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NYRA nurse goes the distance

For more than 50 years, Doris Glier has been treating patients at Aqueduct Race Track and Belmont Park with ailments ranging from a splinter to a heart attack. And the 84-year-old Long Island resident is showing no signs of slowing down.

In fact, Glier has been working so long at Aqueduct and Belmont that she does not remember the exact year she started the job.

Her father-in-law, an agent for the jockey Eric Guerin, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1947, got her started working at the track, where she treats jockeys, New York Racing Association employees and patients at both Aqueduct and Belmont.

“He suggested that I apply and I got the job part time. It became full time in 1979,” she said.

Glier is responsible for performing annual physicals for all the jockeys at the tracks and sees them if they fall off their horses.

“It’s wonderful. That’s why I’m still here. Everybody’s been great,” Glier said. “It’s a great job for an old nurse or any nurse for that matter.”

Even at 84 years old, Glier said she is not thinking about retiring.

“No, absolutely not,” she said. “If I stay well, I’ll stay as long as they’ll have me. If you have good health, you can do almost anything. You like your job, that’s what’s important.”

Glier said she still works in part to pay for college tuition for her two grandsons, but also sticks with the job for her own benefit.

“It’s for my mental health,” she said. “Maybe I’ll be an inspiration to other elderly people on the job.”

When she first started working at the tracks, Glier would accompany jockeys on the ambulance ride to the hospital if they had had an accident. She said there were also no automatic defibrillators at the tracks back then, but now both Aqueduct and Belmont are outfitted with the life-saving devices.

There were also five nurses when she started working. Now she is the only one left standing, although there are doctors working at the tracks.

“We’ve come a long way as medicine has,” she said.

NYRA has appreciated Glier over the years. Last year she received 50 roses and a blurb was written about her in the program.

“They’ve done very nice things here for me,” Glier said.

Glier spent part of her life working as a hospital nurse at South Nassau Hospital, but she said the experience at NYRA is more fulfilling.

“I like racing. I like jockeys. They’re like my family,” she said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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