Unicoi County Memorial Hospital | News Article

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Paulette Edwards celebrates 50 years at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital

Paulette Edwards is flanked by (far left) hospital administrator Eric Carroll and (far right) Mountain States President/CEO Alan Levine and Southeast Market VP Dwayne Taylor, along with members of the hospital board.


ERWIN, Tenn. – How does someone stay at the same workplace for half a century?


It helps if you love what you do, and that’s the case with Paulette Edwards, who celebrated her 50th work anniversary at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital. She is the hospital’s materials manager.


Paulette started at the hospital as a nurse’s aide in 1968, then was a ward clerk and a pharmacy tech before taking her current position 31 years ago.


“I just liked my job from the first, and I stuck with it because I really enjoy what I do,” she said. “We’ve had such wonderful nurses and doctors; everybody here is a team and we work as a team. We do our very best every day because we know that patient is depending on us. It’s not just me, it’s everybody, and I love everybody here.”


Edwards was honored with a surprise celebration at the hospital that was attended by co-workers and hospital board members as well as town officials and members of her family. Included were Eric Carroll, hospital administrator; Dwayne Taylor, CEO of the Southeast Market; and Erwin’s mayor, Doris Hensley.


“Everyone is so busy, and to take their time out to honor me, it really was a shock,” Paulette said. “I don't have the words for it. I had no idea what they were doing. I feel really honored.”


Paulette’s family is known for their service to the community. Her husband, Gary Edwards, serves as Erwin’s vice mayor. Her son, Wayne Edwards, is a city policeman, and her daughter, Paula Edwards, is a chemistry teacher at Unicoi County High School.


“Every day here is a different day and they’re all special because you’re helping people and you’re helping your community,” Paulette said, “and it's a good place to work.”


She used to have a hobby of bowling. Now, when she’s not working, Paulette especially enjoys taking care of family and spending time with them.


Carroll said the show of appreciation from the hospital and the community was a testament to Paulette and to how tight-knit the community is. He also had high praise for her work. “She is very focused on her job and is always looking for ways to improve the hospital and look out for the best interests of the patients,” Carroll said, adding that her 50 years of service “is a huge accomplishment.”