Petersburg Medical Center Chief Financial Officer, Leon Walsh, has announced his intention to retire at the end of July.
“I have said that July 31 will be the day that I retire,” Walsh stated. “I will be available if the hospital needs me, but I will essentially not be coming to the office anymore after that date.”
Walsh has been with PMC for three and a half years, coming here from a hospital in Barrow.
“Petersburg is kind of like heaven compared to Barrow,” Walsh said. “I was with the hospital in Barrow for about the same amount of time.”
Walsh was given the opportunity to come to Petersburg by chance. He stated that he was asked if anyone there in the Barrow area would be interested in transferring to Petersburg and he took the opportunity to see more of Alaska.
“I was in Washington state before going to Barrow,” Walsh stated. “It has been a big change coming to Alaska from eastern Washington.”
Walsh began his career in a CPA firm and worked in that field for nine years before moving into the healthcare profession.
“I have been a CFO in healthcare since 1985,” Walsh said. “The years are starting to add up on me and I am ready to retire.”
According to Walsh, he has always been good with numbers and could do figures in his head and that makes it possible to do the work that he is good at.
“This field is challenging,” he stated. “In that way it keeps my interest.”
Walsh explained that when he began in this career they were still using 13 column and five column pads with pencil and calculator.
“Everything is on computers now,” Walsh stated. “It seems to do everything for you and I don’t think I would want to go back to doing it manually after all of these advances.”
Walsh is looking for property on Prince of Wales Island for after his retirement, but he hasn’t had any luck yet.
“I still have property in eastern Washington,” Walsh said. “If I can’t find anything on Prince of Wales, I will probably return to Washington and live in one of my places and work on another.”
Walsh is looking forward to having the free time to do more hunting and fishing than he has while he has been here in Petersburg.
“Over the years, I have really gotten out of that lifestyle,” he stated. “I am looking forward to getting back into it.”
Walsh has a son in Ketchikan, one in Seattle and another in the Tri-Cities in Washington.
“My sons have been wondering why I have waited so long to do this,” Walsh said. “I’m 70 years old and I think I have just gotten into a habit of getting up and going to work, but I would like to take this opportunity while I am still able to get out and do things.”
Walsh also stated that the only worry he has after retirement is getting up and wondering what he will do with himself if he isn’t working.
“I’m ready for it now,” Walsh stated. “If I find out later that retirement isn’t for me, I’ll get back into the workforce. I still have choices out there.”