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Inaugural St. Claire Signature Award Presented to Susie Halbleib, RN

Inaugural St. Claire Signature Award Presented to Susie Halbleib, RN

St. Claire HealthCare and the Sisters of Notre Dame bestowed the inaugural St. Claire Signature Award to Susie Halbleib, RN, for dedicating her life to the service of humanity during its annual Signature Event.

“Susie, we are honoring you, one of our heroines, for all you have done for the people of Morehead, the surrounding counties, and especially for what you mean to St. Claire HealthCare and to the Sisters of Notre Dame,” said Sr. Mary Joell Overman, SND.

Susie began her nursing career by traveling to Clay County in 1947 to work as a nurse at Oneida Maternity Hospital, where she met Dr. Claire Louise Caudill. Susie and Dr. Louise ultimately joined forces and traveled back to Dr. Louise’s hometown of Morehead to establish their first medical practice. The pair spent much of the next decade traveling house to house in Rowan and surrounding counties delivering babies together. The team is credited with delivering more than 8,000 babies over the years.

“She found a career and really a vocation in taking care of women and babies and the health issues that so needed to be addressed in this area when they started the practice here,” said Madonna Weathers, member of the SCH Foundation Board and Susie’s first cousin. “I know that’s been very special and was no doubt the reason that there finally was a hospital for the people here.”

They knew the people of the region needed access to better medical care and deserved a good hospital. They set out on a tireless journey to bring a much-needed hospital to Morehead. After funding for the project and a sponsorship from the Sisters of Notre Dame were secured, St. Claire Hospital was constructed and officially opened its doors on July 1, 1963.

“You, along with those you recruited to the campaign for starting the hospital worked tireless hours to make those dreams come true,” said Proc Caudill, St. Claire Foundation Board Member emeritus. “Our community is so indebted to you and all those who sacrificed so much to make St. Claire a reality, we are now blessed with superior healthcare as a result.”

When asked if she always knew she wanted to go into nursing, Susie said, “Oh yes, I was always going to be a nurse. I said it for so long that I had to do it to save face. Oh, I did everything. I dressed dolls up like nurses. I was always going to be a nurse, and I loved starched white uniforms.”

While Susie has since retired from St. Claire HealthCare, she continues to serve as a volunteer and as a member of the St. Claire Foundation Board of Directors to this very day.