February 08, 2023
When did you join UTHealth Houston? What brought you here?
I joined UT in 1996. I was working at TCH as a temp, and I was ready to work full time, so I applied at UT. I was so happy when I received the call to come in and take the typing test (which I passed). Afterward, I was hired on, which started not only a full-time job but a career for me.
Tell me about your work history here.
I was hired as senior patient relations clerk in the Department of Orthopedics. One year later, I applied for a position in the Department of Pediatrics as a staff assistant working for Dr. Barratt, Dr. Kim Smith, and Dr. De Ybarrondo at the HMC building off of Travis Street. A few years later, we moved our offices to the Medical School, where the late Joannie Miller had faith in me and asked me to take over the Pediatric Medical Student Education Clerkship. With her training, I have continued in this role. Since then, with the help of Dr. Mark Hormann and Dr. Amalia Guardiola, I have moved up to a program manager, where I run the Pediatric Clerkship for the MS 3 students, our 4th-year electives and Ambulatory Peds. I have been blessed to be serving in this role for 27 years. If it hadn’t been for these faculty and Dr. Yetman (our Division Director), I don’t think I would have stayed this long. I don’t know about other departments, but Pediatrics is the place to be.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I am the first point of contact when students rotate through Pediatrics therefore, I am most proud of the fact that I am able to help and assist all of them and calm their fears whether it’s their first rotation or last as a medical student.
In 2006, Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, and their Pediatric students had no clinics to be assigned to. I was asked if we could assist with placement of their Pediatric students into our clinics, which we happily accommodated them, and for doing so I was given a plaque from them “In Recognition of Outstanding Service to the Students of Tulane University School of Medicine.” This is what it’s all about –being there for each other and being able to help when we can.
I am also proud that In March 2017, I was awarded the Award for Excellence in Clerkship Administration from COMSEP (Council on Medial Student Education in Pediatrics).
I am also proud that I have had the privilege to have been a part of University Classified Staff Council (UCSC) and the McGovern Medical School (MMS-ERC). This brought joy to my life, and I was able to meet a lot of fellow co-workers and work with them on projects.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy working with my students and being available to assist them when they have worries or concerns before starting their rotation with Pediatrics. I love my co-workers and my faculty. We are family and take care of each other.
Why have you stayed?
I have stayed because as the saying goes “time flies when you are having fun” and well that’s what Pediatrics is, fun, joy, and fellowship. Also, the opportunities that Pediatrics has to offer us for growth and to further our education.
When you are not at work, how do you spend your time?
I love spending time with my husband of 46 years, and most of all I try to spend as much time with my six grandchildren, five of which are boys and one girl (who is a twin to one of the boys). I like to cook, travel, dance, and enjoy going out with our friends.