Bristol Borough woman honored for 50 years of ‘Faith’ful service to Center for Women’s Health
MIDDLETOWN - Faith Buck hates to be the center of attention but there were at least 100 people willing to overlook such sensitivity to plan a bash at Pen Ryn Mansion to celebrate Buck’s 50 years on the job. On June 14, coworkers at the Center for Women’s Health on Woodbourne Road, closed the office early to host the party with the honoree, her friends and her family.
Don’t get the impression that Buck is retiring. She’s 77, still going strong and vows, “They’ll have to carry me out of here.”
Patients, nurses, doctors and office workers at the center wouldn’t let her go anyway, they said. They just decided it was time to celebrate someone office administrator Monica Pyle called “the fabric of this office.”
That’s no snow job, either. Pyle and other office personnel credit Buck for her compassion for the patients she counsels, her efficiency in keeping the surgical schedule organized, and her dynamic personality that they said energizes everyone at the center.
“Nothing’s too much trouble for Faith. She knows how to make things happen,” said Dr. Lester Ruppersberger, an OB/ dvN specialist at the center.
Watching Buck in action is like trying to keep up with a fast-forward video. She answers the phone, reviews charts, confers with other office professionals, and reassures women who are facing surgery. She gives her patients her direct number so they can call with any questions.
“These women are nervous and they don’t know what questions to ask. I know what information they need and I want to make sure they have it,” she said.
A testament to her commitment to patients is embodied in a letter she received from a terminally ill woman. Diagnosed with metastatic cancer, she relied on Buck to arrange an appointment for a second opinion in Philadelphia, but the results of the second round of tests were as devastating as the first. A few months later, Buck received a letter from this patient, thanking her for all her help.
“With all she’s gone through, this woman took the time to write me a beautiful letter to thank me for my help,” Buck said. “That’s part of what my work is about: helping any way I can.”
There are happier circumstances that balance the daily routine. Babies are born, sick women are healed by caring hands and the latest in medical and surgical technology, and people like Buck radiate confidence and caring to each and every patient, said coworker and sidekick in the surgical scheduling office, Maureen Strange.
“She’s (Buck) been known to take people to appointments, drop medicine off at the door, go to people’s homes to get necessary papers signed. She’s been a friend and a mother figure to me and others in the office. We just work together so well, and she is so good for the patients,” said Strange, who’s shared the job with Buck for the past 37 years.
Buck is a Bristol Borough resident who graduated from Bensalem High School in 1954 and later attended nursing school at Lankenau Medical Center. She’s the mother of four grown children “that I love,” and nine grandchildren “I really, really love,” she said with a chuckle.
After obtaining her nursing license, she worked in the labor and delivery department of the former Delaware salley Hospital in Bristol Borough. In 1963, she was asked by two OB/dvN doctors, Drs. Fliegelman and Lubin, to become their office manager. The doctors, now deceased, had opened a practice in the Stonybrook section of Levittown.
In that capacity, Buck became involved in a mission close to her heart: assisting in adoptions. She cared for both the mothers and the adoptive parents, staying with “my moms” through labor and delivery, then “introducing” the infants to their new families. Many of those “babies” are tipping toward the half-century mark now and Strange said that many stay in touch with Buck. A file in her desk contains letters of gratitude for her love and care.
Some of those “kids” - and some of their children - are still patients of the practice, Strange said.
For decades, Buck has watched doctors and nurses retire. The faces and office locations have changed over the years. The practice recently moved its hospital privileges from Bristol Township to the new Capitol Health Medical Center in Hopewell. But Buck remains the center - the heart, coworkers said - of all that’s transpired.
Dr. Neil Bluebond summed up what he believes are Buck’s main contributions to the profession:
“She can speak with anyone, she can gauge their moods, she manages to soothe our patients,” he said.
Honoree Faith Buck, seated, surrounded by colleagues from the Center for Women’s Health. From left, standing, are Marie Martin, Dr. Neil D. Bluebond, DO, Dr. Lester A. Ruppersberger, DO, Maureen Strange and Eileen Bartleson.