Nine decades of dedicated service
Stockdale Nursing Center’s Director of Nursing Lupe Barrera (left) and Administrator Helen Bustos celebrate almost 90 years of combined service to the center.
By Reuben Garcia
STOCKDALE -- Helen Bustos and Lupe Barrera have given a total of almost 90 years of cumulative service to the elderly of Stockdale. On March 29, the Stockdale Nursing Center honored the two for their dedication and service. Family members, staff, and administrators joined the two for a celebration at the center on Salmon Street.
Bustos, who serves as the center’s administrator, began as an evening cook there in 1968, serving in that capacity until August 1975. She then became a food-service administrator for 10 years, moving on to serve as the center’s assistant administrator from October 1985 until February 1989. Bustos accepted the position of administrator in 1989, remaining in that role until today, totaling 43 years of loyal service.
Bustos said her love of the residents, the employees, and staff has made her job most rewarding. Every day is a new challenge, she said, “as we never know what the day is going to bring. The residents really do become as family as we spend more time with them than we do with our own personal families, and it’s always hard when we lose a family resident.”
Barrera, the Stockdale Nursing Center’s director of nursing, began her career there as a nurse’s aide in 1965, progressing to staff nurse from 1966-73. She has served as the director of nursing since May 1973, completing 46 years of service.
Barrera said it is her goal and that of her staff to see that residents receive love, happiness, and peace of mind while in the Stockdale Nursing Center. Their comfort and rehabilitation to get stronger and feel better could not be done without the care and love and hard work that her staff offers, she said.