She’s Touched Thousands of Babies
May 30, 2017
Her supervisor, Natalie Calow, a registered nurse says Bettiann Judd touched thousands of babies over the years. She may not have actually put her hands on the newborns, but Judd had a hand in their arrival – she was the one responsible for filing their birth records.
Judd ended the month of May by retiring from IU Health Methodist Hospital. The same month she started her career in the OB unit 45 years ago. She spent 20 years as the unit secretary and the past 24 in charge of birth records.
“She is a wealth of knowledge and will be greatly missed,” said Calow. In addition to filing birth certificates, Judd worked on paternity affidavits, filed state medical reports, and organized newborn screenings.
Judd says the job was a perfect fit. A graduate of Ben Davis High School, she started college with aspirations of becoming a nurse. Two years later, she says she realized it wasn’t the right path. But she never strayed far from a medical career – working as a hospital volunteer and a pharmacy tech. When a position became available at Methodist, she applied and landed the job.
“She is so knowledgeable on anything that has to do with law and regulations of birth certificates,” said Renee Oswalt, coordinator of childbirth and inpatient education at. “We see so many people with diverse needs and Betiann knows what to tell them and how to help them.”
Other nurses talked about Judd’s kind but “straight-forward” approach. If information were missing from paperwork, she would often approach staff members and rub their backs while explaining what she needed.
During a recent retirement celebration, Judd traded her uniform for a new peach dress and worked the room chatting with long-time nurses, doctors, staff and family members. She was joined at her “Race to Retirement” celebration by her husband Charles Judd and two daughters.
“She’s a hard worker and she’s like her dad in that she doesn’t know a stranger. And she never slows down,” said Charles Judd. He tells about the time a few years ago when his wife was scheduled for a heart procedure and cleaned the whole house before surgery. The couple lives in the same west side home where Bettiann grew up.
They met on a blind date, arranged by friends and ironically their first date was to the movies to see the spoof “Young Doctors in Love.” She later traveled with her husband as he raced the midget car circuit. Often it was just the two of them in the garage working on the racecar.
Some family members think Bettiann will continue racing through life even after retirement. “I give her three months before she’ll find something else to do. That’s just who she is,” said her daughter, Suzie Miller.
For now, Bettiann says she’s looking forward to spending time with family, relaxing, volunteering for Meals on Wheels and maybe traveling.
But there’s one thing she knows she’s going to miss the most: “Seeing those proud parents who have wanted a child for so many years and then fulfilling their dreams with the birth of a new baby. There’s nothing like being part of that experience.”
--By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health. Reach Banes via email at T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.