Barbara Owens, the administrative director of Baptist Memorial Hospital Union County, is retiring this month after 50 years of service at the award-winning hospital.
When she first went to work in an entry-level ward secretary job in 1966, Owens was still a teenager. The facility was then known as Union County General Hospital. It was a brand new county-owned hospital that had just opened in March of that year. It was three stories tall, and had 65 beds.
Barbara Owens had worked at Union County General Hospital for 21 years in a variety of jobs with increasing responsibility, when the hospital became part of the Baptist Memorial Health Care organization in 1987.
Her work has touched every aspect of hospital operations. Among her many notable achievements was guiding the hospital through its first accreditation survey by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH) in 1988 — and every Joint Commission survey since then.
Mary Foley, the risk manager at Baptist Union County, has worked with Barbara Owens for 44 of the 50 years of her career at Baptist. “She has impacted every department — the physicians and the patients,” says Foley. “She’s mentored countless interns and encouraged them to pursue their careers. She literally molded the culture of our hospital.”
Barbara Owens will be honored at a retirement event at the hospital during the coming week.