Thrive by IU Health

January 19, 2023

Family spans nearly 75 years of serving IU Health

Family spans nearly 75 years of serving IU Health

There are some things that can only be learned over time and some memories that are preserved from one generation to the next. This is the story of one of those families.

By IU Health Senior Journalist, TJ Banes,

It was the year Ralph F. Gates was Governor of Indiana, Mauri Rose was the winner of the Indy 500, and MB “Pat” Flanigan began his career as an anesthesiologist with IU Health.

He received notice of his employment on a half sheet of paper that his daughter, Patti Medvescek has kept as a treasured keepsake. He was hired 1947 working six days a week 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $125 a week, said Medvescek. Flanigan’s sister, Marie Flanigan, worked as a clinical dietitian at Riley Hospital, and her husband, Ed Hawk worked as a fellow anesthesiologist.

Pat Flanigan met his wife, Margaret Gribben at Methodist Hospital (formerly Clairan Health) where she worked in the billing office. They were married in 1949. They went on to raise five children. Medvescek was the second born.

Medvescek relates how her father learned to knit to keep his fingers nimble when their first child was born. He gifted his wife with booties and a sweater for every child. Each grandchild thereafter wore the knitted wear home from the hospital.

Pat Flanigan studied in Bloomington and Indianapolis before coming to IU Health. He attended IU School of Medicine and started as an intern at Methodist Hospital in 1940. He eventually went into private practice primarily working at Methodist Hospital.

“I can remember him taking me on his Sunday rounds at the hospital. I would wait in the doctor’s dining room or the Beacon Room at Methodist,” said Medvescek. Pat Flanigan worked up until his death in 1981.

In 1969, Medvescek launched her own career with IU Health. After a couple of brief absences she kept coming back.

And it all started with her father. Some of Medvescek’s favorite memories are eating brownies from the hospital cafeteria, and watching her father at night working on his patient billings while she played with the “paid” stamp.

“As an anesthesiologist, he wanted to make sure his patients were ready for surgery and visited them the night before. He truly cared about every one of them,” said Medvescek.

“My senior year of high school I was headed to IU to study medical technology. My dad knew someone who worked in the blood bank so I started working weekends and holidays,” said Medvescek. “I did my clinical at Methodist and I loved it so much, when I graduated I stayed.” That part of her career spanned a time when all patients were tested for syphilis. She spent the first 20 years of her career in the lab, left in 1992, returned in 2005 and retired in 2020. “I was bored so I came back last year,” said Medvescek, who now works in guest services at IU Health West Hospital. Her new position allows her to interact directly with patients and visitors.

Medvescek met her former husband at IU Health and had two children - a daughter who worked as a nurse in the mother-baby unit at Methodist for a time, and a son who became a physical therapist.

Both of the children we born at Methodist Hospital; her daughter’s three boys were born at Methodist; and her son’s four children were born at IU Health North Hospital. At the age of 6, Medvescek became a patient at IU Health when she was treated for kidney disease and scarlet fever.

“I remember them painting a mural on the fifth floor of Methodist,” said Medvescek. “When I came to back to work at Methodist, I would walk the halls and see that mural and Methodist felt like home. When I retired in 2020, knowing that my family had been part of IU Health for more than 73 years, returning felt like a natural thing to do.”