The Rogers County Health Department today announced the retirement of four long-term employees.
“These four co-workers have been part our work family and will remain our friends. We wish them much happiness and prosperity in their retirements. However, their work expertise, dedication, faithfulness, and laughter will be greatly missed by all Rogers County” said Larry Bergner, Health Department Regional Director.
These four individuals accumulated 102 years with the State of Oklahoma, many of those at Rogers County Health Department. The retirees include: Tina Humphries, Child Guidance Counselor, 35 years of service; Larry Tate, Public Health Specialist/Sanitarian, 27 years of service; Mary Garvey, Administrative Assistant, 25 years of service; and LaDeana Shouse, RN, Communicable Disease Nurse, 15 years of service.
Tina Humphries began her career at the health department with a paid internship while in her Master’s degree program at Northeastern State University. During her first days working as a Child Guidance employee she remembers that 90% of the cases presented included either physical or sexual abuse, child pornography or child neglect. She is thankful for the people who helped guide her on the journey to a better understanding, and a treatment model for child abuse and numerous other family situations all were faced with each day.
In 2002, the Oklahoma State Department of Health moved Tina’s position to the SoonerStart program. She learned much and saw many families trying to meet the needs of children who demonstrated significant developmental delays and were often medically fragile. During her tenure here, she earned the position as regional supervisor of 24 clinicians for Child Guidance.
A budget cut in 2010 reduced and regionalized the program, moving her back to providing individual and family services that included: counseling, testing, consultation, and training. The program operates now with three full-time positions serving the northeast region of the state.
One of the opportunities Tina has been granted, which had the biggest impact on her personally, was her training in the Neurocognitive Diagnostic Program (NCD). This program trains clinicians on administering and interpreting neurocognitive assessments. Tina is the last trained NCD therapist with Child Guidance in Oklahoma, and upon her retirement the program will cease.
“I feel especially lucky to have been able to work with such an extraordinary staff of dedicated individuals at the Rogers County Health Department. The staff has been one main reason I stayed for 35 years. I think of the staff as my extended family and support system. I feel I have been touched by the resilience of families and children throughout the years” said Ms. Humphries.
She is easing into retirement by working part time for the Neuropsychologist she trained under many years ago. Tina also plans to spend more time with her grandchildren and volunteering in her community.
Larry Tate began his career as a Public Health Specialist in Pottawatomie County at the Shawnee office on February 15, 1989. He considers himself lucky to have worked with the people at both Pottawattamie and Seminole County Health Departments early in his career. He reminisces about past Protective Health program inspections that once included water treatment plants, waste water plants, landfills, and septic systems.
Tate moved to Tulsa in 1996 and worked for the Department of Environmental Quality. Once the Public Health Specialist position at Rogers County Health Department opened, he applied and Mary Beth Murray hired him in February 1999. He speaks often of his opportunity to go behind closed doors, meet a lot of people, and do his best to make a difference in his little neck of the woods. He expressed his happiness at having provided food safety training for thousands of school cafeteria workers, restaurant food and beverage workers, and nursing home employees in Rogers County. Tate is especially thankful to a cafeteria employee at Inola Elementary School for introducing him to the woman who would later become his wife.
Many food service people, county residents and visitors have appreciated his keeping the restaurants safe for us all to visit. He will be greatly missed by all in Rogers County. The employees at Rogers County Health Department will also miss hearing Larry’s inspection updates, the team battles (OU vs. OSU), and his quick wit and smile.
Larry plans to spend much of his time with his daughter and grandkids and other family members. Other interests include golf, fishing and St. Louis Cardinals baseball. He has even mentioned not being opposed to working part-time, if it fits in with his retirement schedule.
Mary Garvey began working for the Rogers County Health Department in the Eldercare Program as Administrative Technician in November 1990. She moved to her current position as Administrative Assistant in 1999 and has been responsible for all purchasing/receiving and any issues with the building or equipment.
She has been an invaluable part of the office and was always the “go-to person” for any question on anything related to computers, equipment, resources, benefits, and pretty much anything else. Usually the first one to arrive at the office, and last to leave, her positive attitude and tireless energy made her a friend of every person who entered her office. She has kept up-to-date on trainings offered for computer programs or anything else she felt might assist anyone in the health department.
Most recently, she has been an advocate of the health department’s wellness activities, providing support as a workout partner. Her work ethic, attitude, and humor will be missed by all.
Ms. Garvey stated “I will miss all the wonderful people I have worked with over the years. I’m thankful to have had a job that was never dull and never the same day to day. I am planning on spending more time traveling with my husband Mark (also retired) as we love a good road trip. I also plan to spend more time with my family and friends, but will miss my work family”.
Her wish for all Rogers County Health Department employees is for them to continue their dedication and “the good fight” for the residents of Rogers County and the State of Oklahoma. She is thankful for their support for her and her family.
LaDeana Shouse began at Rogers County Health Department on a clinical rotation. She remembers one particular nurse, Rick Garner, being kind and helpful which fueled her desire to work there. She recalls many fun memories working with Garner after being hired as a Registered Nurse in the clinic.
“The employees at the Rogers County Health Department have become my family and I am thankful for the many kindnesses they’ve given. I have enjoyed my co-workers, clients, and the children. A sense of humor is a must and I believe it’s a dream come true to have worked with many with that quality” stated Ms. Shouse.
LaDeana has been a valuable communicable disease nurse for the Rogers County Health Department, helping during many stressful times. Her knowledge and expertise will be missed as will her smile and infectious humor. LaDeana is always quick with a kind word or act and has become an important member of a work family.
Her plans for the future include spending more time with family and friends, and to learn something new and exciting. She wishes happiness, health, and luck to everyone she leaves behind. She stated “we are all lucky because we have each other”, a feeling echoed by those she leaves behind at the health department.
These four individuals will be sorely missed by their co-workers and community they worked with in Rogers County. We are wishing them a happy retirement with a celebration to be held on Tuesday, May 31st, at Rogers County Health Department. We are inviting their family, friends, and public to join us at this come and go event from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.