Step into Suite 605 in the College Building and you’ll receive a friendly greeting from the Department of Surgery’s Administrative Secretary Betty Coyle. Since taking her post 21 years ago, Betty has been making sure the front office is orderly, well supplied and welcoming to staff and guests alike. In addition to those responsibilities, she supports the intensivist group and coordinates the busy schedule of Jonathan Brody, PhD, Vice Chair for Surgical Research.
Betty first joined Jefferson in 1973 as a library technician. She ordered medical books, kept the library’s budget and helped start the Patient Education Resource Collection (PERC) – an invaluable program in the pre-Internet era.
“We were serving people who walked in from the street and wanted information to support a relative or friend who was in the hospital. We offered books about diseases and conditions and resources on how to cook better,” she says. “We were still using the card catalog, so there was a lot of work cross-referencing the information!”
After a decade in Jefferson’s library, Betty left for 14 years to focus on her sons, Michael and Timmy. During that time, she was very active in the Frankford Mothers Nursing Association, making phone calls and home visits to support new moms with breastfeeding.
Outside work, she and her husband, Frank, have always been involved in their parish. These days, she gives back by volunteering through Jefferson’s Pastoral Care department – devoting most of her Wednesday lunch hours to visiting with patients at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience. A Eucharistic Minister, she offers patients encouragement, prayer and often just the gift of a warm, friendly presence.
When she arrives to work each morning, Betty reads the wall plaque as she exits the elevator: “God loveth a cheerful giver.”
“That, to me, is who we all should be –whether we’re working with each other or interacting with patients,” she says.
"On the Job: Betty Coyle,"
Jefferson Surgical Solutions: Vol. 13:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://jdc.jefferson.edu/jss/vol13/iss1/8