UHS 100th Anniversary

I think UHS is important to UT and UT students because it takes care of the health and wellbeing of the reason we’re here on campus. It’s always about the student. How can we help them? That’s the sort of dynamic that we just continually see here is just treating the person. For many incoming students, this is the first time they’ve navigated any healthcare on their own, I don’t know. And so, I think just having a facility where they can access healthcare is something that all the practitioners really value and I think that’s a strong part of being here. I think having a place on campus with which students can identify at a time where they may not know a lot about taking care of themselves or managing their healthcare from a standpoint of navigating the healthcare system is really important. A lot of people have these preconceived notions about UHS, but really, what I love about UHS is how connected they’re trying to be with the student body. They’re really trying to make sure that whatever issues students feel or whatever background they’re coming from, that UHS can accommodate those backgrounds. I think that UHS has always had this drive to really connect with the students. Years ago, when there were a lot of students getting tattoos and piercings, I thought, why don’t I bring in a tattoo artist to talk to the nursing staff. It’s super important that students have a place to come when they’re feeling ill or when they’re having some sort of issue. UHS is there. And one thing I never forget, I have a job because of students. And that’s so important to me. I never forget that. I serve them, I’m here to serve them, and just be as helpful and as kind as you can. When I first came to work here, we were at an old building. It was originally a hospital. It was not built as a clinic. It was very non-functional for the type of operation that we have today. Small cubicles, it had a medicinal look with green-ish gray appearance to it. I think it probably fit what I think many people had an image of a student health center being. The thing that I remember is just going in and going into this elevator that was a little, it seemed iffy in going up just because the building was so old. There were two restrooms and one of them was labeled doctors and one of them was labeled nurses and that was in 1983. When I came to interview, there were, of course, I was young, but at the time, I thought, those doctors are so old that someone is either gonna die or retire and I’ll get a job. I thought when I took this job and everything, I thought, because there were ladies, there was nurses here at the time that had been here 20 and 25 years, and I said, why? But by that time, I had learned that I really enjoyed taking care of the students, I enjoyed being on campus, I enjoyed the people that work here who are committed to what we do in taking care of students. After awhile, it became hard to think about doing any other kind of medicine. One of the things that I’m most proud of is there were a group of students that got involved and took on the health center as a project. There was a student referendum. There were ads in The Texan about, for the price of one pizza a semester, you can have a new health center, a new and updated health center. The students actually voted the money for us to build this building. We owe it to them. A society in UT and University Health Services has come a long, long way. I think what has changed is that over the years, we’ve been very successful in building up a quality organization and recruiting a quality medical staff and being able to change that reputation. I think that’s been really great. The things that really jumped out at me were around culture and around people. The environment seems incredibly inclusive, and really, the breadth and depth of services that we offer our students, and I thought that was really exciting. Over and over, people will come in, they’re new, but I really hear it where people sincerely are like, everybody here is so nice. This was different for me being in an atmosphere where everybody was that seemingly cohesive. It’s like everybody knew everyone. And I hate to use the word community so much, but it’s overused, but that’s really one of the things that makes me love it here. I have a lot of students who, through the years, have said, I’ve dreaded going out to the private community because I felt so comfortable being here. I’m really proud of the work we do here. I think that speaks to why a lot of individuals have been here for the duration they’ve had. I have grown old here. I come to work ’cause I love coming to work, but it’s all about family. I just feel like that University Health Services, we are family. It’s been a gift to do a job I love. Not a lot of people can say that and I would be emotional saying that. It’s an amazing gift. Why wouldn’t somebody wanna work here? (laughs) (slow music)

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