WESTON, W.Va. – When the New Year arrived on January 1, long-time Radiology technician Chris Foster Gum, RT, RDMS, RVT, retired after 34 years at Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston.
Besides her many decades of work at the Hospital, Chris also has a unique distinction. She was the first student in the SJMH School of Radiology on campus, when there was a Radiology School there in the 1970s.
“That was a time when the Hospital provided on-the-job training for the students working in the Radiology Department,” she said. “If we needed classroom time, we would go to the Boardroom for that.”
Chris graduated from the Radiology school in 1975. She then worked for radiologist Dr. Herron for eight years, before returning to SJMH in 1986. Her expertise in ultrasound imaging came about as an on-the-job experience, too.
Radiology Director Brenda Tonkin has worked with Chris for decades and is very complimentary of her work.
“Chris has really served our community and our patients for the past three decades with professionalism and excellent clinical care. As well as ultrasound, she has specialized as an echocardiogram technician, which is a very specialized field that has helped our patients tremendously,” explained Tonkin.
Chris said that there are many changes she has seen over the years but one of the more important is streamlining the diagnosis of blood clots in the legs. Originally, a patient had to endure the injection of dye into the foot to find a clot. Now Chris is able to use a non-invasive ultrasound procedure to find the clot which is substantially less invasive for the patient.
Chris is a Weston resident with a large and loving family here in the area. But the true loves of her life are her children – Ryan Gum and Andrea Vincent, and daughter-in-law Brandi, as well as her grandsons Cole Vincent, Foster and Hudson Gum.
Chris is such a loving mother that when there was a need for her help, she took a leave of absence to help a family member deal with cancer for six months.
I was fortunate to have the time and the administration approval to take the time off and help my daughter-in-law when she was sick,” explained Chris. “The entire radiology staff was tremendously supportive to me. They even had a theme of “Team Brandi” to support my family.”
About Mon Health System: Mon Health System is an integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient centers and hospitals in North Central West Virginia that works together to make health care more accessible and affordable to the communities it serves. It includes four hospitals – its flagship, Mon Health Medical Center in Morgantown; Mon Health Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingwood; Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston; affiliate, Grafton City Hospital in Grafton; Mon Health Equipment & Supplies in Morgantown, Fairmont, and Weston; and The Village at Heritage Point. Mon Health System is also part of many Joint Ventures such as Healthworks, Acuity Hospital of Morgantown, Monongalia EMS, Amedisys Hospice, Care Partners, Encompass and the Mon Health Center for Outpatient Surgery to preserve choice, improve access and ensure the highest quality of care. For more information, visit monhealth.com.