“If you are able to do it, volunteer.”
Say hello to Pat Carlin, volunteer in the Mail Room at St. John Medical Center in Westlake.
Pat loves it there. He’s been part of the hospital family since he started out as an Environmental Services employee at the old BayView Hospital in Bay Village back in 1967.
“I used to push one of those big gray carts around,” Pat said with a smile in the SJMC cafeteria last week.
He never let the fact that he has Cerebral Palsy get in the way of his work.
But, when he retired in 2014 and decided to continue on as a volunteer, he traded in his push cart for a mail wagon.
“I deliver the mail to Buildings 2 and 3 and I stamp the mail to go out that day in the mail room,” he said.
Pat started at the old BayView Hospital three days after his 20th birthday. Little did this graduate of Brookside High know that he would be making a career of it.
It didn’t take him long to decide to come back as a volunteer. “Now, if it snows, at least I don’t have to come in,” he laughs. “My friends are here. I could go and walk around Walmart all day, but this is the place where I know people.”
Pat volunteers three days a week. He lives at home in the Sheffield house he grew up in. “It is the same house my dad owned, but a neighbor bought it. So I rent my dad’s old home,” Pat, 68, says with another laugh. “I started paying my rent there the day I was born!”
“Pat has been a wonderful asset to our volunteer program since May of 2014,” says SJMC Volunteer Coordinator Penny Evans. “We were pleased that he wanted to return after he retired from St. John’s to become a volunteer.
“His assistance is greatly appreciated by our mail room department. He is an excellent volunteer. Pat enjoys people and is an inspiration to all who have the privilege to know him.”
“Pat works with me in the mailroom 3 days a week even though he does not have to,” reports Angela Steers. “He has been huge help to me with all that he has taken on, I would be lost without him.”
“Pat has been with St. John Medical Center since it opened in 1981,” adds another associate, Adam Mihalic. “Pat has been loyal to the hospital and the community. When he retired, he wanted to come back and continue to help with the mission of the Hospital. Pat is a great guy and is always looking to help and better St. John Medical Center.”
As for Pat, he isn’t one to take these testimonials too seriously. “Some people made fun and said I came back because I couldn’t live without them,” he laughs. “But if you want something to do and you are able to to do it, be a volunteer. You can come back and see all your old friends. You can go to the cafeteria and eat and drink with them, talk with them. And, because you are a volunteer, you can get drinks for half price!”
“Pat enjoys people and is an inspiration to all who have the privilege to know him,” adds Evans. “Thank you Pat for your dedication to UH St. John Medical Center.”
Pat has now volunteered 1,150 hours at UH St. John Medical Center.
Turn Back Time
William Patrick Carlin is one of about 10 associates who have been with St. John Medical Center from its transition from the old BayView Hospital in Bay Village and St. John Hospital in Cleveland. Pat thinks he has been there the longest, and he shares some photos of the the old BayView and also a rendering of a proposed expansion of BayView that the state rejected, leading to the formation of St. John Westshore Hospital.