Irene Quinn, 83, recently retired from St. Joseph’s Volunteer Services where she had staffed the Barrow neurosurgical waiting room for six years. After her last shift, the Phoenix resident and three-time cancer survivor looked back at the hospital with dignity and pride.
“The last six years have been so wonderful,” Quinn said. “I know I made a difference. I walked out every single day that I walked in, and I thanked God for that. Aside from feeling blessed and thankful, I felt good—like I made a difference.”
Though she began her career in the crystal and china industry, Quinn has always had a passion for talking with people and a connection with the hospital, where she delivered her two children. She began volunteering after retiring from the Paradise Valley Country Club, where Quinn was well-known and worked the front desk. “St. Joseph’s just seemed like the place I needed to be, and when I do something, I give it my all,” says Quinn.
Jeanette Herman, manager of St. Joseph’s Volunteer Services, says that Quinn was essential in creating miracles for families who anxiously awaited news from surgeons. “Irene would sit with these patients’ families and offer them comfort. She always assured them that Barrow is the best place their loved one could be.”
“I got just as much back from the patients and the staff as I gave,” said Quinn.