The mornings often begin predictably—lights flip on, coffee brews and doors open—but the typical day ends there. As the more than 150 administrative assistants at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital begin their workdays, they prepare to support and coordinate their department’s daily efforts.
That dedication is evident in the decades of service from the hospital’s three longest-tenured administrative professionals Sharon Hill, Mary Ann Kimp and Pat Streich. They’ve seen changes, big and small, to St. Jude. Their careers have evolved as the hospital has grown and technology has changed.
Hill has logged more than 3,000 requests to the hospital’s Environmental Services department in the last three years. While phone calls are a big part of her work, technology reigns. She began her St. Jude career with typewriters and carbon paper, but now answers requests both over the phone and via email.
“There’s not a typical day,” said Hill, an administrative specialist who joined St. Jude in 1981. “I like being part of something, and always strive to do your best because your work represents you. No matter what your job is, every part fits that puzzle. Teamwork is the most valuable thing I’ve learned at St. Jude.”
Mary Ann Kimp, an administrative assistant in the Critical Care division, prepares for upcoming CPR classes by coordinating schedules, equipment and enrollment. Kimp joined St. Jude in 1977, developing X-ray film as a dark room technician. She later moved to medical records as a file clerk and chart analyst.
“Working here has been a blessing because it provided me with opportunities to be a part of many different departments at St. Jude, gaining experience and learning at the same time,” Kimp said. “My advice for someone just beginning a career would be to give 110 percent of your ability because your work makes your department run more smoothly and shows that you are loyal and dependable.”
Hematology administrative specialist Pat Streich came to St. Jude in 1982 as a data coordinator in Pathology, where she worked for 23 years. Her previous role involved training new employees on a patient-record software system. She’s found ways to carry that over to her current work.
“I take advantage of every opportunity to train others so that they can refine their knowledge and skills,” Streich said. “I enjoy the feeling I get when I come and go each day, knowing that even though it may be seemingly small to somebody else, my job matters, I matter and the children we care for all matter.”