Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

October 15, 2013

A good and faithful servant

Gardiner retires after 35 years of service at hospital

Athens — Debbie Gardiner is a woman full of energy, conviction and determination. And for 35 years, she has focused those qualities on serving the patients, friends and team members at the hospital in Athens.

When Gardiner returned to her hometown of Athens in 1978 to serve as director of the intensive care unit, that hospital was Henderson County Memorial. In 1986, she was part of the staff which transitioned from the old hospital to the new, state-of-the-art hospital a few miles down the road — then known as Lakeland Medical Center and now as ETMC Athens. In 1989, she was appointed director of risk management and performance improvement, a position she excelled at until her retirement this month.

How does a hospital team mark the retirement of someone like Gardiner, who served faithfully for 35 years and had an enormous positive impact on the hospital, its patients and staff? With a victory line down the hallway leading to her retirement reception. Not only was the line made up of cheering, smiling, flag-waving friends, family and co-workers, but Gardiner was preceded down the hall by marching Trinity Valley Community College Cardettes. In typical hospital humor, she was rolled behind the Cardettes in a wheelchair bearing her name and dates of service. Judging by the expression on her face and shouts of delight, she couldn’t have been happier with the situation.

At the reception, her friends took turns at the podium speaking earnestly of their love for Gardiner and poking fun at her good-naturedly.

“When I started here, Debbie’s first words to me were, ‘Just agree with everything I do, and we’ll get along just fine,’” said Steve Lowe, director of engineering and safety at ETMC Athens. “I’m not sure she always got her way, but we did get along, and a good working relationship turned into a friendship.”

Sadie Meazell, data manager in the risk management department, said she would speak for all the nurses past and present on whom Debbie has had a positive influence. “For all the years you have worked, you have done a marvelous job. … We say, ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’”

Bob Geatches, retired former director of pharmacy at the hospital, said Gardiner can look back on her career and say “you gave it your all.” ETMC Athens Administrator Pat Wallace said he has counted on Gardiner over the years, not only for navigating visits by The Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies healthcare organizations, and for resolving staff issues, but also for friendly talks and a sympathetic ear. “Thank you so much for working with us all these years, and God bless you,” said Wallace.

“This takes my breath away,” said Gardiner to the dozens gathered to honor her service to the hospital. “It has been my blessing to work with these employees and our physicians and patients for the last 35 years. It is such an honor to have worked here.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-22 BBR.JPG Black Beauty Ranch holds educational spring open house

    Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch and Doris Day Equine Center hosted their Spring Open House on April 12 and April 19.  Located in Murchison, these entities are both non-profit organizations that specialize in rescue, adoption and providing sanctuary to the unadoptable.

    April 22, 2014 10 Photos

  • 4-22 CROSS CARRIER.JPG Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ

    Jeremiah Roberts portrays Jesus Christ as he carries a cross down Mill Run Road enroute to the Henderson County Square, to re-enact Christ’s resurrection.  Hitting him with instruments to illustrate the inhumanity of the day were Tramaine Jordan and C.J. Douglas.  Also helping in the effort were Joyce Coleman, Amanda Jordan and a child, Rychis Douglas.  All are members of Petersburg Baptist Church.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif In the voter’s hands

    Elections have come and gone for years without the Athens Municipal Water Authority getting much attention. But this year, the fate of the entity is in the balance.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif CCL Rotary offers non-profit grants

    The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake offers a wide variety of grants to local non-profit organizations in Henderson County  and Kaufman County.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22 Sharp arrest.jpg Man arrested near GBC for resisting

    The Henderson County Sheriff's Department responded to a disturbance involving an assault on Friday, April 18 at about 4:38 a.m. The assault occurred in the 100 block of Wedgewood Loop in the Oak Harbor Subdivision near Gun Barrel City.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2726192_300x300.jpg Darin Karl found Thursday on Cedar Creek Lake

    The body of a 42-year-old man who had been missing in Cedar Creek Lake was recovered on Thursday.
    The drowning victim was identified as Darin Lynn Karl of Kemp. According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, Karl and his nephew were fishing near Cedar Creek Country Club when the boat overturned, ejecting the men. 

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD approves moving monthly meeting, additional drug testing

    Discussion on meal prices for the 2014-15 school year was pulled from Thursday's Athens Independent School District Board of Trustees agenda but other items were approved that will bring about change in the district.
    By unanimous decision, the school board approved changes to the scheduled date for its monthly meetings; additional drug testing on the high school campus and modification to the graduation policy.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 drugs.tif Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 26

    On Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Athens Police Department and Keep Athens Beautiful will host the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, giving the public its seventh opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • ADR logo.tif Feud between Tool VFDs extends to city council

    The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Would Lake Athens residents suffer if city controls water?

    Members of Lake Athens Property Owners Association have been watching the dispute between the City of Athens and the Athens Municipal Water Authority uncertain of how this will affect their future.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo