Stories from the Past 100 Years


I started my employment at St. Michael’s on April 3, 1980 in the Data Processing department. At that time the location of the current parking ramp was all residential houses. One of them being my Aunt and Uncle’s home. These houses were purchased and/or moved to allow for the construction of the now 2 level employee parking ramp. Before the ramp was built, we actually had the flight for life helicopter landing area in what was the parking area by the Emergency Department.

The Data Processing Department in 1980 was located where the current Oncology department is. Along with the Billing Office, Admitting/Switchboard, Administration, Personnel Office and the Gift Shop. We had 2 terminals, 1 printer and a 2 disc system that we worked with. One permanent and one removable disk which we changed out for daily, weekly and monthly sets. As Data Processors, we would key all the admissions, discharges, transfers, batches of patient charges from all the hospital departments, General Ledger data, Fixed Assets data, Accounts Payable data, and Payroll cards for all employees. Charge data such as the patient charges, would first be totaled up using an adding machine, then the charges would be entered in the system via cassette tapes and then entered a second time to verify that all data was entered correctly and the totals matched up with the totals added up via the adding machine. All data was then transmitted via modem to the Ministry Corporate office in Milwaukee. They would created all our reports for us and send them back via modem for us to print out and distribute to the department managers after we balanced out our daily totals. Batches of charge tickets and numerous reports were saved for 7 years in the caged off Data Processing storage area in the basement, which now houses beds for Environmental Services. We had 7 employees….Manager – Jerry Rayala, Coordinator - Helen Christofferson, Data Encoders – Anne Boris (Wroblewski), Cliff (can’t remember his last name), and Tamie Przybylski (Herbold), as well as Delores Durtschi, and later Mary Swan.

A few years later our department moved to the 3rd floor tower section due to remodeling of the first floor. This is where MMG Ophthalmology and OB/GYN are currently located now. In our office was a small bathroom which we placed a board on the bath tub in order to store our report binders. We had to have window air conditioner units installed to keep our equipment cool, but they couldn’t keep up…they froze up continually. A Liebert cooling system was installed from the ceiling and the water that discharged from this unit was fed by copper pipe into the toilet. After the remodeling was complete we moved back to our 1st floor area, where we now had a separate enclosed room for our loud printers to reside. We still had approximately 7 employees, most of the same people, however, a few others came and went during this time period.

More years down the road, yup….more remodeling and construction. Our department was then to move to the 6th floor where IT is currently located. We had a conference room/break room, working area, and the computer room with a large UPS and Liebert cooling system. The 3rd picture attached is our newly remodeled computer room, showing you the NCR and MedPro terminals. I’m pictured using the MedPro terminal and my Coordinator, Helen Christofferson is sitting at the NCR terminal. This area on the 6th floor used to be where the Sisters had their offices. It had beautiful terrazzo flooring and retro exit lights. It was something to see! These were the employees at that time…Cindy Berg - Manager, Helen Christofferson – Coordinator, Data encoders/Operators – Anne Wroblewski, Tamie Przybylski (Herbold), Delores Durtschi, Mary Swan and later came Elaine Bembenek, Lori Riele (Hoffmann), and Pat Barnoske, due to adding a second shift and 3rd shift to our department. There were of course many other employees that came and went as well throughout the years. I remember specially getting the first PC in the hospital! Al Pennebecker (an employee of Bio-Med at that time) would come and use our new PC to create his spreadsheets, etc. And now we carry them around with us!!! Amazing!

I’ve been here 32+ years, (currently working in Telecommunications as of 2007) and cannot believe the changes I have seen in all the departments! The one thing that never changes though is the care and compassion of our employees in regards to our patients and to each other! Happy 100th anniversary St. Michael’s! – Tamie Herbold, Telecommunications Technician, Ministry Health Care

Tamie Herbold


When I first started in the Lab in 1974 the instrumentation was very different than what we have today.
Laboratory Medicine has come a long way over the past 36+ years and I so happy that I have had the opportunity to be a part of that here at Ministry St Michael’s.
Happy 100th

Mary A West MT(ASCP)



This is a picture of me from 1969. It is from the St. Michael’s Shield, our hospital newsletter announcing my editorship for the newsletter. I worked 45 of my 47 years with Ministry in the purchasing department. Happy 100th! – Linda (Molski) Orella   


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