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Southwest Memorial honors veteran nurse with OR dedication

Lil Bostrom with the other nurses and doctors at Southwest Memorial Hospital. (Jaycee Hart/Courtesy photo)
Lil Bostrom has been a nurse in the community for 48 years

Southwest Memorial Hospital nurse Lil Bostrom, 80, was honored by her colleagues Monday at the beginning of Nurse Appreciation Week with the announcement that an operating room would be dedicated to her.

According to information provided by the hospital, Bostrom has served at Southwest Memorial Hospital as an OR nurse for 48 years. Her nursing career began in 1961, and she joined the staff at the hospital not long after.

Fellow nurses, doctors, friends and family members filled the room, with many standing on the stairs and along the walls to honor Bostrom and her dedication to the hospital.

Lisa Gates spoke of Lil Bostrom’s impact on the hospital and community at the dedication. (Jaycee Hart/Courtesy photo)

Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Gates began by speaking of Bostrom’s many contributions to the hospital and community, while thanking her for her impact, noting that her calming presence not only affects patients, but also medical staff.

“Lil is truly a testament of what nursing means to patient care and how that dedication has influenced so many patients’ lives,” Lisa said. “Her impact with her peers and providers is beyond measurable.”

“Lil, you are an inspiration to me and to so many patients, staff, and community members for your commitment to nursing,” Lisa said. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Colleague after colleague took their turn speaking about Bostrom’s presence on their life, with one doctor jokingly telling a story of how Bostrom wasn’t afraid to correct him, offer a suggestion or even tell him she wasn’t going to do something his way. Though Bostrom is 80, colleagues shared how when asked, she said she just wasn’t ready to retire yet.

Others spoke of how anxious patients would calm down when they saw Bostrom because they trusted her.

Many reminisced about their time as a newbie at the hospital and how Bostrom took them under her wing while maintaining a calm and helpful presence in times of stress.

Lil Bostrom holding the plaque that will hang outside the OR room dedicated to her at Southwest Memorial Hospital. (Jaycee Hart/Courtesy Photo)

This isn’t the first time Bostrom has been honored for her tenure at the hospital. Included in the ceremony was a newspaper clipping from 2001 describing Bostrom’s position as a registered nurse first assistant at that time.

A tear or two were shed as well. Heather Welch shared how she had worked with Bostrom for 16 years before moving to a different position, saying it was nearly impossible to sum up what Bostrom meant to the hospital community and to her as a fellow health professional, friend and mentor.

“As I started to put pen to paper, I discovered that this wasn’t so easy. How do you sum up and honor someone’s career, one that spans decades, in just a few paltry words?” Welch asked. “How do you honor the impact on the lives she has touched in just a few moments?”

Welch went on to talk about all the advancements Bostrom had witnessed in her time as a nurse, adding that Bostrom embodied the words courage, conscientiousness, perseverance, resilience and passion.

“Thank you, Lil, for your unwavering dedication and for touching the lives of so many. Thank you, personally, for making me a better OR nurse and director,” Welch said. “Your legacy will live on in the hearts of all who have had the privilege of knowing you.”

Following the heartfelt sentiments, Bostrom was shown the plaque that will hang outside of the operating room that will be dedicated to her for her service to Southwest Memorial Hospital.

“This operating room is dedicated in honor and recognition of Lil Bostrom for her passion, excellence in health care and years of devotion to the operating room. Lil’s service and dedication to surgery at SHS is truly outstanding and admirable,” the plaque read.

Bostrom told The Journal said it was an honor to serve the community for this long.

“It’s a small community, so you see a lot of return patients,” Bostrom said. “I love seeing these patients and working with this incredible staff.”