The Times West Virginian

Local News

June 22, 2014

Community turns out to celebrate years of service, retirement of Pulice: PHOTOS

FAIRMONT — Well over 100 community members came together Saturday at Fairmont’s Knights of Columbus to celebrate the years of service and now the retirement of Frank Pulice Jr. Pulice served over 35 years with Fairmont General Hospital and the Fairmont General Hospital Foundation.

“Over the years, this individual has left his footprints in many different areas of the hospital, the Fairmont General Hospital Foundation Board, the Volunteer Board, and also the Hospital Board, and his dedication and his passion to Fairmont General are unsurpassed, “ Peggy Coster, FGH president and CEO, said.

As the event began, Pulice was right there by the entrance, smiling wide and greeting everyone who came through the door. Old and new friends came together to celebrate Pulice’s years of service, some still local, others from further afield, like Georgia.

True to the style Pulice has always been known for, the event was immaculately decorated and color coordinated. Pulice’s salmon suit jacket and golden yellow pocket handkerchief even matched the napkins at the tables.

Chaplain James Riggs provided the invocation, creating an acrostic poem from the letters which spell Pulice’s first name, praising his: F, faithfulness to the board of directors and FGH Foundation; R, religion; A, association with the FGH Volunteer Association; N, nutrition, for commitment to healthy meals; and K, kindness.

As dinner was served, a number of speakers praised Pulice’s work and accomplishments over the years.

FGH Board of Directors chairperson Toni Nesselrotte praised Pulice’s work for the hospital and the community.

“You’re not only an asset to Fairmont General Hospital; you’re also an asset to the community,” Nesselrotte said.

“This is a wonderful tribute for an amazing individual,” Richard Graham, former FGH CEO, said.

During the presentations, Pulice was given three awards, the American College of Healthcare Executives Leadership Award and a lifetime honorary fellow to the American College of Healthcare Executives, both presented by Graham, and a Certificate of Appreciation from the West Virginia Hospital Association, presented by Coster.

After hearing reflections and speeches from friends, coworkers and family, Pulice used his speech only to praise and thank others.

“It has been a pleasure to work with you over the years,” Pulice said.

Raymond Alvarez, who acted as master of ceremonies for the event, said that Pulice has been an important influence in his life.

“He was always a very significant mentor in my life, and father, and like everybody else said, a fashion advisor, and social director, and he’s just a great person,” Alvarez said.

Coster agreed, saying Pulice would be greatly missed.

“We’re so fortunate to have him. He’s such a great role model, such a positive person that will be truly missed by the hospital,” Coster said. “Frank has actually been a part of the Fairmont General Hospital family for 35 years, and through that time, his fundraising efforts have really allowed us to have a lot of capital improvements that, at the time, we would not be able to afford.”

Coster said it was important to the hospital and foundation that they show their appreciation.

“He’s there every day at the hospital, always working, always trying to help us in every way he can. And this was just one little thing that we could do for him to show him our appreciation,” Coster said.

Dr. John Leon, who has known Pulice professionally and personally for a number of years, said the Celebration of Service was well-deserved.

“It was a very moving tribute tonight,” Leon said. “He’s done a lot of things for the community and the hospital. It’s amazing the service he’s done in that length of time.”

Pulice reminded everyone that, though this phase of his life was ending, he wasn’t really going anywhere.

“It’s ending a career, but I told them I’m not retiring. I’m just stepping down,” Pulice smiled.

Whitney Rae Hatcher, FGH Foundation coordinator; Diane Burnside, Pulice’s daughter; and Marcy Leon, Dr. Leon’s wife; worked together to organize the event.

The FGH Foundation sponsored the event, and the Volunteer Association sponsored the dessert table.

Pulice’s retirement will be effective June 30.

Email Colleen S. Good at cgood@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.

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