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After 50 years, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital electrician working at first love
Photo caption: Adventist Hinsdale Hospital Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Goebel (left) looks on while Lee Stapel (center) shakes hands with Adventist Hinsdale Hospital Human Resources Director Garry Giertuga (right) at the Adventist Midwest Health service awards banquet.

Hinsdale – With 50 years of service at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, electrician Lee Stapel was the longest-tenured employee honored at Adventist Midwest Health’s service awards banquet this year.

When Stapel began his career at the hospital, he was still in high school.

“I started as a student worker during the summer, in June 1962,” the Hinsdale resident said. “I was in the grounds department at that time. My father, he was the manager in the engineering department, the boiler room.”

On Wednesday, April 17, Stapel was among more than 400 employees honored by Adventist Midwest Health during its annual service awards banquet. Employees were honored for between 10 and 50 years of service to the region’s four hospitals.

“Over the years, I’ve developed some very good friendships,” Stapel said. “It’s been a good place to work.”

Following his time in the grounds department, Stapel moved on to work as an electrician after graduating from Broadview Academy and the Coyne Electrical Institute.

“I liked the environment and the atmosphere,” Stapel said of his return to the hospital.

Stapel has also worked as the manager of security and safety and director of plant operations. Outside the hospital, Stapel was a paid on-call firefighter for Hinsdale for almost 22 years.

He’s back to working as an electrician.

“I call being an electrician my first love,” Stapel began. “I started my career with my first love, and I’m ending it with my first love.”

Other long-time employees honored this year for their service included:

45 years

Rueben Thorson, surgical technician, operating room, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Rueben Thorson of Plainfield started out as a housekeeper at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital in January of 1967. Rueben worked his way into the operating room as an orderly a year or so after he started and today he’s a surgical assistant and an LPN.

Marilyn Clausen, clinical manager, sterile process, Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital
Marilyn Clausen of Western Springs first came to Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital as a nurse’s aide in January of 1966, and has remained with the hospital throughout her entire career. She’s worked on the medical floor, as head nurse in the hospital’s recovery room, as part-time PM supervisor and as an operating room nurse.

40 years

Eva Fechner, access representative, Referral Lab Services, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Eva Fechner of Westmont is an LPN works as an access representative for the Referral Lab at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. She came to Hinsdale in January of 1975, when her husband was hired at the hospital in the IT department.

Shona Gordon, intake coordinator, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Shona Gordon of Downers Grove works as an insurance intake coordinator for Adventist Health Care at Home out of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. She first came to Hinsdale after graduating nursing school.

Kristine Guldberg, clinical coordinator, operating room, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Kris Guldberg of Woodridge works as a clinical coordinator for dental, ENT, eye, plastics and urology at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. She began her career as a staff nurse at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital in 1972, and has also worked at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital.

Diane Krygier, human resources associate, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Diane Krygier of Hinsdale is a human resources associate, welcoming new Adventist Hinsdale Hospital employees. The Michigan native joined the Hinsdale Sanitarium and Hospital in 1972, starting in the hospitals’ snack shop.

Sun Lee, dietitian, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Sun Lee of Hinsdale emigrated from Korea in 1972 and almost immediately started working in the Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s food service department. The hospital was within walking distance to her Hinsdale home and Lee is a Seventh-day Adventist, so it was a perfect match.

Delana Rhodes, secretary, surgical unit, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
In the past 40 years, Delana Rhodes of Hodgkins, a surgical unit secretary, has crossed the Oak Street Bridge more than 26,000 times driving to and from Adventist Hinsdale Hospital from home. She joined the staff at AHH in 1972 and has worked on just about every floor of the hospital.

Branislav Dedic, chaplain, St. Thomas Hospice
Branislav Dedic of Bartlett, better known as Chaplain Branko, serves as chaplain of Adventist St. Thomas Hospice in Hinsdale. Originally from Yugoslavia, he worked as an ordained Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 27 years, first in his home country, before becoming a Missionary in Cameroon and later pastor of Yugoslavian Church in Chicago.

Enver Sejmanovic, maintenance mechanic, plant operations, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Enver Sejmanovic of Downers Grove celebrates his 41st year with Adventist Hinsdale Hospital in April. He started with the hospital in housekeeping and today works as a maintenance electrician, helping to make repairs throughout the hospital as needed.

Suzanne Greco, nurse clinician, vascular assessment services, Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital
Suzanne Greco of Hinsdale works as a PICC line nurse at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. In her 41 years at the hospital, she has also worked in CCU, IMCU and cardiac rehab.

Helen Simatovich, patient care technician, outpatient surgery, Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital
Helen Simatovich of Brookfield works as a patient care technician in outpatient surgery at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. She started her tenure at the hospital in 1972 as a volunteer. Her first shift was a Thursday night in the hospital coffee shop.

Mary Struple, case manager, Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital
Today, Mary Struple of Downers Grove works as a registered nurse case manager at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. But she started at the hospital working as a clerk, working weekends and holidays while attending nursing school.


Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health,; (630) 856-2354