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North Fulton Hospital’s lab director celebrates 30 years
by Nicole Dow
August 07, 2013 11:10 AM | 1125 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Donna Hopson has been working at North Fulton Hospital in Roswell since its doors opened three decades ago.

She was one of about 210 staff members. At that time, the facility was named North Fulton Medical Center and had 175 patient beds and three operating rooms. The hospital, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, now has 202 beds, 10 operating rooms — plus two C-section operating rooms — and a staff of 800.

Hopson’s decision to work at the new medical center in 1983 was simple. She was working at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta at the time but lived in Roswell and wanted to work closer to home.

She started at the Roswell hospital as the blood bank supervisor. Six months later, the laboratory director left and she took over in what she thought would be an interim role. Today, she still serves as director of the hospital’s lab.

“Time passes quickly,” Hopson said.

She works alongside many longtime employees and feels as though her co-workers are her second family.

“It’s just like another home,” Hopson said of the hospital.

Over time, she has witnessed the Roswell community and the hospital grow and change. The biggest change at work has been the technology, she said.

“Technology in the world nowadays and the way it impacts hospitals and the way you take care of patients is just phenomenal from where we started to where we are now,” Hopson said.

Her department uses robotics in the lab. Searching for medical information takes seconds on a computer instead of having to sift through books and paperwork.

“To me it’s just fascinating,” she said.

Hopson’s seniority at the hospital has placed her in a position where others have looked up to her.

“I have mentored quite a few new directors that have come,” she said.

With 30 years under her belt, Hopson said she has given thought to retirement but not in the traditional sense.

“I don’t know that I could ever just not work totally,” she said. “I am looking towards at least at some point stepping down from full-time to something else. I’ll be somewhere in health care doing something.”

Hopson is not the only employee who has been at the hospital since its beginning. The other employees sharing three decades there are Jacqueline Clineff, Larry Collett, Janice Gravitt-Wilbanks, Pamela Rawlins, Carol Shack, Mary Summerhill, Cindy White and Carmen Lovinger.
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