In honor of Thomas Memorial’s upcoming 75th anniversary, we interviewed some of our long-term employees for this week’s Thomas Team Tuesday.

Denise Allen – a 40 -year employee 

Denise began her career in November of 1981. She is currently the Support Coordinator for Plant Operations which includes ensuring daily maintenance of all hospital buildings, support for the work-order system on issues, and preventative maintenance for the system. What she loves most about her job is all the people that she has worked with over the years.

“I have seen many changes and advances in technology. This helped with better medicine and treatments for patients.”


Ernie Bsharah – a 33-year employee

Erie began his career with Thomas Memorial Hospital in June of 1988. He is currently a Lead Physician Assistant, which includes first assist in surgery, PICC lines and H&Ps. He also does the daily surgery schedule and monthly call schedule for the physician assistants. If he hadn’t gone into the medical field his dream job would be a sports announcer.

“If I could go back in time to my first day at Thomas, I would tell myself to not sweat the small stuff. Life in the OR can be rough. Call stinks, but it is part of the job. Overall, it is going to be a great career.”


Cathy Carnes – a 48-year employee 

Cathy first started working for Thomas Memorial Hospital in October of 1973, she is currently an HIM Auditor and Coding Educator. What she loves most about her job is the family-like atmosphere. When she’s not working, she enjoys sewing and reading.

“My most memorable experience working for Thomas Health is watching others gain confidence in their abilities.”


Lori Collins – a 33-year employee

Lori began her career with Thomas Memorial Hospital in September of 1988 as a Registration Clerk. Since that time, she has also worked in Administration, Medical Records, and Behavioral Health. She is currently the Manager of Employee Benefits in Human Resources, she is responsible for the development, administration, and compliance of employee benefits. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, crafting, and reading.

“If I could go back in time to my first day at Thomas, I would tell myself to be dedicated and to work hard. In time, you see that you have earned so much more than just a paycheck.”


Beth Davis – a 44-year employee 

Beth began her career as a co-op student in Human Resources. She worked during her school breaks and returned as a full-time employee in December of 1979. She is now the Vice President of Human Resources which involves the oversight of Human Resources – policies, recruitment, retention, benefits, and employees. Her most memorable experience with Thomas Health is all of the lifetime friendships.

“The biggest change I’ve seen in Healthcare is the technology. When I started, we did not have computers. I used a typewriter with carbon paper if I needed two copies!”


Robert Shirk – a 34-year employee

Robert began his career in March of 1987, as a Respiratory Therapist. Now, he is a Clinical Systems Analyst for the IT Department. A clinical systems analyst configures software solutions for patients and caregivers, this includes all departments of the health system and almost all workflows. His most memorable experience during his tenure is a trip to Cancun a team from his department won through a cost-saving initiative called “Rally Your Ideas.”

“What I like most about my job is that I am able to provide solutions that promote and help to ensure safe and effective care to our patients, while also helping maintain ease of use for our users.


Debra Sullivan – a 34-year employee

Debbie began working at Thomas Memorial in March of 1987. She is currently a CDI Specialist, RN. This involves reviewing inpatient charts for accuracy of documentation, diagnosis, and plan of care for Medicare guidelines. She enjoys being part of a team and loves the flexibility of her job. Her most memorable experience working for Thomas is winning Employee of the Year.

“If you are interested in a career in healthcare, you need to understand that it can be quite stressful at times, but it is a very rewarding career.”


Cathy Tobia  – a 43-year employee

Cathy began her career as a Medical Assistant in 1978. In 1981 she became an LPN and completed her RN in 1998. She worked as a Cardiac and Oncology Nurse and is now currently a Palliative Care Nurse. A palliative care nurse provides education, discuss goal clarification, complete advanced directives, and discharge to Palliative, Home, or Inpatient Hospice if the patient is interested. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her family, church, volunteering, and going on vacation.

“You must love what you do when going into healthcare. Don’t do it solely for the money, because you will be miserable. Never feel like you know everything because we always have room to grow and learn something new or in a different way.”


Sandy Young – a 39-year employee

Sandy started working for Thomas Memorial in May of 1982 as a summer student. Then in May of 1985, she began working as a Graduate Nurse. Now, Sandy is the Nursing Recruitment and Retention Coordinator. This involves recruiting new nurses for the system, working with current employees to rediscover the joy of nursing, and encouraging young people to pursue nursing careers.

“I love being able to share some of the many opportunities for nurses. What other profession allows you to be a caregiver, problem solver, teacher, advocate, and mentor?”