Spotlight on Employee Service: Janie Cook

“They say I’ve been here for 40 years, which is hard to believe since I’m only 39,” jokes Janie Cook on the kudos she’s receiving from her coworkers for her remarkable tenure here at TMC.

“She’s trained in a lot of areas, and has done a lot of things over the decades,” laughs Gilbert Romero, Pharmacy Director since 1981.  He adds, “Janie is part of a pharmacy family that has been around for decades.  We look forward to seeing each other.  We’ve seen her babies grow up into beautiful kids.”

Janie’s sparkling personality, combined with her experience and valuable pharmacy knowledge makes her a huge asset to the team.

What’s changed since she started here as an intern in 1972?  Lots.  At the time, she says, most medications were in vials, offering a 3 to 5 day supply.  As things evolved, so did her ability to counsel patients, and speak with physicians about a patient’s therapy.  Fast-forward a few more years, and Janie says she and have team now has even more interaction with physicians and other healthcare professionals.  Her responsibilities include monitoring drugs and drug levels, antibiotic levels, and therapy.

In a field that is always changing, Janie is big on continuing education classes.  Outside of work, she’s active in her church, and loves going out to nice dinners.  Janie says she’s looking forward to spending the next 40 years at TMC, and hollers with a smile, “time flies when you’re having fun!”

Spotlight on Employee Service: Donna Brewer

Donna Brewer will be the first one to tell you that her job isn’t glamorous.  But she’s been doing it…day in, and day out…for the past 40 years.  And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Donna started at TMC in 1972.  She currently works as a wound, ostomy, and continence nurse.  In fact, she was the first nurse to be board certified in the triple field back in 1981.

“I chose ostomy as a specialty because I saw in the unit that people were afraid of working with ostomy patients.  I don’t have an ostomy.  No one in my family has an ostomy.  But I saw what it meant to people to have somebody work with these patients.  I chose to go into this field instead of one that was a little more glamorous.  This is challenging.”

Urodynamics and wound care manager Valerie Crain has worked with Donna for a number of years and says Donna has a real gift of working with this patient population.  “Caring for the patient is her primary focus.  There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for the patient.  She has been creative in solutions to different problems that we’ve had with patients who have ostomies.”

Donna’s day-to-day operations have changed quite a bit since she started.  “My ostomy supplies primarily came through the pharmacy department at that time.  But if I needed something special, I had to walk across the street to the old Danny’s Pharmacy, get special permission, pick up a pink slip, bring it back to pharmacy, and make sure it was okayed.”

Donna has worked in all of the units at TMC – and treated everyone from NICU babies to the elderly.  She calls her experience at TMC “rewarding” and loves that TMC is one level.  Donna, we hope your thoughts don’t change when the tower is completed next Spring!

Her kind heart is shown not only in the compassionate care she gives her patients, but also in the volunteer work she does with those in need, including ostomy patients and women who have Ovarian cancer.  Crain says, “She’s really well-known around here.  She’s like a TMC icon.  Everyone knows Donna Brewer.  And they rely on her advice.  She has a tendency to go above and beyond to take care of whatever that problem is.”

Thank you, Donna, for your 40 years of service to TMC, and Southern Arizona.

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: Tina Aviles

“See you in a few minutes!”  It’s what Tina Aviles says to her coworkers at the end of every single workday in pre-anesthesia testing – her signature phrase that really means, “I’ll see you tomorrow!”

Yolanda Espinoza has known Tina for the past 20 years.  The two started working together in outpatient nursing.  Over her years at TMC, Tina also spent time in women’s services, surgery admissions, recovery, and was a senior unit clerk.  Her decades of experience makes her the go-to person in the department for workers who need guidance on a situation.

“She’s adored by a lot of people,” says Yolanda, who is quick to add that Tina’s great smile and quick wit puts patients at ease.

Outside of work, Tina holds the Arizona Wildcats near and dear to her heart – especially the Wildcat basketball team!  Another love?  Travel.  She says she’s been to half the world already.  And if you ask her what’s on her bucket list, she may tell you that she wants to travel the other half!  Tina, we hope you get the opportunity!

Congratulations on this incredible milestone you have reached.  We appreciate your 45 years of service to TMC, and thank you!

‘I Choose Dedication:’ Her Attitude is Infectious

Organizational values identified by TMC employees (Dedication, Compassion, Integrity, Community) are among the reasons people ‘Choose Well’ when they choose Tucson Medical Center.

TMC has launched an internal campaign to celebrate examples of those who demonstrate these values every day.  Here’s another example of those who “choose Dedication”

Nina Mazzola

Dedication can be transmitted from person to person, under the proper conditions.

Nina Mazzola, manager of Infection Control, is helping to spread her department’s sense of dedication by engaging employees, physicians, volunteers and the patients themselves to stop the spread of infections.

“We have public reporting of data now, so consumers can make informed choices, they can choose TMC based on infection rates and many other different indicators.  We want to make sure that when patients come into the hospital, they are educated towards what they can expect from us.”

Patients and their families are enlisted to take measures to protect themselves and others, and to make sure their caregivers are following safe practices.

“I’m privileged to be associated with TMC Infection Control because of their dedication towards protecting patients and staff against hospital associated infections,” Mazzola said. “Dedication to TMC values is extremely important to ensure that anyone who walks through our doors has a safe outcome.”

‘I Choose Dedication:’ Hospital Encounters Invite Teamwork

Organizational values identified by TMC employees (Dedication, Compassion, Integrity, Community) are among the reasons people ‘Choose Well’ when they choose Tucson Medical Center.

TMC has launched an internal campaign to celebrate examples of those who demonstrate these values every day.  Here’s another example of those who “choose Dedication”

Ahmed Ali

Ahmed Ali brings a positive attitude to his work each day with TMC Environmental Services. He has adapted to his new life far from his former home in Uganda, and has been with TMC for more than five years.  His dedication is demonstrated every day with his colleagues.

“We work as a team of employees, and we just do the extra stuff.  If I find a patient or see someone who is standing in the hallway, I say, ‘Hey, do you need help?’ and I give them directions.  With Transportation, for example, if they can’t push the patient, we just give a hand, to help them.  That’s what we need, to work together. Teamwork.

“Sometimes when I go somewhere, I say ‘I work at TMC’ and they say ‘Oh, my kids were born at TMC. They take care of my kids.’  I think we are the best hospital in Tucson.  I love TMC.  I’m glad to work at TMC.”

‘I Choose Dedication:’ Caring for Patients, Away from the Bedside

Organizational values identified by TMC employees (Dedication, Compassion, Integrity, Community) are among the reasons people ‘Choose Well’ when they choose Tucson Medical Center.

TMC has launched an internal campaign to celebrate examples of those who demonstrate these values every day.  Here’s another example of those who “choose Dedication”

Sue Ojeda

With 30 years of service to TMC, Sue Ojeda has worked alongside many folks – clinical and non-clinical – who go above and beyond in their jobs. “Dedication is making the choice to pour your heart and soul into something that you believe in, that you are passionate about, and that you are willing to give a lot of hard work towards,” she says.

Sue works behind the scenes, as senior manager at the front end of the revenue cycle process – admissions, intake, eligibility, financial assistance – all early opportunities to create a positive patient experience.

“I work hard at making sure that our patients are met with caring and compassionate staff, that they are interviewed in a professional manner, and that the patient is left with a good impression to start their patient experience with us.  The staff here at Tucson Medical Center are very dedicated to the well-being of our patients, and the success of our organization.”


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