After spending 54 years with the same Alabama skilled nursing facility, clinical services director Jewell Garrett turned the page on the latest chapter in her life. 

McGuffey Healthcare & Rehab First, a 209-bed facility in Gadsden, AL, celebrated its longest-serving employee after she officially retired in mid-January. Garrett’s career in long-term healthcare started in June 1965 after being encouraged by a family member. She started as a certified nursing assistant before becoming a licensed practical nurse in October of 1966. She has also served as a charge nurse, nursing supervisor and clinical nurse manager. 

Garrett said she’s enjoyed working with fellow staff members and bonding with residents over the years.

“I really enjoyed the patients,” Garrett told McKnight’s. “They appreciate you and know that there’s someone there that loves and cares for them.”

Garrett’s leadership will be hard to replace, Administrator April Conley said. 

“She’s a great leader and good mentor for the staff that comes on board with us. The love and the affection that she shows our residents [is amazing]. She’s a hardworking, dedicated professional employee and her absence will definitely be felt.” 

— Danielle Brown