Always at the Ready: Tricia Aaron celebrates 45 years of kind, impactful service

When Tricia Aaron started working at VUMC in 1978, the footprint of the medical center was small in comparison to today’s standard. She came to work her due a referral from her high school counselor. And what a great referral that turned out to be.

“When I started, they were in the process of constructing Vanderbilt University Hospital and I walked by every day going to my office,” said Tricia, a trauma registrar in Pediatrics Trauma Administration.

She started out working in the Vanderbilt Professional Practice Program (now known as the Vanderbilt Medical Group) in Medical Center North across from the “old” emergency room.

“The only other buildings in the area that I can remember at the time were Medical Arts Building and the Oxford House and Veterans Hospital,” she said.

Throughout Tricia’s 45-year career at VUMC, she has served in more than half a dozen departments and at as many locations. But with each position, Patricia definitely made an impact.

The roles she has had since is a menagerie of departments: physician billing, admitting, anesthesia, pediatric surgery, coding and billing. This career path has also taken her to numerous locations and buildings throughout the last 45 years.

Throughout the years, she has worked in Medical Center North (A1107) and on the fourth floor for another department. The Round Wing, Home Economics Building (Peabody Campus), main hospital, Medical Arts, Oxford House, the Villages at Vanderbilt, offsite office at Grassmere and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Now she works from home.

Tricia’s connection to VUMC goes back even further than her work history. Her family used to live in a house on Capers Avenue. That is now called Children’s Way. Her house was located about where the South Parking Garage is now. Her husband’s family lived on Dixie Place (now called Vivien Thomas Way).

Regardless of her role, Tricia brings her whole self to the table. Colleagues describe her as hardworking, helpful, thorough and precise and takes others’ needs into consideration before her own. Her humor and kindness are other traits that come to mind when colleagues were asked to share what it is like working with her.

As director of Trauma, Injury Prevention and Project ADAM for the children’s hospital, Amber Greeno has worked with Tricia since April 2016. During that time, she has seen her come a long way in her role, especially the aspects that deal with modern technology. “Tricia is a great employee. She is comfortable enough to take on new challenges with support and is such a great team player.”

In addition, she is known as kind, welcoming to new staff and funny. She is the department’s go to source on what to binge-watch next on streaming TV.

Currently, she works on data related to pediatric trauma patients, apply injury coding and enter pertinent injury and patient data into a National Data Base. This data base is used to help medical personnel provide the most efficient and highest quality of care for these type cases.

“My job really gives perspective on the some of the most difficult cases that arrive at Children’s hospital, including the extensive care provided and how the staff deal with such extreme cases,” she said.     

Her proudest moment here also highlights the kindness and generosity of her coworkers in Pediatric Surgery. She recalls in 2010 when her house flooded, her coworkers helped with her recovery, even replacing the Vanderbilt Captains chair she received for her 25th year of service. “They went above and beyond helping me through a very difficult time, not only with the chair but so much else. Certainly, made me proud to work for and with such kind, generous people.”

What she enjoys most about her job is having had the opportunity to meet and work with so many interesting and wonderful people. In fact, some of them are now lifelong friends of Tricia.

Outside of work, Tricia spends time with her two great-nephews, watching football, binge watching TV shows, reading and going to the movies.