Release Date: Aug 28, 2023

Monica Bates is no stranger to Mason Health. After 30 years as a Medical Supplies Buyer in the Supply Chain Department, Bates retired in 2021. She returned to the Mason Health family this summer as the new volunteer Gift Shop Manager for the Mason General Hospital Foundation Auxiliary Gift Shop at Mason General Hospital, which re-opened in May.

“I missed and enjoy the family aspect of being at the hospital,” Bates said. “When it was just the hospital, it was a family. When we took on all the clinics and opened Mason Clinic in 2020, it became a community. Going to the gift shop was always one of my favorite things to do.”

After retiring, Bates moved to Oakville, Washington, in Grays Harbor County. In December 2022, she moved back to Mason County, minutes away from the hospital, to be closer to her children and grandchildren. She’s excited to be closer to her family, both at home and at the hospital.

“After working at the hospital for so many years, I saw so many patients coming in and out, for medical reasons, but the gift shop was always a safe place, even for employees,” Bates said. “Employees could come in and take a break from the stress, patients and visitors could come in and take a breath from whatever was going on in their lives. It is truly retail therapy.”

The Gift Shop is now open Tuesday, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“I am so excited that Monica is stepping into the role of Gift Shop Manager,” said Volunteer Coordinator Iris Hilburger. “Monica’s enthusiasm and energy are infectious and her experience is a perfect fit.”

MGHF Auxiliary Treasurer Carol Goodburn also shared positive thoughts.

“We’re pleased to have Monica as our new Gift Shop Manager,” Goodburn said. “She brings 30 years of expertise to the role and a new breath of life to the gift shop. We look forward to her ideas.”

Bates would like to expand the hours as the Auxiliary builds back up its volunteer workforce.

“We’ve only been open a short time, but from what I’ve watched and seen from our regular customers is that there are items I need to be sure to keep in there,” she said. “This a place that makes people happy. Working at the hospital can be really stressful, and I want to make sure when everyone comes in, they are happy. It makes your heart happy when you’re helping somebody who is going through something. I really want to make sure this is someplace special.”

In her spare time, Bates enjoys water aerobics at the gym in Elma and spends every Wednesday watching “the cousin crew” for her family, i.e. her grandchildren and their cousins.

Proceeds from the MGHF Auxiliary Gift Shop benefit scholarships for local high school students and Mason Health employees. Learn more about the Mason General Hospital Foundation Auxiliary at

Mason General Hospital Foundation furthers the mission of Public Hospital District No.1 by enhancing the quality of health care enjoyed by patients of Mason County. MGHF provides financial support to Mason Health.


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