OXNARD, CA—(October 6, 2020)— Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center’s (SJRMC) longest-serving employee, Maria Jimenez, is retiring after 54 years of dedicated service. Jimenez, who has been with SJRMC for half of the hospital’s history in the Oxnard community, will be celebrated and sent off by her colleagues. In lieu of a going-away party due to COVID-19 restrictions, Maria will parade around the medical center’s Mercy Cross on Wednesday, October 7, at 11:30 a.m. for hospital staff to celebrate her legacy.
“I will be forever grateful to St. John’s for the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful people—employees, doctors, patients, volunteers—which has been such a fulfilling part of my life,” says Jimenez. “The hospital has not only helped me, but my entire family, and my experience as part of the Dignity Health family was the reason I came to work with a smile for the last 54 years. As I start the next season of life, I wish all my friends the same joy and kindness that has kept me going for so many years. I am humbled to have been part of your lives for over five decades.”
Jimenez joined SJRMC in 1966 as a member of the Environmental Services (EVS) Department, where she worked for 25 years. From maintaining the living quarters of the hospital's founding women religious—the Sisters of Mercy—to working as a relief EVS supervisor covering various patient care areas throughout the hospital, she has touched many lives. She later transitioned to her current role in managing the mailroom and is responsible for distribution to more than 1,300 employees at SJRMC. She has been named Employee of the Month numerous times throughout her storied career, and was named Producer of the Year at the hospital’s employee awards ceremony in 2000. Her niece and two nephews were all born at St. John’s Hospitals, and honored their beloved aunt’s lifelong achievement by naming a rose bush in the Oxnard hospital’s Hiji Garden in her honor.
“Maria is a pillar of St. John’s history, she embodies our mission and values in everything she does,” said Darren Lee, President and CEO of St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital. “Maria’s commitment to her work and colleagues is admirable. We are thankful for everything she has done, and while we will miss her, she will always be a member of the St. John’s family.”
In 1912, the Sisters of Mercy and Oxnard’s pioneer families’ opened the doors to the six-room St. John’s Hospital. In its 108 years of service to the community, the hospital has expanded its services and community outreach to form SJRMC, all while staying true to its principles of delivering high quality and compassionate health care to the community.
[Photos: Maria Jimenez at Retirement Celebration; Maria Jimenez in 1966 at St. John's Regional Medical Center]
About Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center
St. John’s Regional Medical Center is a 265-bed acute care, award-winning facility. Serving Ventura County for more than one hundred years, St. John’s is the first and only Certified Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center in Ventura County and a recipient of the American Heart Association’s, Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. Designated as a STEMI Receiving Center, St. John’s is highly recognized in the community for excellence in cardiac care. Its Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and the Integrated Breast Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. SJRMC houses a comprehensive Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, providing specialized care to the tiniest patients as well as a Beacon Award-Winning Intensive Care Unit. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.