After working at Medicalodges in Fort Scott for 20 years in a variety of positions, current marketing manager Deb Madison will officially retire from the facility after Sept. 30.
Born and raised in Fort Scott, Madison first worked at Medicalodges as a high school student not long after it opened in 1966. She returned in April of 1995 when the administrator, a former classmate of hers, asked her to consider taking a position there.
“I took it hesitantly,” Madison says of that decision. “I just didn’t know whether I would actually like this kind of work. But after you work here a few days, you realize it’s something you love.”
First working as a housekeeping supervisor, Madison eventually served in several departments including social services, human resources and eventually community relations and marketing. Madison said that latter position has been one of her favorites, saying she gets to be a part of both worlds as she works with Medicalodges but also interacts with the community.
But Madison says her favorite part of the job has been her fellow staff members and the residents she sees each day.
“Residents become your family,” Madison says. “A lot of them you’re around them as much as you are your own family…It will be hard not to see them every day.”
Madison says it has been an honor working for Medicalodges over the last two decades, as she saw changes come to the facility such as seven different administrators and also different regulations enforced at the state and federal level. Overall, Madison says they have changed the atmosphere from that of an institution to that of a home for their residents.
“It’s all about teamwork here,” Madison says, adding the staff helps each other out when needed, even if it is outside of their own area of expertise. “We’ve got a good staff.”
But Madison says she looks forward to retirement and spending more time with her seven children and nine grandchildren, ranging from two to 14 years old. All of her children live in or near Fort Scott.
Madison and her husband will also continue working at their ranch, Madison Cattle, located about six miles north of Fort Scott and says she plans to remain active in the community.
“I’m sure I’ll be plenty busy,” Madison says of her retirement. “It will be a different chapter in my life.”