Alan Anderson began working at Iredell Memorial Hospital when he was 16 years old.

Editor’s Note: Iredell Health System is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The nonprofit’s success is s a testament to the dedication and loyalty of employees, both past and present. More than 70 current employees have worked at Iredell Health System for over 30 years.

Special to Iredell Free News

Alan Anderson, plumber assistant, has worked at Iredell Health System for over 42 years. He was born and raised in Statesville, and Iredell Memorial Hospital was not just a workplace for him — it has been an integral part of his life.

Anderson was actually born at The Birth Place at Iredell Memorial Hospital, and about 16 years later, he returned to that same hospital for employment. Anderson’s mother, Ruby, was one of the original 64 nurses who worked at Iredell when the doors opened in 1954.

Anderson’s tenure at Iredell Health System began in 1982, when he was still in high school. His mother, being a nurse at the hospital, had hinted at the possibility of a job opening, so Anderson applied and was hired for a part-time position in the maintenance department.

“I started as the maintenance helper and groundskeeper,” Anderson recalled. “I took care of some of the outside work and just did whatever needed to be done. I was part-time for about two years and jumped to full-time after that.”

Anderson has a natural knack for all things mechanical, a trait he inherited from his father. Because of this, he quickly found his niche within the maintenance team.

“I picked up things quickly here at the beginning just by being mechanically minded,” he said.

Alan Anderson was born at Iredell Memorial Hospital and started working there in 1982.

Over the years, Anderson has stayed within the maintenance department. He was the maintenance helper for about 10 years and is presently the plumber’s assistant. However, Anderson does not solely do plumbing. His team describes him as someone who does everything maintenance-related – from plumbing, to hardware, to repairing physical structures and utilities. Anderson is the longest-serving maintenance team member and knows where everything is and where it’s supposed to go. He’s also known for always lending a helping hand.

“There were times throughout the years that I did some department jumping as well. I would help out in the storeroom when I was needed,” said Anderson.

However, what truly kept Anderson rooted at Iredell Memorial were the friendships he formed.

“When I first started, Graham Wallace was the maintenance supervisor. When he left, he had been here for over 40 years. A lot of the older guys were long-termers. When you have a good group of guys, you’re more than co-workers — you’re true friends. That is a big part of why I stayed at Iredell – the friendships,” said Anderson.

In his four decades at Iredell, Anderson watched as the health system expanded to meet the needs of the growing community. He witnessed the transformation of a single building into a sprawling health system, a testament to the hospital’s commitment to serving the needs of the community.

“The town kept growing, so I always knew the hospital would grow. But I never expected it to be as big and as far-reaching as it is now. Especially with the physician network and offices in other towns,” said Anderson.

Anderson was working at Iredell Health System during the 1986 expansion. This extensive addition added 136,800 square feet, 33 new beds, and 217 replacement beds to Iredell Memorial Hospital.

“The ’86 expansion was a major undertaking. That whole side of the property originally was just a grass field and some fruit trees. They had to dig out a huge hole, down multiple stories, and that was really something interesting. They actually had to have a mining company come and shore up the walls so the current building wasn’t negatively impacted during the construction,” said Anderson.

When asked about his memories at Iredell Memorial Hospital, Anderson notes a few that stick out, specifically in the years when Statesville got a lot of snow and ice.

“Back in the day, we used to get a lot of snow and had tough winters. We were not only the maintenance crew, but we were also the snow crew. There were a couple of winters that were absolutely brutal. We would pick people up and take them to work. I had a little tractor with a blade on it and would clear the sidewalks, throw salt down, and keep the entrances open. We’re a hospital; we can’t just shut down because of snow,” said Anderson.

Through the years, despite the changes and advancements, Iredell Health System has remained a beacon of stability in Anderson’s life.

“Iredell Memorial Hospital has always been here. There were times when a lot of my friends were struggling to keep jobs, and the industry started crashing, but Iredell was always solid and stable. It wasn’t going anywhere. It was always here – that was the steady part of it,” said Anderson.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the hospital, Anderson expresses that the health system has never lost sight of their primary focus – the patients.

“Iredell has always been patient-focused. My mom always taught me to look out for the patients because you never know, you might be one someday. The patient-centered approach has always been at the heart of Iredell Health System,” he said.

When reflecting on his 42 years at Iredell Health System, Anderson is most thankful for the people. “It’s the people who surely make the difference,” said Anderson.

About Iredell Health System

Iredell Health System includes Iredell Memorial Hospital; Iredell Mooresville; two urgent care centers; Iredell Home Health; Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center; Community and Corporate Wellness; Occupational Medicine; the Iredell Physician Network and more. Iredell Memorial Hospital is the largest and only nonprofit hospital in Iredell County. The comprehensive healthcare facility has 247 beds; more than 1,800 employees; and has 260 physicians representing various specialties. Centers of excellence include Women’s and Children’s; Cardiovascular; Cancer; Surgical Services and Wellness & Prevention. The Health System’s second campus, Iredell Mooresville, is home to the area’s only 24 hour urgent care facility, as well as an ambulatory surgery center, imaging center, rehabilitation services, and physician practices. The mission of Iredell Health System is to inspire wellbeing. For a comprehensive list of services and programs, visit

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