Memorial Healthcare’s Ambassador

August 17, 2016

You’ve met her, but do you know her?

Every employee’s introduction to Memorial Healthcare begins with a warm welcome, and likely a quick joke, from Iyla Waters. Iyla started at the hospital as a secretary over 40 years ago and now serves as a Senior Specialist in Human Resources Department.

When the Owosso native began her employment at Memorial Healthcare in 1967, the hospital comprised of only 500 employees. Through the years, she has seen Memorial Healthcare grow, but still hold on to its ideals.

“The family friendly atmosphere has always been the core of the hospital,” she said. “You don’t find that in a lot of places anymore. I think we project a good image to the community.”

It’s that family friendly atmosphere that helps keep Iyla going after 44 years on the job. And in her case, it’s literally family friendly. Iyla’s daughter and granddaughter also work at Memorial Healthcare. It doesn’t get more family friendly than three generations working at the same hospital.

Often referred to by coworkers as “The Ambassador”- for both her role and personality – Iyla’s position in human resources allows her to do what she does best: be a people person. She looks forward to coming in each morning and serving others. She’s an admitted jokester, who aims to make everyone feel comfortable.

“I enjoy helping people and being there for them,” she said. “I get to see all the new employees when they come. I’m the point person they remember.”

Iyla thrives on the feel of community within both Owosso and Memorial Healthcare. Even with the small town feel and reputation, She describes how visitors are often pleasantly surprised by the services Memorial Healthcare can offer patients.

“They might not know we have these excellent services,” she said. “We have a wonderful cancer care building, the technology is great, and we’re continuing to improve. They don’t need to go to a big city hospital. It’s right here in their hometown.”

Many pleasant memories compose Iyla’s time with Memorial Healthcare. Including the story she tells, with a chuckle, about the hospital picnic that ended with her getting stuck in an overturned hot dog wagon, blown over by wind during a tornado warning.

“I was well taken care of with hot dogs and pop during that half hour,” she joked.

Iyla credits the friendly, nice and helpful atmosphere for why she continues to work at Memorial Healthcare. She’s proud to call Owosso home.

“I’ll have memories my whole life of the people I met here,” she said. “We’re a small community hospital with a big heart.”