It has been close to two decades since Joyce Tibbetts, RN, retired from Mount Auburn Hospital (MAH), but her belief in its mission remains stronger than ever. A MAH nurse for more than 35 years, Joyce always considered the hospital a second home—and an extension of her family.
For many years after retiring, she received holiday cards from grateful patients and to this day is close friends with a number of her former colleagues. Her connection to MAH led Joyce and her husband, Stephen, to donate $100,000 to the Emergency Department (ED) where she once worked. This gift was made to the Here for You capital campaign, aiming to redesign and renovate the ED for the next generation of patients and staff. In recognition of Joyce’s generosity, a nurses’ station in the ED will be named in her honor. “I spent 10 years of my career in the Emergency Department and know the essential role that it plays in the community,” says Joyce. “It’s really the front door to the hospital, always open when needed. The more financial support it gets, the better it can serve patients and families.”
Since retiring and moving to Florida, Joyce has continued to support MAH, both as a member of the hospital’s board of advisors and as a loyal donor. “I loved going to work and caring for patients,” says Joyce. “It brought me a lot of satisfaction to connect with people on a personal level during a time of need. Being a nurse made for a very rewarding and meaningful career.”
Growing up in Everett, Joyce always wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. At 18, she entered a medical assistant training program at MAH while she earned a nursing degree at Northeastern University. Upon graduation, she transitioned to a full-time position and never looked back. “I didn’t even consider working anywhere else,” says Joyce. In addition to the ED, Joyce worked on a medical–surgical unit and in the walk-in clinic, where she served as nurse manager for many years. As one of Mount Auburn’s first certified diabetes educators, she spent considerable time outside the hospital attending health fairs and other public events where she shared information and offered screening tests.
During her many years at MAH, Joyce absorbed as much clinical knowledge as possible—no matter her role. “I always loved learning and had the good fortune to work alongside a number of doctors who would take the extra time to explain cases in great detail,” she recalls. This student-teacher relationship went both ways, says Gary Setnik, MD, former chief of the Mount Auburn Hospital ED. “Joyce taught me a lot about caring for patients,” he says. “She epitomized the selfless, compassionate nurse who always went above and beyond to help her patients and colleagues.”
Reflecting on her career and the inspiration behind her gift, Joyce is deeply grateful to MAH. “I always felt encouraged to learn, grow, and explore new areas of interest, all while caring for patients and making a difference in people’s lives. I really felt the need to give back to Mount Auburn for all the hospital has given me.”