Dale Montgomery has retired as vice president for support services at Hays Medical Center after 48 years of employment. His resignation is effective June 30.

Montgomery began as a certified nursing aide in high school.

"I enjoyed the relationship with patient care," he said. "But I always wanted to be in the business side of the business."

Approximately 10 years later, he moved to a purchasing agent position and became head of the department in 1983. In 1993, he was appointed to his current position.

"My mother once told me that she went to a fortune teller," Montgomery said. "She said the fortune teller said someone in your family is going to be in medicine. She always thought one of her 10 kids would be a doctor. I guess this is the closest I could get, and I just love it."

Montgomery believes the administration of HaysMed will not replace him and instead divide his tasks among other administrators.

"In health care today, anytime you have the ability to reduce some costs in the system, you're going to find ways to do it," he said. "We're all having to learn how to work smarter and a lot harder than we may have 15 to 20 years ago."

Montgomery will spend his retirement with family and friends, his foundation and a possible part-time job. Project Perfect World, his foundation, was developed 20 years ago. The foundation takes orthopedic and spinal teams to Third World countries to perform surgeries on children.

"I'm going to relax for a while and then decide if there's a secondary career I want to do part-time," Montgomery said. "Maybe I'll do some speaking or consulting work, depending on what opportunity would present itself."

Montgomery said as a leader in health care, it's not feasible to do part-time work.

"I'll find something that parallels this as I start looking for a career part-time," he said, "unless I decide I just want to be lazy for the rest of my life. But I don't think that will happen."

Montgomery enjoyed working at HaysMed and said he greatly will miss the people he has worked with throughout the years.

"It's been a great ride," he said. "There are so many great dedicated people that work at HaysMed, and they've all become family. My success isn't just my success. My success was given to me by the people that work for me. It has to be a shared success, and it's going to be difficult to leave these people."