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Retiring Diabetes Educator Calls Advances Seen in 42-Year Career a Gift

May, 2019
Front row, left to right, Cathy Carroll, infection prevention coordinator and Barb Crofton; and back row, left to right, Trish Lollo, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital president; Carolyn Evans, patient care manager; Michelle Jamison, clinical operations coordinator; Lisa Cook, manager of patient safety and regulatory compliance; Yoany Finetti, vice president of patient care services; and Laura Stollard, senior program manager; celebrate Crofton’s 42-year career.

Barb Crofton, RN, diabetes educator, witnessed advances that made a world of difference to patients in her 42-year career with BJC HealthCare. At her April 24 retirement party, she called those advances a “gift.” 

“I got to see the results of research, technology, new facilities, physicians and staff that made things that used to be a death sentence moved to the realm of prevention,” she says. “It was like moving from the dark ages to the new world. To be able to participate in that kind of progress has been a gift. It has been rewarding and humbling to be a part of an institution that is on the cutting edge, and pushed the practice of patient care forward.”

Crofton graduated from the Jewish College of Nursing, and began working on a medicine floor at the former Jewish Hospital in 1977. She transitioned to home care, and then diabetes education, moving to Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital 12 years ago, and working with the diabetes education and nutrition counseling team. Her retirement plans include wintering in Arizona, visiting a sister in Washington, D.C., and as she says: “figuring out what it feels like not to work.” 

What she will miss most about work are her talented and collaborative colleagues in outpatient diabetes education and nutritional counseling, and on the inpatient side. “I will miss being part of a team,” she says. “We – social workers, case manager, therapists, nurses, dietitians, diabetes educators etc. – worked together to help the patient successfully transition to home. I enjoyed the smaller feel of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. It’s like leaving your family.” 

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