Celebrating MetroHealth volunteer Sally, who just turned 100!
Sally Jamieson turned 100 on January 19. She easily holds the title of MetroHealth's "most senior" volunteer, but you would never know it.
(It’s easy to spot the birthday girl. She’s the one with the tiara holding a silver tray filled with cream puffs. They are her favorite --- a gift from Becky Moldaver, Director of Volunteer Services.)
Every Tuesday, Sally mans the reception desk at the Old Brooklyn Medical Center, where she greets guests and patients from noon to 3 p.m. But for this special birthday, the patients and employees were the ones greeting her with birthday wishes, hugs and selfies.
A patient rolls by in a wheelchair and shouts, “100! I thought you were in your 80’s.” Sally just smiles and tells another story to anyone who will listen. Like the time a county commissioner walked through the door and she greeted him by name. “He was so surprised anyone recognized him,” she says. “But I did.”
She claims listening has helped her reach her epic birthday. “I’ve learned so much from listening, as you can tell from all my stories.” She has a lot of stories. Like the time she met her husband. “He was working on a car out front with my brother. He had on a nice coat and a smart looking Stetson.” Sally motions to her head as if adjusting a cap. Ten days later they married and stayed married for 47-plus years. “He was the kindest most gentle man,” she says.
In addition to Old Brooklyn, Sally has spent many hours volunteering at the Elisabeth Prentiss Center just down the street. That’s where she says her mission is to “make the old people happy.” She makes that mission look easy.
There are no awkward silences with Sally. She fills the space with jokes – remembering every punchline.
“What do you get when you cross a frog with a calendar?” Pause. “Leap year!”
(Off-color jokes aren’t off limits, but you'll have to meet Sally in person for those.)
“I love to talk to people and make them laugh. I see people coming in down and depressed and I just get them laughing,” she says.
“What is as big as an elephant, but doesn’t weigh an ounce?” Pause. “His shadow.”
As a TV cameraman interviews her, he asks the obvious question. “So, what does it feel like to be 100?” She quips, “I feel with my hands. I don’t feel any different.”
“So many people have supported me and helped me get this far,” she says. “I feel like a queen every day.”
Sally says every birthday people ask her what she wants. She tells them she has everything she needs -- and ends up with lottery tickets.
And though she hasn’t won the big one yet, Sally’s hopeful her numbers will come in.
Happy 100th birthday Sally! Keep the jokes coming.
Want to see Sally's story on WEWS in Cleveland? Click here.
The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building, and the 25 acres of green space around it, are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.
MetroHealth will break ground on the new hospital in late 2018, using nearly $1 billion it borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 44.5 percent and its number of employees by 21 percent. Today, its staff of 7,700 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75 percent of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and the only adult and pediatric burn center in the state of Ohio.
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.