Reflecting on 45 years of service

News / General
By Christine Maloney

Two members of the KHSC community share their passion for long-term success

The year is 1973. Construction has begun on the CN Tower and the technology behind Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has just been developed. It’s also the year Dr. Paul Manley and Suzanne Torgerson began their health-care careers in Kingston.

On January 22, at a Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) celebration dinner they will be recognized for their contributions to our patients and families, along with 135 others staff members and physicians who have reached 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service milestones.

There are a couple of clear characteristics that seem to be fundamental to Dr. Manley and Torgerson’s long-term success: a consistent interest in the work they do, and a genuine enjoyment in working with their colleagues. They both also work in laboratories, which may have something to do with their ability to stay so motivated over the years, since new technologies and advances in medicine are always interesting.

If you are wondering what it takes to hit the 45-year milestone, take advice from those who have succeeded in achieving a long, rewarding career in health care.

“Be curious about your work, and participate in continuing education,” says Torgerson, Senior Hematology Technologist in the Core Laboratory. In her work, Torgerson processes blood and bone marrow samples to help doctors diagnose and treat various disorders, including anemia, leukemia, lymphoma, and infectious diseases such as malaria.

“We appreciate Suzanne’s curiosity and her readiness to share her knowledge with others,” says Donnah Pocius, Manager of the Core Laboratory. 

Dr. Manley, an Anatomic Pathologist, recommends developing one’s resilience by “cultivating friendly, productive relationships.” His clinical work involves examining tissues and other surgical specimens, and providing reports to doctors on the diagnosis of disease, responses patients may have to medications, and how patients’ genetics may affect the outcome of their treatments.

While neither one of these individuals works directly with patients, both are motivated by how their work makes a difference in the lives of those who receive care at KHSC. It’s a good day on the job for Torgerson and Dr. Manley when patients and their health-care providers have the diagnoses and test results they need to begin a treatment plan.

Also contributing to their job satisfaction are the people with whom they work. Dr. Manley describes his colleagues as competent, courteous, caring and positive.

“He also has a keen passion for mentoring students and junior faculty members, and two years ago received the Ron Wigle Mentorship Award for supporting the success of others,” says Dr. Sandy Boag, Pathologist-in-Chief at KHSC and Associate Professor, Queen’s Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine.

Torgerson says her co-workers are “a great group of people, who are like family to me.” She appreciates how sharing laughs or stories about kids and pets helps relieve the stress that is sometimes felt in a very busy workplace.

A piece of advice Dr. Manley has for someone entering the field of pathology today is to “be timely, clear and concise in your reports,” which can apply to every profession.

“We would like to congratulate everyone who is being recognized for their long-service to KHSC,” says Sandra Carlton, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. ”We celebrate your commitment to caring for patients, families and each other.”