Sycamore Shoals Hospital | News Article

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Barbara Duke retires after 48 years at Carter County Memorial and Sycamore Shoals
This is Barbara Duke's photo, with Sycamore Shoals CEO Dwayne Taylor, from when she received the Servant's Heart Award in 2008.

Barbara Duke retires after 48 years at Carter County Memorial and Sycamore Shoals

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. – A lot has changed in the past 48 years at Carter County Memorial Hospital and now at Sycamore Shoals Hospital, but one thing remained the same up until Dec. 31, 2016 – Barbara Duke was always on site to offer a smile and words of encouragement to patients.

Barbara retired from Sycamore Shoals at the end of the year.

Barbara was a certified nursing assistant and patient care partner (CNA/PCP) in nearly every department over the years and officially retired from the surgical unit at Sycamore Shoals at the end of 2016. It all started in 1969 with her first job at Carter County Memorial Hospital. She worked four years on Unit 2B until it closed. She had to find work elsewhere for about six months, but then got a call to come back to the hospital and she jumped at the chance, serving patients ever since.

“Whatever patients or their families needed, I tried to make it happen,” she said. “Along with all of the friends I worked with, that’s what I miss the most serving the patients at the hospital.”

She recalls helping patients and families who had never been to a hospital or had a surgical procedure done. She says she loved to tell them to not be afraid and that she would be waiting for them when they came back from surgery.

Her career was about service. She was named CNA of the Year several times, and in 2008 she was awarded Mountain States’ highest honor – the Servant’s Heart Award. Barbara was extremely thankful and honored to have so many people say so many nice things about her. When asked if that was her proudest moment, she hesitated and said, “No, I think just having the opportunity to serve patients and make them feel more comfortable every day was the most rewarding.”

She will be missed!