35 Years: Terry Harris

Honoree Terry Harris
Terry Harris

During the past 35 years, Terry Harris has cared for thousands of patients as a nurse at St. Paul University Hospital.

But one patient caught her by surprise when she realized, during a conversation with the young woman, that she had cared for her before, as a baby.

“A few years ago when caring for a patient who had just given birth, I realized I was working here when her mother delivered her,” Mrs. Harris said. “I probably took care of her as an infant.”

While the discovery was certainly a pleasant surprise, caring for women after delivery is all in a day’s work for Mrs. Harris, who is known for her compassionate care and kindness. It’s that reputation that in 1988 earned her the “Spirit of St. Paul” award, which recognizes dedication of service. Nominees are chosen by co-workers.

Mrs. Harris began working at the old St. Paul Hospital in 1977, while still a nursing student at Texas Woman’s University. In 35 years she has never left women’s services, though she has held different nursing positions and worked various shifts.

It’s the closeness and support of her “sisters” in the department that she said has made it so satisfying to work there.

“We are such a family,” she said. “Everybody really cares about everybody else.”

Away from work, Mrs. Harris enjoys spending time with her husband, Robert, three children, and four grandchildren. And although traveling tops her list of fun activities, she’s always happy to return to her job on the fifth floor of St. Paul University Hospital.

“It’s such a warm atmosphere,” she said. “And with all the new babies there, it’s a time of celebration.”

Employee Recognition 2013

Long-term employees play an invaluable role in the life of UT Southwestern Medical Center. Their faithful, dedicated service has helped the institution become what it is today. In this special edition of Center Times, we showcase some of these employees and their varied interests.