Since their childhood, the close-knit Loehr sisters cherished their family time and values together.
Now grown, sometimes only a few hospital rooms or floors separate three of them as they care for patients at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis; the fourth serves at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph.
The sisters, Amy Unruh, Mary Garcia, Sarah Low and Lisa Wooding, didn’t grow up in a healthcare family. Their father was a locksmith and their mother devoted her time to caring for them.
“So it’s funny we all ended up here,” says Amy, who is the oldest and was the first to join Ascension Via Christi when she began work 16 years ago. “I’ve loved helping patients from day one and I connect with coworkers like they’re also my sisters.”
As a radiation technologist, Amy works in Radiology at St. Francis. “I like knowing that my sisters and I all have the same outlook and values and that I positively influenced their decisions to work here.”
Mary, who is second-oldest, has served at Ascension Via Christi for three and a half years as a registered nurse. “Seeing Amy live out our family’s values at work was reason enough to get involved and keep it in the family,” she says.
She started out as a patient care tech at St. Francis, but now serves as a registered nurse in the St. Joseph Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. “Working in the ED always made me want to see patients’ progress after they left so now I get the chance to do that in Behavioral Health,” Mary says.
The other two Loehr sisters, Sarah and Lisa, look so much alike that they are often mistaken for each other in the third-floor halls of St. Francis where they have both served for the past five years after earning their nursing degrees at Bethel College.
“We’ve always got along and have done a lot together, but this has challenged us in a good way,” says Sarah, who serves in the Regional Burn Center and adjacent Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Lisa, who serves in the Burn Center, says their schedules brought them even closer, “We’ve all personally learned firsthand that nursing and a perfect 9-to-5 schedule don’t mix,” she laughs. “We understand patient care needs don’t stop when it comes to holidays and other important dates.”
Working together has revealed the pair’s strengths as coworkers and teammates. “I can always trust Sarah to lend a helping hand or give advice when I need it,” says Lisa. “We sometimes have that sister sense when the other needs help or is having a tough day.”
It’s also taught all four sisters valuable lessons about flexibility, growing through service and putting patients first. They can all agree on one thing: Working in an organization with family-first values helps put the family first.
Says Sarah: “Through all the changes and things we’ve each had to learn, our coworkers, values and sisterhood help us see the importance of patience and understanding with each other and those in our care.”
To learn more about careers and opportunities with Ascension Via Christi, go to viachristi.org/jobs.