50 Years: Mary Quiroga

By Lin Lofley

Mary Quiroga, Fellowship Coordinator in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, will be honored at the 2014 Quarter Century Club luncheon as this year’s longest-serving UT Southwestern Medical Center employee.

Mary Quiroga
Mary Quiroga

Ms. Quiroga began her career on Jan. 10, 1964, in the Radiology Department at St. Paul Hospital, run then by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

“I was hired as a typing clerk,” she said, “typing the name cards used to identify the patients’ names on X-ray films. After about a year I moved to the Radiology File Room, where I was responsible for filing the patient X-rays, pulling X-rays for doctors, then re-filing them.”

She held a number of jobs, but she eventually was recruited to become the Secretary for Dr. Ernest Poulos, Director of the General Surgery Residency Program. It was there she discovered how much she enjoyed working in Medical Education. After working several years for the General Surgery and the Obstetrics and Gynecology programs, she became Secretary to Dr. Williams C. Brooks, Director of Graduate Medical Education, and later for Dr. Brooks’ successor, Dr. Edwin P. Jenevein. She also worked for Dr. Larry Word and several other directors of the Ob/Gyn residency program.

“I have always enjoyed working in Graduate Medical Education, working with faculty members, residents, and interns,” she said. “And now, as Fellowship Coordinator, I am working with two excellent program directors – Drs. John Battaile and Hetal Patel – 14 great fellows, and an excellent Pulmonary staff. I also enjoy working with other fellowship coordinators and with our administrative staff members.”

That gives Ms. Quiroga a strong connection with people who have passed through the program, whether as teachers or trainees.

Lisa Garcia, Division Administrator in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, has worked at UT Southwestern 18 years. When she became Ms. Quiroga’s supervisor in 2008, she quickly identified a great team member. “When I came in as Administrator for the Pulmonary Division, Mary stepped up and offered a lending hand and always called to ask if I needed assistance getting acclimated to the position.

“Mary is amazing. She works hard, comes to work daily, and never fails to meet a deadline,” Ms. Garcia said. “I truly admire her dedication and strong work ethic. It’s been a pleasure to have her on my team.” 

“I’m so fortunate,” Ms. Quiroga said. “I have worked for so many wonderful people in my career going all the way back to St. Paul. And it’s been gratifying to see over the years the many residents who came through our programs on their way to becoming outstanding physicians, not only in Dallas, but elsewhere in Texas and around the world.”

<p">When she’s not at work, she enjoys movies – especially classic movies – and gardening. She has a brother and two sisters, and many nieces and nephews, and another blessing: “My mother is 89, and she’s not in the best of health but we’re blessed that she is still with us and enjoying life.”

When UT Southwestern’s Quarter Century Club honors her on May 13, Ms. Quiroga will smile at many friendly faces. She has earned the recognition.

“Mary is one of those people who are the backbone of any successful organization,” said Dr. Lance Terada, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care and Professor of Internal Medicine and Surgery. “She’s been like a mother hen to many chicks, and she’s vital to everything we do in our division.”

Employee Recognition Program 2014

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.