Formation of Golden West Chapter

In the mid 60's there was a group of concerned Registered Nurses who were directors of nursing and heads of Central Services. This group met monthly to share ideas, day-to-day problems, equipment and their general knowledge related to central services. 

The central services departments in the Sacramento area were under nursing administration and were managed by RNs.  They employed RNs, Vocation Nurses, nursing assistants and post-military corps-persons.


The need for an organization was in demand by this group of RNs.  Hospital administrators supported their need and education was encouraged by these hospitals:  American River, Mercy, Sutter, Weimar, Sacramento County and Roseville. In 1967, Donna Wasvix attended a meeting in Chicago of the American Hospital Association Central Service groups.  Concurrently, Iva Armstrong, in early 1968, attended a Central Service education meeting at Ohio State University. The Central Service departments were growing so fast at this time.  Sacramento-area hospitals were looking at new advanced equipment and our need for education of central service personnel was further enhanced by state regulations for safety and education. Other regions throughout the United States were forming chapters under the direction of the American Hospital Association (AHA).  This idea was just beginning to be explored by the western states.

In September 1968, Roy Smith, representative for Travenol Company, hosted a meeting of concerned hospital personnel to investigate a chapter in the Sacramento area.  Walter Desmond, American Hospital Association Central Service Director, and John Perkins, AMSCO educator, attended this meeting. Walter and John told meeting attendees that Sacramento was ready for educational opportunities for the what, why and how of infection control, decontamination, sterilization, purchasing, supplies and equipment related to the healthcare services industry. Donna, Jeannie Clark and Iva were briefed on chapter formation and this time. These ladies targeted their efforts and membership toward personnel of American Hospital Association Central Services and stipulated that officers must be Central Services employees.  The goal of this new organization was to provide, at no or low cost, education to all employees in central services.  AMSCO offered to host the first educational seminar for this new chapter. Donna, Jeannie and Iva provided AMSCO with names of personnel in the area that would benefit from this seminar.  AMSCO provided the seminar planning, educational presentations and social networking for the first seminar to get this new group on their way towards continued educational opportunities for central service employees.

The first seminar was held at the El Rancho Hotel in West Sacramento in 1969.  There were 180 attendees who paid for this first educational opportunity of this newly formed group.  All went away happy with the seminar and asking for more educational opportunities to follow.  The second seminar was held at the Sacramento Inn and there were 195 attendees.  While both seminars were successful, the minimal cost of the seminar, as desired by the founder's "no to low cost" education goal, barely paid the bills related to putting on the seminars.  While they realistically adjusted the future cost of attending these educational seminars, the organization has maintained the desire to keep costs as minimal for attendees as possible while providing an excellent experience in education. Subsequent seminars have continued to be successful and beneficial to attendees.  The 1977 seminar had, to that time, the highest attendance with 258 people meeting at the Red Lion Inn in Sacramento.

As this organization has continued to grow, the comaraderie of the group has been outstanding.  There have been ups and downs as with any organization but through it all, as Iva Armstrong points out, "...we have had stellar, professional and dedicated emplolyees.  Our leadership has been exceptional.  We have earned great respect..." in the healthcare community.  Iva goes on to say:  "As one of the original group, I pass along my hope for continued efforts.  I favored the Registered Nurse move at the starting of our group to train and promote all interested people in the organization.  This is still what I strive to do....  I applaud all [the people] that have made Golden West one of the largest and most respected chapters (of central service).  Please keep up the good work."

Iva further explains that prior to the current IAHCSMM, our chapter was affiliated with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and ASHCSP.  Jeannie Clark, Iva, Betty Andersen, Sandra Pankey Peterson and JoAnn Gwinn were on the Board for the AHA.  Betty Andersen was president of ASHCSP. Iva was on the AHA education committee and assisted in formatting the first board licensing requirements.   Much growth and great knowledge came about through the efforts of these people.  Nothing could have been accomplished without our great staff of employees and vendors.  They gave endless hours helping wherever and whenever needed. Iva Armstrong, RN is a founding member of Golden West. Iva was a spry and active member of our organization for over 40 years of service to Golden West and the healthcare community. Iva has been the Historian of Golden West until recently when she decided to share the role of Historian with other GW volunteers so that they may carry on the tradition and record future successes of Golden West. Iva passed away in 2017.

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