After 50 Years, UC Health Employee Says ‘It’s Time’ to Retire

Brenda McMullen will clock out for the last time on Friday, Aug. 31.

By Dama Ewbank

It was March 11, 1968, when Brenda McMullen began working as a nurse aide at Holmes Hospital.

Lyndon B. Johnson was president, a gallon of gas was $0.34 and Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” was on the verge of topping the Billboard 100 chart.

Brenda, who grew up in the West End, had been married to the love of her life and childhood sweetheart, John, for three years when she was hired at Holmes through the Civil Service.

She would go on to spend 18 years there before moving in 1984 to then-named University of Cincinnati Hospital—now UC Medical Center—where she trained to become a health unit coordinator.

She drew over 100 people from across the state when she hosted the National Health Unit Coordinator Certification Exam in Cincinnati in 1990. In 1992, on National Health Unit Coordinator Day, she received the Clerical Excellence Award from the hospital’s nursing department.

Now an access coordinator on UC Medical Center’s admitting and registration team (she received her bachelor’s in billing/coding at age 55), Brenda will clock out for the last time on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018—retiring after more than 50 years of service.

Brenda recalls working side-by-side with pioneering physicians, including William Altemeier, MD, and Paul Hoxworth, MD. And though she knows the weight that their names carry, Brenda emphasizes what she always felt when working by their side: “There are no big ‘I’s’ or little ‘you’s’ here … together we all make this place work.”

She’s had her share of experiences and has seen many changes, but remains grateful for the five-plus decades she’s spent serving patients in our community. She’s also grateful for the care her own family has received over the years from those she’s worked with at UC Health.

“So many times you hear to separate work from home, but sometimes you just can’t help it,” Brenda says, recalling the outpouring of support she received from co-workers as she and her family grieved the loss of her son in 2011.

“That’s something I’ll never forget,” says Brenda. “I will always be grateful for the 50 years and five months that God allowed me to live, learn and grow in this environment.”

As for her thoughts on retirement: “It’s time,” she laughs. “It’s been a good journey. I came in as a young lady, and I’m going out as an old lady.”

She’ll spend day one of retirement getting some much-needed rest, but then plans to get dressed each day as she normally would—drawing from her stylish collection of clothing and shoes—and looks forward to traveling with her husband. She’ll also care for her 93-year-old mother, who retired in 1985 from housekeeping at UC Medical Center.

But what Brenda is most looking forward to is watching the winter’s first snowfall from her home in Roselawn, knowing she doesn’t have venture out in it to get to work.

Give Brenda a Great Send-Off

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