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.

Spotlight on Employee Service: Service Pin Ceremony

It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time of year again, where we shine the spotlight on some extraordinary employees, and celebrate their many years of service to Tucson Medical Center.  The annual Service Pin Ceremony in which TMC honors employees who have reached a five-year milestone of consecutive service, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Westin La Paloma.

We wanted to dish up some much-deserved kudos for these employees ahead of the event as well.  Starting today, you can read about these incredible people, and their memories from their time at TMC.  This year, we are giving special recognition to  some long-time employees, including one 50-year honoree:  David Howell from Radiology.  David lived on campus during his early days here, where he rented a room for $12.50 a month!  There are some other long-time stars, too, including Nancy Spiller and Tina Aviles, who have been here for 45-years.  There’s another group right behind them at 40-years of service that includes Janie Cook, Patti Kubista, Georgia Turner, Rita Cadava, Vickie Nunez, Carl Lo, and Donna Brewer. 

Each employee has a story to tell, and a rich history to share.  Donna – a wound, ostomy, and continence nurse, will tell you about the early days when she had to go to Danny’s Pharmacy across the street in order to get her supplies!  There are many other honorees with amazing stories of friendship, dedication and love for TMC.

The Service Pin Ceremony is TMC’s opportunity to recognize those employees who are truly proud to be here.  Enjoy reading their stories in the coming days.  They may conjure up some memories yourself!

About the ceremony:  TMC’s annual  Service Pin Ceremony will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Westin La Paloma.  This year’s theme is the 2012 Olympics – Celebrating TMC’s Medalists.  Everyone celebrating milestone anniversaries this year received invitations in the mail and can bring one guest at no charge.


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