Dot Johnson can aptly be described as a McLeod icon. Her retirement will be a difficult adjustment for those who are used to seeing her briskly moving through the corridors in her classic white nursing uniform and starched white hat. This “angel in white” set a pace that most could not keep up with as she cared for countless patients at McLeod since 1972.
The “Dot” stories could fill an encyclopedia as she is much loved and revered not only by her patients but by physicians, nursing and all staff who have ever called McLeod Regional Medical Center home.
Her contributions to improving healthcare for the region have been well recognized through the years. It is a comfort to see her beautiful face in the portrait in the McLeod Portrait Gallery honoring her many years of dedication. One of her very important legacies, which continues to help the families of patients every day is The Guest House at McLeod.
In the early 1980s, Dot helped found the McLeod Patient Representative Program whose purpose was to develop meaningful relationships with patients to enhance the delivery of healthcare. In this role she was one of the first to recognize the need for a safe, comfortable, inexpensive place for family members to stay on the hospital campus while their loved one was cared for at McLeod Regional Medical Center. It pained her to see families sleeping in waiting rooms with no place to shower or rest.
Serendipitously, Dot traveled to New York with a friend whose husband was being treated at a hospital there. They were able to stay at the hospital’s guest house. She returned to Florence with a new mission – to establish a guest house at McLeod.
In 1995, after a successful fund raising campaign, The Guest House at McLeod was opened across from MRMC. Since that time families from all over the Unite States have found “a home away from home” because of Dot’s vision. While the room charge has remained affordable, there are families who still struggle to financially juggle these charges with all of the other expenses associated with a hospital stay.
In honor of Dot’s retirement, the Dot Johnson Fund has been established to help provide for those who are unable to pay to stay at the Guest House. Please consider honoring our angel in white by supporting her dream and continue her legacy of caring at McLeod Health with your gift to the Dot Johnson Fund. Give now.