For nearly 16 years, Judy Bumgarner has made IV containers on the second shift at Baxter’s North Cove manufacturing plant in Marion, North Carolina, the town where she was born and raised.
Judy likes to think about the people who are helped by the products she inspects and prepares for shipment every day. She has worked to keep one thought foremost in her mind over the years, as hundreds of millions of bags have come down her manufacturing line.
What we make is more than plastic. Each container means a life to me, and I’ve tried to put a face on every one I see.
Judy Bumgarner, Baxter IV Manufacturing Employee
Judy is a trainer too, one of the first people many new manufacturing employees meet, and she tries to instill her attitude about North Cove’s products in everyone. “I tell everybody, when you pick up a container, remember that it could be going to help anyone - your friends or loved ones.”
One particular person has given Judy a moment that matters every Sunday for years, reminding her of the personal connection to patients she values so highly.
“A man at my church is on dialysis, using peritoneal dialysis solutions we make. Each and every week he gives me a piece of candy, just to let me know that what I do is important to him. That really brings it home. A man expressing his thanks for the treatment he gets and gratitude to the people like me who make the product. It’s a small thing but every candy has meant a lot to me.”
Judy has been married for 45 years to her high-school sweetheart from nearby Nebo, North Carolina. They have two children and six grandchildren. Her son Kevin is an engineer in Virginia and her daughter Tanya followed her mom’s footsteps, working in materials handling, supplying the line, at the North Cove plant.
“We talk to each other about how important it is to do this job to the best of your ability. Knowing that we help to save and sustain lives means everything to us. It’s the reason we work here.”