October 06, 2021
When did you join UTHealth? What brought you here?
I joined the Medical School on Aug. 20, 1990. Before that, I worked at Memorial Hermann – I started there in June 1986 right before the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion – an event I will never forget. I worked in Medical Records at Memorial Hermann for 4 and a half years, and one of the supervisors joined the Department of Psychiatry at UT, and she called me to join her. That’s when psychiatry was in MSI. We were right across the street from TIRR in a very old building – it had a basement and even a subbasement – I went down there only once – it was spooky.
Tell me about your work history here.
You could say I grew up here in the Texas Medical Center. I’m still in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and 11 years ago we moved to our new location. Our building used to be next to the Dental School, and we are neighbors again in our newer location on the South Campus.
I have seen a lot of change over the years. I worked in medical records when the records were on paper, and we had to pull charts and take them to each clinic. The doctors would actually write in the charts. That’s how the records were kept back then. We then were introduced to the electronic medical record – paper was going out and electronic was coming in. A lot of the doctors I work with now, I remember them as medical students, and it’s nice to see familiar faces.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
Recently, I was able to volunteer with the COVID vaccine hub at the Cooley Center, which was very rewarding. It was nice to encourage people. I also have volunteered with our UT House Medics program – I remember one sweet little 80-year-old lady hugging me, saying how she was proud of her house again after we had finished working on it. I want to keep doing things for other people.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The patients. Psychiatry is something you can’t see when someone walks up to our floor. It takes a lot of patience from our staff. We have a very good team, and we share our understanding and listen. Our patients want someone to listen to them. I had a 95-year-old lady tell me that I saved her life.
Why have you stayed?
I really enjoyed working for UT. The gratitude I have received from patients, coworkers, and doctors keep me going. I’ve had good office managers in my time. If you have a good leader, you will have a good team. My work family has been supportive of me during my toughest times.
When you are not at work, how do you spend your time?
I love music, family gatherings, road trips, and fishing. I like to take time off to go to Galveston, or a fishing hole near my neighborhood; I do catch and release. I treasure my family – my kids are first and last on my mind.