Progress report: TMC executives applaud employee’s literacy efforts

Eli Hawley TMC Laundry Equipment Operator

Eli Hawley
TMC Laundry Equipment Operator

There is no stopping Eli Hawley.

The TMC Laundry Equipment Operator will read to anyone, anywhere, at any time. 

Case in point:  Hawley was recently in Pediatrics when a mother vented to him that her young daughter was acting up.  She had tried everything to calm her down, and nothing was working.  Hawley asked, “Can I go read to her?”  “Go ahead and try it.  We’ll see what happens,” she said.  Eli popped his head in the door.  “Do you want me to read you a story?”  The tyke said yes.  She sat there with her mom as Eli read to them.  A few minutes later, he came back to check on how she was doing.  Her mom said, “She finally calmed down and went to sleep.”

When Hawley told that story to a group of TMC executives who had gathered to hear him read, there was a collective sigh.  We shared Hawley’s story in April a few months after he started a program called Literacy Connects, which is run through Literacy Volunteers of Tucson

Hawley with the group who listened to him read

Hawley with his granddaughters, the TMC executives, and their assistants who listened to him read

Now that he’s about six months into the program, he wanted to give the TMC executives who encouraged him to enter the program a little update about the progress he’s making.  Busy executives, including TMC President and CEO Judy Rich, stopped what they were doing on a Monday morning and poured into a conference room just to sit and listen to a fellow employee who has accomplished so much.

Hawley read two stories like a pro.  “I’ve never seen someone so happy to read,” said Rich.  Hawley replied, “I’ve worked at TMC for 19 years, and all that time, I couldn’t read a lick.  Now that I can, I look at the world differently.  If it wasn’t for TMC, I would have never gone back to school.  I love working here, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

TMC President and CEO Judy Rich presented Hawley with two new books

TMC President and CEO Judy Rich
presented Hawley with two new books

Rich presented Hawley with two classic Dr. Seuss books, Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.  “I could probably recite these books by heart because I’ve read them so many times,” she said.  “These are wonderful books because they have small words in them and lots of repetition.” 

Hawley can hardly wait to dig into them – motivated to continue working hard, and determined to keep improving.  He says in a few months, he’ll be back in front of the same group – only this time, with books that are even more challenging.


  1. Barb Brownlie says:

    Congrats Eli for learning to read-when Eli began his career at TMC-19 years ago-I was working in HR as the receptionist-Eli would call everyday and ask if we had any job openings-my reply- not at this time-he kept on calling until their was a job opening in the laundry area. Eli came into HR to complete his paperwork-he told me he couldn’t read would I help him complete his application-which I did-all through my 10+ years at TMC-Eli always stopped by EHS and chatted with me about life and his family. So proud of him that he learned to read-what a wonderful accomplishment and a new world opened to him.

  2. Claire Aragón says:

    Yes! Eli, Congratulations! You lift us all up!

Leave a Reply

Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
%d bloggers like this: