An advocate. A relationship-builder. A gift that just keeps giving.
This is how employees at St. Francis Medical Center describe their colleague, J. Delores Baker.
Baker was recently recognized at the medical center’s “Years of Service” ceremony. She has worked at St. Francis for the past 60 years and is a leader in the Trenton community.
“Delores is part of the St. Francis family,” said Vincent Costantino, Chief Administrative Officer, St. Francis Medical Center. “Everyone who works with her knows her steadfast dedication to our hospital and our patients. The positive impact Delores has made and what she has done for St. Francis is invaluable.”
Baker’s supervisor, Debra Birkenstamm, Corporate Director of Population Health at St. Francis Medical Center, agreed. “Delores brings people together. She is the glue between our hospital and the community. She embodies our mission and her work reflects our values. We are so grateful that she’s a part of our team.”
Delores began her career at St. Francis in 1956 as a nursing assistant in Labor and Delivery. She moved on to become an Operating Room technician, then manager of Operating Room Support Services. During that time, she founded and organized the Association of Operating Room Technicians (A.O.R.T) #145.
With a dedication to improving the quality of life for others in and out of the hospital, Delores became the hospital’s community relations liaison, the role she currently serves in today.
“Since starting at St. Francis, I always knew I was part of a family,” said Baker. “Then, as now, St. Francis consistently reached out to the community. I could see the way the medical center embraced people, especially the poor of Trenton, who seemed to have so many challenges. The staff, including doctors, nurses and administrators, were role models for me, a young African-American woman. I am honored to have worked here all these years and I thank St. Francis for what they stand for and what they mean to me personally.”
Delores participates and has holds leadership roles with numerous civic and community groups. These groups aim to better health, education, and housing for those in need. They include the Mercer County Board of Social Services, Carver Youth and Family Center, The Urban League Guild of Metropolitan Trenton, The Urban Women's Center, the National Political Congress of Black Women, and the New Jersey Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. Delores is also an active member of the Friendship Baptist Church of Trenton.
Delores was recently elected President of the St. Francis Auxiliary and is the recipient of the Women of Inspiration Award from the YWCA of Trenton.
Born in New York City, Delores was raised and educated in Trenton. She attended Trenton public schools, Mercer County Community College, and St. Francis School of Surgical Technology.
Early in her career at St. Francis, Delores became close with Sister Catherine Joseph, OSF. Sr. Catherine’s advice to Delores in those early days was, “Let your work speak for you, Delores.”
As a vital member of the St. Francis family and the Trenton community for the past 60 years, Baker has certainly done that.
Said colleagues in the Pastoral Care department at St. Francis. “Delores is a precious gift to all of us at St. Francis. She will go to bat for our patients without hesitation and keeps us continually mindful that we are here to serve—our patients and those in the community. She’s a pleasure to work with and we pray she never leaves because there is no replacing Delores!”
Caption: St. Francis Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. C. James Romano (left), and Chief Administrative Officer Vincent Costantino (right), with 60-year employee and community relations liaison Delores Baker. Baker was recently honored at the hospital’s Years of Service ceremony.