October 22, 2017

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Grateful Heart: Alida Rampaart Reflects on Her Time at ACMC

Alida

In 1974, as a recent immigrant to the United States, Alida Rampaart took her first job with ACMC Health. Now, 43 years later, she will be retiring from the clinic but not without many fond memories and friends she has made along the way. Share in Alida’s journey, the changes she has seen, and what she will miss most about her time at ACMC…

“After 43 years of working at ACMC, July 6th will be my last day at the clinic.

I started at ACMC as a temporary employee in February of 1974. We had just immigrated from Holland and my cousin and sponsor, Astrid Trout, was employed at the clinic. Astrid had asked Joe Dillenburg, the administrator at that time, if there were any jobs available. Fortunately, the clinic was in the process of combining medical records from the Willmar Clinic and Lakeland Medical Center into a new system and needed extra help to do that. (The two clinics had merged in 1971 and consolidated both offices in 1973.)

The next month I was hired to work in the “Chartroom”, as it was called back then. We were also living in the house near the clinic that Willmar Medical Services recently purchased and donated to Habitat for Humanity.

After having children, I decided to go to part-time nights and worked with the computer system, doing the daily backups and a weekly overnight statement run. After my kids went to school I was back to working days again. I was always so appreciative that I had flexibility in my job. 

During my years at ACMC, I have held several jobs in Health Information. I spent time as a “night girl” and we were responsible for filing and pulling charts in the evening for upcoming appointments the next day. I also worked as a ” day girl” who worked during the day, pulling same day appointments, filing correspondence, charting lab results and looking for problem charts. There was even a time that we answered an overflow line to schedule appointments. I also saw many changes during my time in Health Information, including the way we sent charts in the clinic using a dumbwaiter and later a pneumatic tube system.

When ACMC went through the transition to electronic filing and mostly paperless, the need for “night girls” and some “day girls” changed. At that time, I was offered a scanning position at the ACMC-Willmar Skylark Clinic. After all those years at the “big house” (main clinic) I was a little hesitant, but I felt immediately adopted by the Skylark family. What a wonderful group of caring people.

Some of the biggest changes I have seen over the years, besides the increasing number of doctors and specialists, is the change in the patients we care for. At first, we cared for mostly those of Scandinavian descent and in the early 1980’s, a large influx of Hmong entered the community. Later our patient population grew more diverse with an increase in Hispanic and Asian families, and most recently the Somalian. I feel that they are all treated with the same care and respect at ACMC.

As I finish out my last days I am left with a grateful heart for all the opportunities and the wonderful people I have worked with. For everything there is a season and now I will have more time to spend with my family, read that stack of books that awaits me, do some volunteer work, go back to my piano and learn to play the violin.”