When Josefina Marroquin first made the cross-country move from California to Massachusetts in 1996, she did so knowing Mass General could provide the care that her husband Jose needed. What she didn’t know at the time was that choosing the MGH would also mean choosing a better life for herself and her family.

In California, Josefina was the proud owner of a Mexican restaurant. When Jose got sick, however, she was forced to sell the business to pay for his treatment. This took a greater toll on Jose’s health, as well as the couple’s marriage, and their family’s happiness, so they decided to make a change and relocate to be closer to Josefina’s family.

“There was nothing in California for me anymore,” Josefina says.

After Jose became a patient at Mass General and his health began to improve, they decided to stay in Massachusetts permanently. As Josefina began to consider employment options, Jose suggested that she look into working at the MGH. With her experience in the restaurant business, she quickly landed a job with Nutrition and Food Services.

That was nearly 25 years ago. Since then, Josefina has held several roles within the hospital, including as a member of the first team at Coffee Central. She now works as an Information Desk Associate - a role that puts on full display her love for Mass General and the people who pass through its lobby each day.

“Josefina is one of the strongest women I know,” says Director of Volunteer Services Jackie Nolan. “Her commitment to Mass General is unfathomable. She loves her work, and the hospital holds a very special place in her heart.”

Jose also continued to receive care at the MGH throughout the years, until his death four months ago at age 69.

“He was in the hospital more times than I can count,” Josefina says of her husband of 54 years. “The way I think about it, this hospital not only served my husband for a long time, but it saved our marriage. This place has been a blessing for me and my family.”