Headed to Huntsville: Employee Advisory Council visits CMC employees at Estelle Unit, attends Employee Service Awards ceremony

Aug 18, 2017, 05:54 AM by KirstiAnn Clifford
Gwendolyn Williams, an LVN at the Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas, smiles for the camera as she receives her 20-year service pin.
Employee Advisory Council members had the opportunity to meet hundreds of UTMB Correctional Managed Care employees during a July 13 trip to the Huntsville area.

The day began with a tour of the Estelle Unit, which houses more than 3,000 male offenders of various custody levels and offers an extensive array of health care services. More than 200 UTMB CMC employees work at Estelle, providing medical care 24 hours a day. EAC members toured several areas including the 120-bed inpatient infirmary, dialysis clinic, physical therapy clinic and geriatric facility.

EAC members with CMC Dialysis employees at the Estelle Unit.The tour was followed by a trip to the Texas Prison Museum, where more than 170 CMC employees from units in the Huntsville and Palestine regions were celebrated for reaching important milestones in their careers. Collectively, the employees represented more than 2,000 years of service to UTMB CMC and its mission.

“Two thousand years of prison is hard time,” joked Dr. Owen Murray, UTMB vice president for Offender Health Services. “But it really speaks to everyone’s dedication and it’s one of the reasons why we have been very successful over the last 25 years. When you work in this unique environment, it really becomes part of who you are—whether you see this as enjoyable work, mission work or both. There are a total of 3,000 UTMB CMC employees around the state and I want to thank everyone for their commitment to our patients and to the university.”

The crowd cheered for each employee as they received their 5, 10, 15, 20 or 20-plus year service pins. Many said they enjoyed their job because the CMC community is like “one big family.”

“My department is my family,” said Lisa Lopez, a senior manager of health information management, who received a 20-year pin. “I’m not from here and I don’t have family here, so this is my family. We see people come and go, but the ones that stay, we are diehards!”

Gwendolyn Williams, an LVN at the Telford Unit and 20-year pin recipient, added, “It’s been a journey with ups and downs and I’m glad I stuck with it. I love what I do, love the people and am grateful to make a positive impact.”

EAC Chair Tilly Clark said it was a joy to see the service pin recipients celebrate their milestones together.

“Their level of dedication to UTMB CMC is inspiring to all,” she said. “It was obvious there is sense of community with not only each other, but with their leaders, as well, which directly contributes to their success as a team. After hearing the personal stories Dr. Murray told about so many of the employees, it was easy to see how they truly ‘work together to work wonders.’”

To see more photos from the EAC tour and service pin ceremony, visit UTMB’s Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/utmb/albums.