Lou Ann Quinn, who was described as a perfectionist, noticed that her plaque was slightly off-kilter.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center colleagues took a moment in the emergency room to honor Lou Ann Quinn and her 47-year career caring for North County.
Quinn, a registered nurse and director of operations for the North Adams Campus, recently retired but visited the hospital Monday as friends and colleagues unveiled a plaque memorializing her permanently in the emergency room.
"You have been incredibly important to each of us at the hospital here and now, when anyone shows up, they will always see you and know that you were such a big part of everything," said Dr. Michael McHugh, Emergency Department chairman.
Quinn started working at the then-North Adams Regional Hospital in the 1970s. According to her colleagues, she was the steady hand that guided the North Adams campus through its reopening under BMC after the hospital closed in 2014.
"There is definitely a hole that is going to be hard to fill that's for sure," said Jennifer Dowling, operational manager of the emergency room and medical/surgical inpatient care. "She was a one-woman show here for nine years after the hospital closed … she did everything."
At the gathering, education specialist Eileen Rockefeller reflected on her many years working with Quinn and lauded her leadership, adding it was one of the main reasons the North Adams Campus has come so far.
"You have been a rock to this place, for the satellite [emergency facility], the North Adams Regional, and for me," she said. "The satellite's success is due to you. You did everything you could for this community, the patients, and your staff. You backed them up, all of them."
Quinn, who retired in September, unwrapped the plaque that was placed next to her photo. Known for her uncompromising attention to detail, she adjusted the slightly crooked plaque and then thanked her North Adams Campus family.
"This has meant everything to me. As you all know, I raised my child right within these walls," she said. "This is my family. These folks have embraced me. EMS has been a constant source of support, and my ED leadership team couldn't be better even though they are a campus away sometimes."
She said she leaves the soon-to-reopen hospital in good hands and is happy to help in the transition.
"It means so much to me to be able to hand it off … and it is part of my legacy," she said. "I want to be here to support you all."
She added that she is enjoying retirement.
"Retirement has been wonderful," she said. "My house has never been so clean, and my grandchild has never been so visited. It is wonderful."
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