35 Years: Mary Harrison

Honoree Mary Harrison
Mary Harrison

Most talk about the new William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital focuses on the amenities the hospital will have, but Mary Harrison is also enthusiastic about what it will lack: carpet.

Ms. Harrison, the supervisor of housekeeping for floors 3, 4, 5, and 6 at St. Paul University Hospital, recalls a time when that facility’s floors were tiled with terrazzo. She welcomes the trend back to hard floor surfaces at Clements University Hospital, which will be easier for her staff of 13 to maintain.

Keeping up the hospital’s appearance is a full-time job, and then some, for Ms. Harrison, who rises at 3:30 a.m. on workdays and arrives at St. Paul University Hospital hours before her scheduled shift. She likes to make sure everything is in order before the day surgery professionals and patients arrive. She checks on what she calls the “hot spots” – restrooms and lobby – then prepares the housekeepers’ duty list for the day and does a walkthrough to spot possible problems. That busy pace continues throughout her day.

Ms. Harrison’s first job was at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and during the past 35 years she’s built cherished relationships with her colleagues, whom she says are like family. Outside work, she’s surrounded by biological family; 10 of her 14 siblings live in the Dallas area, along with son Bryan, daughter-in-law Adrianna, and grandson Bryan, age 10. She enjoys completing jigsaw puzzles, reading the Bible and devotional books, and meeting her sister for a monthly meal.

Her goal is to retire from UT Southwestern, but not anytime soon. She loves what she does. Ms. Harrison enjoys talking to the patients, and she appreciates the sense of teamwork among the doctors, nurses, and employees.

“I am very proud to work with this staff; they make me who I am,” she said. “I’ve lasted as long as I have because of them.” 

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.