Spotlight on Employee Service: David Howell

If you walk through the halls of the pediatric fluoro room in the Radiology department, it’s impossible not to notice the colorful artwork on the walls, and kid-friendly play room.  These are just a few of the many ideas partly inspired by David Howell.

David is celebrating his 50 years of service at TMC this year – a long career that started back in 1962, when he was just 16 years old.  He gets a good laugh thinking back to those days when he was actually living on campus.

“There was a residence for employees.  There were 12 rooms, and one shower for all 12 rooms, which proved interesting at times,” he recalls.  Rent was a whopping $12.50 a month –  Oh how things have changed!

David was hired as a houseboy, and was responsible for taking care of the yards and running errands for administration.  A few years later, he started working in the Radiology Department as an X-ray fluoroscope coordinator, getting patients ready for their exams.  It was here that David’s fun-loving personality quickly put anxious patients at ease.  David’s boss of the last 15 years, Luis Sapien, says, “David was a pro at establishing rapport with patients, but also their families.  His laughter, his humor, his compassion.  He just has a great way of making you feel welcome at TMC.”

While the patients certainly made his time enjoyable at TMC, he also loved that his job allowed him to do the things outside of work that he loved.  David did an assortment of volunteer work with senior groups, and church groups over the years.  He was in a rock-and-roll band in the 1960s, and even raced cars for 20 years.  It was actually through his racing that he experienced what became his fondest memory of his time at TMC.  He became friends with a special patient, a little girl who came with her family to TMC often.  As her health started to deteriorate, all she wanted was to see David race.  Her family arranged it, and shortly afterwards, she sent him a note that read, “I’ll see you in Heaven.  Thank you, David, for being so great.”

David says he has thousands of memories of his time spent in the Radiology department.  When he leaves TMC later this year, his colleagues will have many fond memories of him, including how he would thank them at the end of each work day.  Today, we are saying thank you, David, for your years of service and dedication to Tucson Medical Center.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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