Connie Ybarra (left) and Lucy Leal, of Central Texas Medical Centers’s (CTMC) Surgery Department, smile with their mayoral awards recognizing them for 50 years of service to CTMC.
Two Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) employees were recently recognized with a celebration in honor of their 50th anniversaries as employees of CTMC. Honorees Lucy Leal and Connie Ybarra were also recognized at the celebration by San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz for their 50 years of healthcare service.
The two have certainly far outlasted the Federal Bureau of Statistics estimation of the current four-year stay of most employees in the workforce.
“Working in an environment where employees want to stay long after becoming retirement eligible is truly a blessing for all of us,” said Gary Jepson, CTMC’s president and CEO.
Ybarra took her first job when she was 27 at the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Hospital on Belvin Street. She continued working at the hospital after it relocated in the early 1960s to the newly-built Hays Memorial Hospital on Interstate-35. She continues to work for the hospital at CTMC’s Wonder World Drive location, assisting patients with surgery registration. However, during the past five decades she has worked in almost every department at the facility.
“I have worked in so many areas, but I made sure that wherever I was that I was working with patients,” said Ybarra. “Once they needed help in the kitchen but the CEO, told me, ‘No Connie, we need you with the patients, they need your compassion.’”
Lucy Leal moved to San Marcos from Seguin in 1960 and started her career at Hays Memorial Hospital around the same Ybarra did. Both women have seen a great deal of change in the health care industry during the course of half a century.
“Everything has changed since I began,” Leal said. “The technology is completely different. The only thing that is the same is the love and compassion of the staff. We are blessed to have the opportunity to help others in need no matter who they are, where they’ve come from or what they believe.”
In addition to the accolades and appreciation of their peers, the pair also received a special gift from CTMC associate Richard Sanchez, who built them each a one-of-a-kind “birdhouse” chair.
Richard Sanchez (right) creator of the birdhouse chair, sits in one with honoree Connie Ybarra.