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Valley News Dispatch

Four generations of Fawn family celebrate milestone at Allegheny Valley Hospital

Brian C. Rittmeyer

As Allegheny Valley Hospital marked the 110th anniversary of accepting its first patients on Monday, a Fawn family reflected on four generations of their own history at the hospital.

The legacy started with Barb Kutchko’s mother, Monie Hanford, who was a switchboard operator there until the late 1970s or early 1980s. Hanford died in 2000.

Kutchko, 72, worked the switchboard when she started in 1976 and was a department secretary when she retired in 2012.

Her daughter, Tammy Lubresky, and grandson, Nick Lubresky, work at the hospital — Tammy, 54, as an executive assistant, and Nick, 22, as a patient transport associate.

The family’s four generation legacy at Allegheny Valley Hospital began when Kutchko’s father, Charles Hanford, got laid off from PPG and her mother looked for a job, according to Kutchko.

They were both working the switchboard, but on different shifts, when Kutchko started. It was Kutchko’s first job after having four children.

“I came in and interviewed and started the next day,” she said. “Things were simpler.”

Lunches were free back then.And there were no computers. “A lot has changed,” she said.

After a couple of other jobs, Tammy Lubresky also went to work at the hospital after having her children; Nick is the youngest of three. She’s been in basically the same job, with a few different titles, for almost 12 years.

“I wanted to be close to home so I could be near my kids in case something happened,” she said.

Like her mother and grandmother, Tammy Lubresky’s work at the hospital overlapped with her mom. But, “We never saw each other,” she said. “My office is kind of out of the way.”

Nick Lubresky wants to be the first doctor in the family. A senior at Saint Vincent College studying biochemistry, he wants to go to medical school.

He’s worked for three years moving patients around the hospital. His tenure started when he was in high school with volunteering on floors and in his mother’s office.

“I wanted to find out what a hospital was like,” he said.

He was only 3 years old when his great-grandmother died.

“Despite not knowing her all that well, I can get to know her through the hospital,” he said.

Tammy Lubresky said she values her employer as a true community hospital.

“We’re one family,” she said. “We serve our community. We treat our patients like our family.”

Tammy Lubresky said she’d like to spend the rest of her career at the hospital. Nick said he’d like to, as well. It may be a smaller hospital, but they’d argue it’s a better one.

“We give personal care like it’s our own loved ones walking in the door,” Tammy Lubresky said. “I bring my family here because I believe they’ll get the best care.”

“It’s a real friendly place,” Kutchko said. “You feel more comfortable.”

“There’s a greater sense of community. We all know each other,” Nick Lubresky said.

Besides work, they each have another link to the hospital — they were all born there.

“This is home,” Kutchko said.

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.


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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Tammy Lubresky (seated) holds a picture of her grandmother, Monie Hanford, who was the first of what would become four generations of her family to work at Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison. With her at her desk on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019 are her mother, Barb Kutchko, who retired from the hospital in 2012, and her son, Nick Lubresky, who works there and is planning to become a doctor.
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Submitted | Barb Kutchko
Monie Hanford was working as a swiitchboard operator at Allegheny Valley Hospital when this picture was taken in 1971. Her daughter, Barb Kutchko, also worked at the Harrison hospital and her granddaughter, Tammy Lubresky, and great grandson, Nick Lubresky, work there now. The hospital observed the 110th anniversary of accepting its first patients on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019; the legacy started by Hanford covers about half of the hospital’s history.
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Allegheny Valley Hospital employees observed the hospital’s 110th anniversary with cake and cupcakes in the cafeteria on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.
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George N. Scheid Collection | '100 Years: Alle-Kiski Medical Center
The first Allegheny Valley Hospital at 614 Second Ave. in Tarentum opened in 1909. The building was torn down in 1993.
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Submitted | '100 Years: Alle-Kiski Medical Center'
Allegheny Valley Hospital’s second location at 114 W. Seventh Ave. in Tarentum, which opened in 1910. The building was recently torn down.
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Allegheny Valley Hospital as it appeared upon opening at 1301 Carlisle St. in Harrison in 1919.