Phlebotomist Celebrates 50 Years of Service to RUSH Copley

First employee to reach this milestone plans to continue working

Jody Weimer

It was the summer before her senior year of high school, and Jody Weimer was 17. Her brother worked in the kitchen at Copley Memorial Hospital and told her they needed people. She applied and got a job working part-time after school, preparing food and getting trays ready for patients. She sectioned grapefruit, made milk shakes and more. 

Fifty years later, she is still working for the hospital, now known as RUSH Copley

“When you work with good people, have fun at work and like your job, time seems to fly,” says Weimer as she is being recognized for 50 years of service to the hospital. “It went by really fast — in the blink of an eye!”

The chef took Weimer under his wing after she graduated high school and taught her to cook. She became the breakfast cook and pastry chef and remained in the Dietary Department for 15 years before deciding she was ready for a new challenge. Meeting with a representative from the Human Resources Department, she learned the lab needed a phlebotomist and would provide on-the-job training. She interviewed, got the job and was later promoted to a lead phlebotomist role, which she held until recently when she went part time.

“It’s a very rewarding job,” she says of her profession drawing blood from patients for medical tests. “I meet all kinds of people and I enjoy talking to them.”

Weimer says she never expected to work at Copley for 50 years. “Never in my wildest dreams,” she says. Originally, she was considering two other careers: special ed teacher and nurse.

“That was back when nurses wore white dresses and caps,” she says. “But after seeing firsthand all that nurses do, I didn’t think I could do it.” And after she began having children, she decided she didn’t want to deal with kids as a teacher.

So, she stayed at Copley and enjoyed the flexibility her job allowed as she and her husband grew their family. They had four children, all born at the medical center. 

“It’s an amazing place to work,” she says. “I love the people.”

Weimer has seen many changes in the last 50 years, including seven Copley presidents. And she remembers working with current President and CEO John Diederich when he was a teenager working in the kitchen scrubbing pots.

“I went to his graduation party after he graduated from Marmion, and I remember him saying one day he was going to be president of Copley,” she says. 

She also recalls moving from the old Copley Hospital and taking “one last walk around the place before moving to our beautiful new home.” She says that move was bittersweet.

After 50 years at Copley, what’s next? 

“I intend to stay another few years,” she says. She also wants to travel. She has a son and grandchildren living in Alaska and plans to visit them for a couple of weeks this summer. 

Weimer is the first employee at RUSH Copley to reach 50 years of service. Asked if she has advice for the younger generation, she says, “You get out of it what you put into it.”

She also advises employees to leave their troubles at home and enjoy their work. 

“Time goes by faster than you think,” she says. “If you have things you want to do, go for it!”

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