After more than 46 years of caring and compassionate service to our hospital and community, Estella Frazier, director of nursing floor 3 Southwest and Orthopedics for Bothwell Regional Health Center, retired. Beginning as a nurse aide in 1965, Frazier went on to become an LPN in 1972 and a registered nurse in 1980. She assumed her management role in 1990.
The Sedalia native was honored with a reception on Friday afternoon in Bothwell’s cafeteria. A constant stream of friends, family and co-workers stood in line to show their appreciation.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Frazier commented when asked about her thoughts on her retirement, “because I’m going to miss everybody. I’ve worked here so long and this a big part of my life.”
When asked what she plans to do Monday morning when she doesn’t have to report for duty, Frazier replied “Sleep a little bit later.”
She began her career at Bothwell in 1965 as a nurses aid. She then went to college. She then worked on the surgery unit for a year, then transferred to the pharmacy for eight years. She returned to school after that and earned her RN degree. She then began supervising on the night shift, as a medical coordinator. Then when she finished her BSN at UMKC, she became nurse manager of 3SW. She later acquired the orthopedic unit in 2008.
It was more responsibility for Frazier, but “The girls were really good to work with and they were a big help, so it made it easy,” she said.
When she was asked if she remembers all the people she’s worked with over the years, Frazier responded “well, they remember me!” I met a lot of people, and I’ve learned a lot from the patients, as far as gardening and cooking whenever I made rounds,” she said. “I learned a lot from them. I’ve been here almost 47 years, its’ been a long time.”
Frazier indicated she would like to do some traveling and see more basketball games in person and watch her grandsons play at college.
“I took piano lessons, so I’m going to try to be more proficient at that” but don’t look for her in concert anytime soon, she said.
She then went back to greeting dozens more well-wishers at her retirement party.
Kristy Musgrave, RN, charge nurse at 3SW, has worked with Bothwell for 16 years, and every one of those years she has worked with ‘Stell,’ as she calls her.
She started in 1997 as a ward clerk (nurses aid), and then moved up to LPN and finally RN. And ‘Stell’ has been her boss the entire time.
“She’s just awesome,” Musgrave said of Frazier. “She’s very willing to work with you on your schedule, she’s very easy to talk to, she’s just an overall good person.”
Musgrave added that most of her co-workers call ‘Stell’ their second mom. “I mean, you can just go to her with anything, work-related or not,” she said.
Working at Bothwell is her family away from family, she noted.
Missing Frazier, who worked her last shift Friday, is a given. “Oh my gosh, I already cried once,” Musgrave admitted. “But she said she’d come check in on us.”
For Chief Nursing Officer Ginny Crow, describing Frazier involves several adjectives -– compassionate, loving, kind and caring. She’s a true leader,” said Crow, who has worked with Frazier since August.
“It’s a tremendous loss for us that she’s retiring, but we’re so grateful for all the service and commitment that she’s given us for more than 46 years,” Crow stated.
“She takes everything with a smile, moves forward and leads her team to give us positive results, with great, quality patient care that we provide here at Bothwell,” Crow concluded. “Estella is never without a smile on her face.” Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.