” she said.
Hall traveled through Europe, visiting Scandinavia and Greece, and then went to Egypt.
“It was just a wonderful experience I never expected to have,” she said.
For about four years she participated in ballroom dancing through the Fred Astaire studio, traveling to competitions throughout the region.
Hall, whose first husband Charles had died in 1975, remarried. She said it just didn’t work out and they parted ways.
Now she’s proud to say that at age 80 she has four sons, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“I have a wonderful, blessed life,” Hall said.
She likes to bake and cook for family members when they visit, and has recently taken an interest in a different area of biology.
“Now I fancy myself a gardener,” she said.
Hall completed the master gardener program at the New Hanover County Arboretum. Instead of dealing with patient complaints, she deals with the weeds that crop up among her flowers.
“God has supplied me with so much work to do,” she said.
Date posted: August 1, 2012
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