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The perfect teacher for health education

Myrtle Bush is a nurse, a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother. She is funny, feisty and – unlike most of her peers – she is not even thinking about retirement yet. Despite turning 87 years young in October.

Bush has been part of the Community General family for more than 30 years. She began her nursing career here in the 1980s after earning her nursing degree at Onondaga Community College and master’s degree in nursing at SUNY Oswego.

“I began working for Community when, one day, I was stopped in the hallway by Virginia Hayden, the health education director at the time,” said Bush. “She said she had seen me working with students from OCC on one of the floors and asked if I would be interested in working for the hospital. I couldn’t say no!”

Bush admits that she has seen many changes over the years – staff has changed, technology has definitely changed, and when asked about the acquisition of Community General by Upstate, she responded, “This family is like family to me – I am so happy to see the hospital continuing on.”

Lisa Vigliotti-Bane, health education department manager and wound care center manager, said everyone can learn something from Bush. “Myrtle is a tremendous role model. As a health educator, the first lesson she teaches—by example—is how to make every moment matter,” Bane said. “She continues to add so much to our programs with her experience, compassion, love of people, sense of humor and zest for life!

Bush still works for the hospital assisting with annual flu clinics and teaching health education classes. After working at Community General for 30 years, Bush – the hospital’s oldest employee – claims that she hasn’t thought about retirement yet.

Caption: Myrtle Bush, 87, right, who works at Upstate University Hospital at Community General as a health educator, with Lisa Vigliotti-Bane, health education department manager.

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