News & Events

Keeping it in the Family: Fulfilling the American Dream


At Tufts Medical Center, we take great pride in treating each patient as if he/she were a member of our own family. So it’s really not surprising that strong family ties run deep throughout the institution. Here is one of many family legacy stories at our Medical Center:

Tufts Medical Center held a special place in the hearts of sisters Ina Butler and Claudette Fenton long before they began working here.

More than 50 years ago, their mother, Mavis Malcolm, immigrated to the United States from Jamaica, in search of a better life for her family. She left behind her husband, 11 children and their family farm

to settle in Boston, where she took a job as a dietary aid at Tufts Medical Center. Malcolm’s husband and children would soon follow her—both to Boston and to Tufts MC.

“Tufts Medical Center will always mean a great deal to me and my family,” said Butler. “My mother was a Tufts MC employee for close to three decades, my father worked in Environmental Services for 15 years after coming to this country and Claudette and I have siblings, children and in-laws who have worked and volunteered here throughout the years. This family connection is a big part of the reason why I couldn’t ever see myself working anywhere else.”

“It’s difficult to walk away from a place that is such an important part of your life,” agreed Fenton. “I was married and had two sons while working here. Our family has put so much time and energy into the Medical Center over the years. We really have been invested in this place.”

Butler has spent the entirety of her 40-year professional career at Tufts MC—the first 31 years in Information Services and the last nine as a practice coordinator in Dermatology.

“I always liked the camaraderie here and the welcoming nature of the hospital,” said Butler. “I’ve seen plenty of people come back to Tufts MC after leaving, because they missed the family atmosphere.”

Fenton has logged 32 years at Tufts MC, primarily in the Finance Department, where she currently serves as a Fixed Asset Manager. While Fenton did not intend to spend so many years with the same organization, something intangible about the Tufts MC culture genuinely appeals to her.

“There’s a scrappiness about this place with which I have always identified,” said Fenton. “Institutionally, we always find a way to bounce back.”

But perhaps the primary reason behind the sisters’ steadfast loyalty to the organization is the high-quality care they and their families have received for a half-century.

“The great care we provide makes me proud to be a Tufts MC employee and is the driving force behind why I have stayed,” said Fenton. “I would not have continued to work here all these years if I didn’t think the care was exceptional.”