PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Family, friends and colleagues squeezed into a conference room at Women & Infants Hospital Wednesday afternoon to honor Giovanna “Jenny” Todisco, who is retiring after nearly 60-years on the job.
Jenny held back tears of joy during the celebration, calling Women & Infants, “the greatest place in the world to work.”
“I enjoyed every minute of it,” she said.
Jenny said she began her career while she was still attending Mount Pleasant High School, taking part in the “Future Whitecaps.”
“I volunteered at [Providence’s] Lying-In Hosptial, there the superintendent of nurses said, ‘When you graduate from nursing school, I want you to come back,'” she recalled.
She went on to attend and graduate from Our Lady of Fatima Hospital School in 1960 before returning to Lying-In Hospital and eventually landing a job at Women & Infants.
Jenny’s colleagues say she was their leader and praised her for her hard work and dedication.
“She has been a blessing to all her patients. Women coming in having their baby for the first time, she really helped them,” Patricia Griffin, Jenny’s co-worker said.
Griffin said one day, Jenny got quite the surprise from a new mother.
“She said, ‘You are the nurse I named my baby after,'” Jenny recalled. “I said, ‘I am?’ She said, ‘You don’t remember me, but I remember you.'”
That is just one of many stories Jenny will be able to reflect on as she enters retirement.
The 78-year-old grandmother of six said it’s time for her to relax. But she said she will be back often to visit her girls.
“They will always be special to me, even the hospital,” Jenny said. “All my life, I will never forget it.”
Jenny plans on bringing her former co-workers coffee and dough-nuts. She said she hasn’t ruled out volunteering in the future.