Add up all the years that Harry Whipple, RN, and his family have worked at Albany Med and the total is 110 years and still counting.
Whipple, who is retiring this month, is responsible for 43 of those years. His wife, MaryAnn, also a registered nurse, retired last year with 40 years. His son Scott, a materiels coordinator, has been working here for 16 years and his daughter Rebecca, a patient access training specialist, has 11 years so far. That does not count the time Whipple’s father Harry worked as an Albany Med security guard nor the years his son-in-law Daniel Wagner has worked in laboratory receiving.
“One of the best memories I have of working here at Albany Med is the family lunches we used to have before my wife retired. We’d all meet in Choices every Wednesday and catch up on family stuff,” says Whipple.
In 1969 after he was discharged from the Army, Whipple joined Albany Med as an orderly on the inpatient rehabilitation unit. His two mentors there were Bernadette Pedlow, RN, who is now senior vice president and hospital chief operating officer, and Barbara Kelly, RN, who works in ambulatory surgery.
“They both encouraged me to go to nursing school here at Albany Med. They seemed to think I’d make a good nurse,” recalls Whipple.
“Harry was a very, very bright person, and very caring and compassionate. I knew he’d make an exceptional nurse,” says Pedlow.
Whipple took their advice and graduated from Albany Med’s School of Nursing in 1973. He worked in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit from 1973 to 1995, and in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab from then until now. Whipple says he’s looking forward to retirement and that he and his wife are planning a Caribbean Karaoke Cruise in March. They also plan on spending plenty of time with their 1-year-old grandson, Jack. “I am ready to let my kids carry on the Whipple tradition here at Albany Med!” he says.