45 Years: Addie Roberson
Addie Roberson’s time at the UT Southwestern Medical Center has spanned all three presidents of the institution. And when she arrived at St. Paul University Hospital, Lyndon Baines Johnson was the nation’s president.
Fast forward to 2012 and the myriad changes that have transpired. Too many to list, but when Addie looks next door to the new University Hospital rising in the distance, she sees the future.
“I won’t be here next year, but I will go visit the new hospital when it’s completed,” said Mrs. Roberson, or "Miss Addie” to her colleagues. “This hospital has been very good to me, and the people here are wonderful, but I’m ready to retire. Nobody can talk me out of it!”
Mrs. Roberson is a patient care technician on the third floor of St. Paul, tending to oncology outpatients receiving infusions and checkups. She often records the vital signs of patients during the initial part of their visits, before they receive chemotherapy.
“Cancer patients are unique because you get to know them and they become like family over time with their frequent visits,” she said, explaining her devotion to those visitors.
A Louisiana transplant who arrived in Dallas in 1964, she obtained her vocational nursing degree in 1965 and married the following year.
Her husband of 47 years works as a plant manager at a plastics company on the day shift while Mrs. Roberson works mostly nights. With her trademark smile, she jokes that the opposing shifts are what have allowed them to stay together for so long.
Her husband also plans to retire next year. They plan to travel the country together and spend more time with their seven children and grandchildren, six of whom were born at St. Paul.
Reflecting back, Mrs. Roberson says she’s witnessed several mir- acles on the third floor where she works. In the 1970s, a man suf-fered a heart attack on her floor and was pronounced dead by the cardiac team trying to revive him.
“I came back in the room to prepare the body and there he was, sitting straight up in his bed looking at me,” Mrs. Roberson recalled, still amazed after all these years. “So I immediately called the cardiologist back in. Everybody on the floor couldn’t believe it.”
It is no secret among her colleagues that she plans to retire in 2013. Everybody on her floor is already wishing her well.
Asked why she couldn’t wait to stay a little bit longer to hit the half-century mark, Mrs. Roberson said all good things must come to an end.
We’ll see about that.
Employee Recognition 2012
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. Meet the 2012 honorees