Oldest employee caring for preemies at Overland Park Regional turns 90 years old
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Nurses and staff at Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit threw a birthday party on Wednesday for the unit’s oldest employee, Larry Antovoni.
Antovoni turned 90-years-old and has worked at Overland Park Regional, 10500 Quivira Rd., for ten years. There’s a very good reason he received quite the birthday celebration. In spite of his admitted crankiness, he is cherished and adored by his co-workers and parents.
“We have dedicated employees in all areas of the hospital,” says Kevin Hicks, Overland Park Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer. “Larry is the epitome of commitment and compassion, and an inspiration to all those around him. I can’t help but think some of his lifelong wisdom has been a positive influence for all ages in the NICU. He’s touched all of us. ”
“I hope it’s because I’m a good worker and cute, but I think it’s because I’m old,” Antovoni said, when asked why he thought the NICU organized the birthday party for him.
Antovoni’s wife is sick, so coming to the hospital, surrounded by his support system — and of course, the babies– helps him keep his spirits up.
“I take care of the equipment, run errands for the nurses, keep all the equipment clean, stock the nutrition rooms, carry out babies, relieve the secretary at lunches and complain,” he said, and the crowded room laughed in agreement.
Antonvoni says he hopes to work another ten years and says he gets up every morning at 3:30 a.m., takes the dogs out and gets ready for work.
He has formed good friendships with the nurses, adores the babies and enjoys the rapport with the parents whose babies are being cared for.
“I enjoy every minute of it,” he said.