Longtime hospital employee, volunteer still on the job nearly 50 years later | News

0 276

SALEM — Like clockwork, Frank Popielski is at the cafeteria at Salem Hospital Monday and Wednesday mornings to help clean tables, restock condiments, utensils and snacks, and help put away supply orders that arrive during the week.

The 80-year-old Salem resident explains that he’s an active person and always looking for something to keep him busy. “I enjoy volunteering and am grateful for the opportunities.”

This is also after being an employee at the hospital for 30 years — he worked in housekeeping and later food service, as a dishwasher and doing general maintenance in the cafeteria. And in fact, it was only two weeks into his retirement in 2005 that he was back with “his Salem Hospital family”, as a volunteer, to help ensure patients and their families had a welcoming environment on campus. It’s been nearly a 50-year commitment.

And so, in light of April being National Volunteer Month, Salem Hospital wanted to shine a spotlight on one of its hardest working volunteers.

“Frank is so loyal to his volunteer assignment; I am truly amazed that he is so reliable despite any weather conditions or personal issues that may arise,” said Janet Talbot, Salem Hospital Volunteer Services Manager. “He always takes time to visit me every week here in my office.”

During the COVID-19 crisis, the cafeteria sponsored an ice cream social for staff and Popielski spent hours helping to hand out ice cream bars to all who attended.

“Frank is always here, present and willing to work,” said Adam Fellows, Salem Hospital’s Director of Support Services. “He is genuinely a nice person and I’m so grateful to have had the extra help during such a difficult time.”

Popielski grew up near the Willows and has spent his entire life working or volunteering in his hometown. This has also included serving as a crossing guard for the Salem Public Schools. And he’s been a patient as well at Salem Hospital a couple of times.

When he’s not at the hospital, Popielski might be spotted walking along Highland Avenue. He walks everywhere — even on the coldest winter days — to get fresh air, exercise and connect with his neighbors.

- Advertisement -

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.