What does UTMB mean to you?  Tell us why you are inspired to participate in the UTMB Family Campaign Send in your testimonial to public.affairs@utmb.edu.

Michele Lockwood, Administrative Operations Manager, Information Services. Employee Advisory Council  

UTMB has always been a positive force in my life and my career.  It’s hard to believe that almost 25 years ago, after eight years working as a stay-at-home mom, I began my UTMB career as a clerk in the OB-GYN Department.
I worked for several doctors, including Dr. Ed Smith, who  set me up with a computer to manage a spreadsheet and database for his research data.  I quickly learned that the word processing program made my workload more manageable, and was hooked on learning more. 
I learned to use Wordstar, Lotus 123, and Harvard Graphics for my clerical duties, and helped introduce computers to my co-workers. Using the word processing skills I learned in OB-GYN, I landed a promotion working for the UTMB Clinics Administrator, Cathy Disch.
Cathy encouraged me to realize that I would have more opportunities to advance in my career if I completed my education, and I decided to finish the college education I started years before.  I finished my basics, and then attended classes at UTMB’s School of Allied Health in the evenings after work to earn my Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration.
I am so thankful that UTMB offered me some assistance with tuition reimbursement along the way or this may not have been possible for me.  It was a busy time, working full time during the day and attending school full time in the evening, along with my family job at home!  But I loved every minute of it.
After my first year in school, I accepted a transfer/promotion, working for Healthcare Information Services (HIS), which was the start of my career in IS.  I completed my degree and soon after joined the Administrative team in IS, and found my niche working in the HR role.  I will always value the support and guidance Ralph Farr offered me as I made my choice to move to the ADMIN/HR area in IS. 
For the last 20 years, I have been with IS.  Using the HR experience I acquired in IS, I took classes, studied, and completed my ‘Professional in Human Resources’ (PHR) certification. I truly feel that UTMB has provided me with many opportunities to advance in my career. I also feel fortunate to have the excellent health benefits, retirement benefits, as well as generous sick and vacation leave. I love my job here in IS, and I feel proud to be a part of UTMB as we work together to work wonders. 
As one of my co-workers have stated, it must mean something if we are eligible to retire but choose to keep working here.  I gave my pledge to the Family Campaign to keep UTMB moving forward, and because I am thankful of what UTMB has enabled me to accomplish. I am excited to see the progress UTMB is making.
I hope that everyone at UTMB will be able to say that they have been part of the new growth and progress by participating in the Family Campaign.  I believe UTMB has a bright future ahead, and I’m proud to be able to contribute towards that future, and give back a little of what UTMB has given me.

Christine (Tina) Gonzales, Information Services Manager, IS Administrative Systems

I would like to share a story of what UTMB means to me.  In August of 1993, my then 14 yr old son became very ill.  He became lethargic and could not get out of bed with flu-like symptoms.  I took him to a doctor two days in a row and he was sent home diagnosed with the flu.  When he could not even walk he begged me to do something, so I took him to see Dr. Cynthia Judice at the UTMB Pedi Clinic.  She immediately deemed his illness as an emergency and said he needed to be admitted immediately. His blood pressure was dangerously low and he was becoming quite unresponsive. 
I arrived at UTMB and they immediately took him to Pediatrics where a team of doctors were waiting.  They became quite perplexed at what was wrong with him. They immediately started an I.V. of antibiotics.  The next day there was not much improvement and the team led by Dr. Janak Patel was quite concerned and started him on the next generation of antibiotics with no improvement.
On the third night he became very hot, was hallucinating and all of a sudden, a bite that he had on his leg that had healed over had busted through the skin so a culture was taken.  He had Toxic Shock Syndrome which at the time was in the news due to tampon usage and was isolated mainly to females.  Dr. Patel used the last of the antibiotic generations available and began treatment.  Finally after three days of watching my son so ill we saw improvement immediately after this last antibiotic was given.  If not for Dr. Janak  Patel a Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician and Researcher, I feel in my heart my son would not be here today.  His case was documented in Medical Journals to help others.
Not only has UTMB been here for my family over the years, employed here for 32 years must mean something if I can retire but still enjoy working here.  I have given my pledge so that UTMB can survive for years to come and be here for future generations for health and employment.