Bett Lauridsen passed away on October 1st after a short battle with cancer. She was 88.
A dedicated nurse and community leader, she spent 64 years working in health care – 35 of those at VGH.
After completing her nursing education in Winnipeg in 1951, she spent 27 years with the Victorian Order of Nurses and Vancouver Health Department. In 1980, she became manager of the Short Term Assessment & Treatment (STAT) Centre at VGH.
In 1995, she reluctantly retired at the age of 65. She took the weekend off and returned as the manager of the newly created Commuter Centre. While there, she instituted many successful programs; her proudest accomplishment was the creation of the inter-hospital shuttle service. To date the shuttles have carried over 2.2 million passengers.
When Bett retired for the second time, at age 85, the Bett Lauridsen Commuter Centre was named in her honour.
Bett led a very full life. She was a nurse, energy healer, mediator and co-founder of a small business to provide employment people with disabilities.
She lectured provincially on the expanding role of nurses and presented at seven national conferences on the challenges of caring for an aging population. She served on the boards of the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia and the Conflict Resolution Society of BC.
Her passions extended beyond the realm of her work. Bett loved cats and her flower garden. She was also a skilled weaver of landscapes. VGH has several examples of her work on display.
She was well-known for her dedication and positivity. A long time staff member, now retired, bestowed on her a very appropriate nickname. Every time he saw her, he would call out, “Hello, happy lady!"
Bett wanted to thank the M.A.I.D. program for letting her choose her own time and to pass with dignity. She will be greatly missed by her two sons, and hundreds of friends and colleagues.