As the hospital celebrates its 85th anniversary, two employees reflect on a decades-long career at Broward Health

(WSVN) – It’s unusual these days to dedicate your entire life to a local cause. But two Broward Health employees are celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Broward Health Medical Center. Karen Hensel illuminates 7 Spotlight.

Steve Fredrickson (on phone): “We’ll take care of that right away.”

Steve Fredrickson has been with Boward Health for 50 years. He started working as a domestic worker at the age of 18.

Steve Fredrickson: “At the time, I was making $2.42 an hour. I was delivering clean sheets, and then I was picking up dirt and I was vacuuming it up.”

Five years later, he became District Manager for Facilities Services.

Steve Fredrickson: “I get involved in a lot of different things every day and just love being there to work.”

Onecia Pryce also built her career here. In 1977, she began working as a nurse assistant in the obstetrics unit.

Onecia Pryce: “I’m so excited!”

She is now the Unit Secretary of the Pediatric Oncology Unit. She can’t believe how much Broward Health has come a long way in her 47 years.

Onecia Pryce: “Where do I start, it’s just that little area of ​​the West Wing, you know, mostly — so now, this place is now this huge place.”

The hospital opened as Broward General Hospital on January 2, 1938 in a renovated apartment building. This is the first public hospital in the county, with only 16 beds.

Shane Strum, CEO, Broward Health: “Look at how obsolete it is now. I mean, these machines are 10 times bigger.”

Broward General changed its name to Broward Health Medical Center in 2012.

President and CEO Shane Strum loves looking at old photos.

Shane Strum: “They’re like a time capsule. Open it up, it’s a gift. We’re the first NICU, the first EKG machine, neuroscience first.

The hospital is also the first in the county to receive an iron lung. This huge machine uses suction to help patients breathe.

Shane Strum: “It used to wrap the whole body, right? A machine was doing all the breathing for a person. Today, all you need is a tube and a ventilator.”

Broward Health continues to grow with locations added, medical advances and challenges added.

In July 2020, Broward Health gave 7 Investigates an exclusive look inside its COVID-19 unit.

Onecia Pryce: “I’ll be ready to go, you know, to the floor, but it’s scary.”

Healthcare workers on the front lines are battling the virus without vaccine protection.

Steve Fredrickson: “Sometimes when I talk about it, I’m almost in tears. Seeing nurses going in and out of the room, it’s like walking into a place where if you do one thing wrong, you get an infection COVID.”

Steve and Onecia say employees are strong, which is why they want to keep coming to work every day.

Steve Fredrickson: “If I retire, I think I’ll be bored.”

Onecia Pryce: “We love each other here. It’s fun to work with people my age, I just love that.”

Broward Health’s 85th anniversary is Monday, January 2nd. Employees say they will celebrate the past and look to the future.

Karen Hensel, 7News.

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